Today we are well on our way in crossing the Scotia Sea towards South Georgia. The moderate ocean swells of the morning eased into a gentle following sea, making for a very comfortable ride by midday. Our seabird companions periodically visited, and careful observers logged more than ten species, from the majestic wandering albatross to diminutive water dancing black-bellied storm petrels. A variety of marine mammals were also spotted, from fin whales to fur seals. We were kept busy with presentations by our photo and naturalist team and later revisited the visitor guidelines and decontamination protocols as applicable to the specific requirements of South Georgia. We are more than willing to do our part to minimize our impact to the wildlife and landscapes we plan to visit over the next several days, and eagerly anticipate our arrival early tomorrow morning at this unique, isolated, and historic sub-Antarctic island.
National Geographic Resolution
Happy Thanksgiving! Killer whales and humpbacks before breakfast makes for a delightful start to a day packed full of adventure. This morning the National Geographic Resolution arrived at Cuverville Island, named after a French admiral who supported the Belgica Expedition. The Zodiac trip to our landing spot on this beautiful island took us though a stunning maze of icebergs floating through crystal clear Antarctic waters. The more eagle-eyed of us spotted a whale bone in the shallow waters right at our landing point, which is likely to be a remnant of whaling operations that took place here in the 1920s. Cuverville Island surpassed all of our expectations, with a huge gentoo colony spread across the lower slopes and way up on top of the nearby snowy hills, where photographers were greeted with stunning vistas in which to frame colorful nesting gentoos. Our afternoon was filled with kayaking and Zodiac cruises around the incredible Wilhelmina Bay, with sightings of crabeater seals and swarms of krill in the crystal-clear waters, and we were even graced with the presence of a solitary Emperor penguin resting on the edge of the fast ice. Not stopping there! a few daring souls braved Antarctica’s icy waters in the first ever polar plunge onboard the National Geographic Resolution on this inaugural expedition. Another stunning day spent in the presence of the White Continent!