Dec 20, 2019 - National Geographic Orion
Land Ho! Continuing to cruise through the world-famous Drake Passage, National Geographic Orion awoke to friendly seas. Giant petrels and huge albatrosses continued to follow along the ship as the seas continued to calm progressively throughout the morning. Our last day on board was spent learning from naturalists Ella Potts and Karen Velas about the magnificent killer whales and albatrosses, some of the most spectacular wildlife we can count on experiencing on our journey.
Passing Cape Horn in the afternoon, our approach back to land was signified not just by the increase in sea temperature since passing north back through the Antarctic convergence, but also by exciting marine animal sightings not found within the Drake Passage. Pods of Peale’s dolphins and porpoising SoutAmerican sea lions welcomed us back to the land at the end of the world.
Entering the protected waters of the Beagle Channel, we are greeted by blue skies, steep cliffs, dramatic mountain peaks and lush greenery – the first native trees we have seen in over a week! Picking up our pilot for our home stretch, our afternoon is spent navigating through stunning scenery, before celebrating with our captain’s farewell cocktail party and enjoying the world premiere of the guest slideshow to help us reflect on our incredible journey south.
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