En Route to Hawaii

Jun 03, 2019 - National Geographic Orion

Day four of our expedition, National Geographic Orion brings us from the Marquesas Islands in French Polynesia to the Big Island of Hawaii. Our small team of explorers kept surprisingly busy with activities on every deck of the ship from early morning to late at night. The energy of our high-spirited team rose in tandem with the warm Pacific sun.

Many guests attended stretch class, hit the gym, and bird watched from the ship’s bow. Throughout the day we had fascinating presentations that were well attended, yet many of us also took time over research of our own, expanding our knowledge of the locales of this trip in the ship’s library.

With sunny skies and the vast blue ocean at every vantage, it’s hard to stray from admiring our surroundings out here. Sea birds were observed and identified throughout the day, including the likes of masked boobies, black-winged petrels, red-tailed tropicbirds, sooty terns, and wedge-tailed shearwaters.

One notable yet unexpected sight was seeing a cargo ship for the first time on our journey to Hawaii, named Forest Symphony and well on its way to Chile. We have seen almost no other boats or ships, making the sighting a rare one.

By the end of today, we had already sailed over 1,300 nautical miles; near a quarter of which had been covered on Monday alone. The wind was noticeably stronger in the morning, averaging between 22 and 25 knots from the northeast, then easing off in the afternoon. All day we felt the ship moving beneath our feet with a swell average of 2 to 3 meters. Though there were moments of rain and wind, the ocean water temperature was a comfortable 84 degrees Fahrenheit. We are still in paradise!

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About the Author

Christine West

Undersea Specialist

Christine was fortunate to grow up in the Pacific Northwest on the shores of the Puget Sound. After graduating from the University of Washington, she decided to pursue her love of the ocean and exploration. Her passion for marine biology has inspired her through over 4,000 scuba dives around the globe in temperate and cold-water conditions, as well as snorkeling and freediving in extraordinary habitats such as in river beds with spawning salmon, in recently de-glaciated bays and lagoons filled with ice and glacial silt and in deep blue water with large marine animals including humpback whales, hammerhead sharks and pilot whales.

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