Drake Passage
  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 28 Dec 2022

Drake Passage, 12/28/2021, National Geographic Explorer

  • Aboard the National Geographic Explorer
  • Antarctica

The end of the end: coming to the end of our trip at the End of the World is bittersweet as we sail back into the Drake Passage today. The seas ahead are graciously small for this massive and often daunting body of water. Despite leaving the icy Antarctic in our wake, we were delighted to continue learning from the staff in several presentations throughout the day.

To kick things off, Naturalist Mike Jackson talks all about the incredible ice forms and shapes that we have just seen and even more structures within polar seas. Later on our Global Guest Perspective Speaker, Peter Hillary, shared a personal side of adventure in his presentation honoring his father’s memory and many legendary expeditions. Peter described his father, Ed, battling against extreme elements, climbing to the top of the world’s highest peaks, and giving back to the communities he cherished so deeply. The talk elucidated the raw power of not only nature itself, but also of human nature and resilience. Our fabulous Assistant Expedition Leader, Emily Hyde, outlined details of our group’s departure information and guests had a boot returning party in the mudroom thereafter.

In the afternoon, Naturalist Dan Olsen played us a different type of song from his normal ukulele—audio recordings of killer whales! He brought to life the family dynamics, lifestyles, and culture of these apex predators that we were lucky enough to see earlier this week and they were notably covered in diatoms! Speaking of diatoms, Undersea Specialist Caitlyn Webster wrapped up the day with a presentation on plankton including its critical importance in the Southern Ocean and their fascinating beauty.

After dinner, we watched the French documentary The Ice and Sky and were then delighted to look outside and behold a most gorgeous sunset.

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