It is our first day en route to the Antarctic Peninsula, with a goal of making it as far south as the Antarctic Circle—66
33’ S. We will be at the halfway mark this evening, having covered 400 miles since we set sail from Ushuaia last night at 6 p.m. Along the way we have seen the Southern Ocean’s most iconic inhabitant, the wandering albatross, as well as a few relatives including the black-browed albatross, gray-headed albatross, and many giant petrels. We even had a much smaller member of the seabird family board our ship today: a lone blue petrel that, in a fit of disorientation, landed on our decks. This presented a rare opportunity to see this hardy bird, with just a two-foot wingspan, in the flesh as our natural history team tried to nurse it back to health before setting it free again.
With all this pelagic life as a backdrop, we bounced our way across the Drake Passage in moderate seas, gaining our sea legs and an appreciation for the mighty Southern Ocean.