On our last morning before crossing the open ocean towards South Georgia, we started with a spectacular Zodiac cruise on the south side of Coronation Island in the South Orkney Islands. We headed towards a large colony of chinstrap penguins. In addition to thousands of chinstraps, large numbers of Wilson’s storm petrels and giant petrels were present near the colony. There were also many fur seals on shore and in the water. We all had high hopes of spotting the leopard seal, also known as “the grizzly of the Antarctic.”
After a somewhat windy morning out in the Zodiacs, the National Geographic Explorer cruised around Coronation Island. We got close to the spectacular glaciers and also enjoyed the view of a few big tabular icebergs.
In the late afternoon our National Geographic photographers David Doubilet and Jennifer Hayes gave a presentation called, “The Dugong, the Crocodile, and the Pope.” They showed spectacular images and video clips of coral reefs and a number of colorful environments from various parts of the world. There was also a strong underlying message about our generation’s responsibility to care for the oceans and our natural environment in general.