At sea, Drake Passage

Dec 07, 2019 - National Geographic Explorer


I remember the very first day I saw her, like it was just yesterday! It was early August 2008 and we were together in Greenland. Bright, bold, and beautiful, her Norwegian heritage was prominently on display. It was love at first sight with National Geographic Explorer.

Now there had been others before her, of course. If nothing else, I am a traveling man with a gypsy soul, a keen sense of wanderlust along with a seafarer’s need to be on the water. I sensed immediately that I could trust this one and that she would never let me down or disappoint me. I began to let my mind wander to the places we would travel together, the things that we would share; all the worlds that she could show me. I was giddy with anticipation!

The ensuing years have only strengthened my love for her. She has been there to inspire me to dizzying heights, and has always been there for me through my darkest moments, whether physical, emotional, or spiritual. We have shared many of my life-changing experiences together, and we have weathered a storm or two in the process. I trust her completely and totally. I return to her year after year, time and again. I know the privilege of being in her presence, and yearn for her when I must be away from her.

I am not a jealous or selfish man, dear reader. I am willing to share this magical and almost mystical beauty with you! Many of you have already met her and fallen head over heels in love, just as I have. For those of you yet to fall under her enchantments, I personally invite you to come and join the officers, crew, and staff aboard the Explorer. The entirety of the ship will welcome you with open arms, and, perhaps, offer you a life-changing experience like the one we just had aboard in Antarctica. It may be the beginning of your own wonderfully exciting love affair!

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About the Author

Michael Nolan

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Michael Nolan was born in Bitburg, Germany to an Air Force family stationed there. His first experience of the ocean came at age 12, when he learned to snorkel in the Italian Mediterranean. At age 17 he moved to Tucson, Arizona and became a PADI SCUBA instructor, before starting a SCUBA diving business that specialized in diving trips to the Sea of Cortez.

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