Today, National Geographic Orion spent the day at sea. With 456 miles and 38 hours of travel between the Tuamotu and Marquesan archipelagos, we had plenty of time to enjoy the ship, catch up on personal time, and attend the many talks throughout the day. A smooth and comfortable crossing started with stretch class with Lani, followed by breakfast in the outdoor café. A squall came through during breakfast, and some tables had to relocate to avoid the windswept precipitation. After breakfast, we enjoyed a fascinating talk from Maya, our visiting scientist, on her work and the biology of the “magic carpets of the Marquesas”: the manta ray. Wow! What an amazing animal that so little is known about in this part of the world.

Meanwhile, Jamie and Santi were glued to the deck, scanning for seabirds on the endless horizon. Some sightings of the day included white-tailed tropicbirds, Tahiti petrels, mottled petrels, wedge-tailed shearwaters, and red-footed boobies. Back in the lounge, talks continued, and the day wrapped up with evening recap and plans for tomorrow’s first stop at Nuku Hiva, the largest of the Marquesan Islands. We are so excited to visit this remote archipelago!