Sailing North, Drake Passage

Feb 03, 2019 - National Geographic Orion

After a stint of prevailing good fortune while at sea, we at last got a taste of “adventure” out of a small storm system in the very early hours of the morning. A combination of wind and swell brought periodic large rollers (waves) off the portside of National Geographic Orion, thus putting put our sea legs—and stomachs—to the test.

Today we had a presentation on British polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton. This talk was shared by our generous staff historian John Pailthorpe and was followed up by Chasing Ice, a documentary covering the accelerated melting of the planet’s glacier systems.

Our staff expedition diver later presented on how all the incredible wildlife we’ve seen have adapted to life in this cold and otherwise inhospitable environment. Later, the afternoon was filled with laughter as the legend Tom Ritchie regaled us in tales of his lifelong career working with Lindblad Expeditions. Wildlife-wise, there were multiple reports of whales out in the distance, though spotted only for a second or two. However, numerous sea birds gave our group company throughout the day, particularly Cape petrels, known also as “Pintados,” which hovered off our port quarter.

Our expedition leader, along with help from the IT team back in the U.S., combined forces to stream the Superbowl. After dinner, the lounge was alive and cheerful, and there was no shortage of after-dinner pizza and popcorn. It was a thoughtful effort, and not one to be lost on our excellent group.

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About the Author

Ryder Redfield

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Growing up at the base of the Cascade Mountains in the tiny Oregon town of Sisters meant that Ryder was surrounded by wilderness. A childhood of hiking, fishing, hunting for arrowheads, camping, and upland bird hunting resulted in the outdoors feeling far more comfortable than hectic city streets. His passion for the outdoors has perpetually grown and, upon graduating from the University of Oregon, he embraced his wanderlust with even greater vigor. His adventures eventually led him to working with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic as a photo instructor.

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