Trinity Island

Jan 14, 2020 - National Geographic Explorer

Today, National Geographic Explorer explored the northern coast of the Antarctic Peninsula. We stopped to get a look at the magnificent Astrolabe Island, where steep black rocks jutted out of the ocean in the fog. Throughout the morning, we continued to cruise through icebergs of every size and shape. We visited Lindblad Cove, where we saw amazing blue icebergs. At one point, several guests looked over the bow to watch the icebergs go by the ship.

In the afternoon, we spotted three killer whales in the Orleans Strait. We watched the beautiful whales swimming and diving. The curious thing about two of the whales was their dorsal fins were truncated, possibly by entanglement in fishing lines near South America. These were Type A killer whales, which eat a wide variety of animals such as toothfish, seals, and minke whales. All the time, there were dozens of unnamed glaciers and mountains onshore in the complete polar wilderness.

The clouds lifted during the evening, so we went on a hike on gorgeous Trinity Island. Tall ice cliffs lined the bay, with dozens of crevasses on each glacier. There was a closed Argentinian research base on the island, which was very appropriate since we had an Argentinian-themed dinner. However, the most memorable experience was the hundreds of gentoo penguins perched on their nests, with baby chicks in each one. The young chicks had the appearance of stuffed toys. What a perfect way to end the day!

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About the Author

Joe Holliday


Joe Holliday has been a nature fanatic all of his life.  He was raised near the Adirondack Mountains in upstate New York, where he enjoyed nature while camping with family and the Boy Scouts.  He earned a B.S. in biology at Hamilton College, an M.S. in geology at Oregon State University, and his final degree in education administration from California State University.  For twenty years, Joe has been a geology and oceanography professor at El Camino College in Torrance, California.  He has been the director of the honors program there for several years as well.  However, the best part of this job is leading week-long geology trips to the mountains and national parks of southwest United States.

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