Drake Passage

Feb 10, 2020 - National Geographic Orion


Ah, the infamous Drake Passage…rarely predictable yet always a profoundly powerful body of water. Setting sail from Ushuaia last night, we cross the restricted passage, which unites the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans while accelerating the most voluminous current in the world flowing up to 5,300 million cubic feet per second (150 million cubic meters each second)! In the morning, wieldy waves rolled through with a few wandering albatross, black-browed albatross, and giant petrels welcoming us deeper into the Southern Ocean.

Our team of naturalists introduced themselves, unique characters indeed, and spoke a bit about their passions and specialties. Photographic instructor Jonathan Zaccaria gave a presentation on tips and tricks for mastering expedition photography and orchestrated breakout groups to focus on specific cameras and questions. Later, naturalist Conor Ryan flew in to present on the sea birds of the Drake Passage and their incredible adaptations. In preparation of reaching the coldest, windiest place on Earth, naturalist Rob Evans introduced us all to the icy features within the cryosphere. The waves began to build throughout the day as we avoided as much unpleasant weather as possible, heading now further south on the Western Antarctic Peninsula.

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About the Author

Caitlyn Webster

Undersea Specialist

Caitlyn grew up entranced by the sea. She first became SCUBA certified while in high school in southern California and found her true passion diving and studying marine life. After graduating from Cal Poly State University: San Luis Obispo with a degree in Biological Sciences and a concentration in Marine Science and Fisheries, she began her career in research diving operations and logistics. Through different universities and various opportunities, Caitlyn has been fortunate enough to travel to particularly remote parts of the world, sharing her enthusiasm for exploring the seas and marine conservation.

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