Leaving the White Continent, Drake Crossing

Jan 16, 2020 - National Geographic Explorer


As we sail away from the White Continent and back towards our busy day-to-day lives, it’s nice to have a couple of days at sea to decompress and work on truly digesting our incredible expedition to the Antarctic Peninsula.

Today was a day of rest and reflection. Luck was on our side and we had an exceptionally calm Drake crossing. Calm seas allowed us to spend more time in the lounge, sharing stories and photographs from the journey. Though we were all on the same trip, we all experienced it a little differently; it’s always interesting to view other people’s photographs to see things from their point of view.

We spent time today discussing the complexities of life and how human activities have impacted our planet’s wilderness—a discussion that was kicked off after a lecture about plastics. How can we find balance between our bustling society and the natural world? How can we better coexist? It was inspiring to hear the group discuss ways that we can make small changes in our daily actions to better reflect our passion for world preservation. I hope everyone continues to make changes and fight for progress; I know I’ll keep striving for it.

We’ve been busy on the peninsula all week, so it was a good day to spend more time with the naturalist team and with the officers on the bridge. We filled the day with good conversation and lectures, allowing us to quench our curiosity—for now. We had a fun Antarctica-themed quiz after dinner, testing our memory of the places we’ve just been and all the things we’ve seen. You can’t really beat an evening filled with wine and stories of a frozen continent.

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About the Author

Shaylyn Potter

Undersea Specialist

Shaylyn was born and raised in small-town Oregon, which she credits for her unwavering love and respect for the natural world. Her passion for the outdoors and exploration began at a young age, and she spent her childhood taking full advantage of what Oregon had to offer—waterskiing, snowboarding, hiking, and camping.

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