Perfect cruising conditions on this last sea day with blue skies and calm seas. Throughout the day the expedition staff offered presentations on marine life and local culture. There was time to honor the 60 crew members from nine countries (48 alone from the Philippines) who put so much effort in making our voyage safe and enjoyable. Not only do they work very hard, but they also spend part of their free time with rehearsals to demonstrate their hidden talents in the very popular crew show.
National Geographic Orion
Our morning began with a presentation on sea turtles by naturalist Cristiana Damiano, and just like those fascinating creatures we on National Geographic Orion have been traveling thousands of miles across the Pacific. By noon, our ship had anchored outside the massive reef surrounding the island of Aitutaki, the second largest of the Cook Islands after Raratonga. A short Zodiac ride later, we were ashore and transferring to transport trucks. These drove us to the other side of the island, where we stepped onto local boats for a journey across one of the world's most beautiful lagoons. Our destination: One Foot Island, a picture-postcard tropical isle. There, we languished on the white sand beach, snorkeled among giant trevally fish and colorful giant clams, and enjoyed the lilting sounds of ukuleles while feasting on local delicacies.