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
Any true voyage contains the element of return. As we approached South America, we reflected on our voyage thus far. Nearly three weeks ago, we cast our lines from Ushuaia and sailed towards the seventh continent. We saw corners of the world privy only to a few…truly special experiences that we will hold close for our lifetimes. Seabirds circled the ship, coming in and out of our wake to pay visits. These beautiful animals wander the ocean. They are at home at sea, an alien concept to us terrestrial animals. As the day progressed, the landscape began to unravel. Snowy peaks in the distance eventually gave way to a forested landscape, quite a shock as we had not seen proper trees in weeks! For our final wildlife encounter, we spent time with a group of killer whales. Our incredible ship and bridge team allowed close and personal views of these amazing animals. Aboard the ship, we hosted presentations with topics on photography and how to take observations from our voyage and share them with the scientific community. The hotel department pampered us with delicious treats. Our much-anticipated auction was a lively hit, raising money for our crew fund and conservation on South Georgia. In the afternoon, we met our pilots on the eastern edge of the Beagle Channel. Under their guidance, we will be dockside in a few hours, the same location we departed from three weeks ago. It feels like a lifetime has passed, bursting with countless memories. Memories we look forward to taking home with us and sharing with our loved ones and the world.