At Sea to the Falkland Islands

Mar 04, 2019 - National Geographic Explorer


A day for celebrating on board National Geographic Explorer, for three of our shipmates were born this very day—two of our Filipino crew members: stewardess Gina Malcampo and deck AB Ramil Ejercito, as well as expedition team member James Hyde. Life at sea requires that we all embrace the distance and separation from friends and family at home and carry on with our work while supporting one another.

Morning found the seas in a slightly more rugged state than when we retired last night, with mild winds and low, rain-soaked clouds casting a dull tone to the surroundings. Many species of seabird passed by in the early hours of the day, making their way on the open seas as they have for millions of years. Mate (the Argentine tea) and good conversation passed around the bridge as petrels and the like went about their task of finding food. Breakfast was accented with optional Bloody Mary’s as we enjoyed the more relaxed pace of a day at sea, eagerly anticipating our arrival to the Falkland Islands.

A host of lectures and presentations were given to further our understanding of this part of the world, with an emphasis on some of the more critical issues, both past and present, facing these vital waters. As the day progressed, the relatively dense fog eventually lifted and seabirds—including several wandering and royal albatross, boasting the longest wingspan of any living bird—maintained their escort of the ship.

In the evening, after dinner, our photography team hosted a photo-feedback session in the main lounge. Guests submitted images that were shared along with pointers on composition and photography techniques. When the night sky cleared, it revealed the beautiful stars of the southern hemisphere.

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About the Author

Doug Gualtieri

Naturalist

Doug Gualtieri has worked as a Naturalist interpretive guide for over 20 years, beginning his career in Denali National Park and Preserve at a remote wilderness lodge leading hikes and giving lectures on the ecology and wildlife of that region. Later he began leading Lindblad Expeditions land extensions to Denali in 2002 and has worked with Lindblad in some form or another ever since. With a background in Biology and a lifelong passion for the natural world Doug moved to Talkeetna, Alaska in 1999 from his home state of Michigan, and never looked back.

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