At sea, Drake Passage

Feb 18, 2020 - National Geographic Explorer

The first day of our epic journey! We began by heading south towards Antarctica and steadily steaming away from Ushuaia and the mainland of the Americas. A calm Drake Passage, by any standards, allowed most to maneuver around the decks with ease and get outside regularly for the refreshing but not-too-chilly ocean air. During the morning we were introduced to the expedition team and the special guest speakers on board, and we also listened to an introductory talk about the seabirds of the Southern Ocean. It’s fascinating to know whose company we are keeping while we travel.

The afternoon saw the screening of the first part of a double feature movie about Shackleton and the legendary Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. A photography talk and breakout sessions concluded the day’s presentations, and after a brief Recap, we sat down for a delicious dinner prepared by head chef Sara.

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About the Author

James Hyde

Undersea Specialist

James is a home-grown, free-range Pacific Northwest outdoorsmen. Born in Seattle and reared nearby on Vashon Island, he grew up in and surrounded by the Salish Sea. James has saltwater in his veins, but would be quick to point out we all do, echoing Carl Safina " We are, in a sense, soft vessels of seawater." Born with the travel bug, James was fortunate enough to spend time on four continents before graduating college. During his studies at Western Washington University's Huxley College of the Environment, James went to Australia and visited the Great Barrier Reef. He was never the same. A lifetime of playing in the productive, but opaque green water of the Northwest had offered him little firsthand experience of the creatures below its depths, but with a clear view of the colorful dramas playing out across the bottom of the tropical Pacific, he was hooked. Scuba diving and underwater ecology were solidified as his passion and after college, it took him to a dive shop in Seattle fixing gear, tidepooling with local middle school students, and generally making a spectacle of himself in the surf.

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