We had a great start to our Falkland Islands expedition today! The winds were low and the sun was shining–sunscreen and sunglasses were a must! We made our first landing at Saunders Bay where we saw two new species of penguins–rockhopper and Magellanic. The white sand beaches looked stunning against the turquoise water, a stark contrast to what we have seen on our expedition thus far. In the afternoon, we landed on Carcass Island, named after the HMS Carcass. We had the opportunity to walk up Jason Hill. It was nice to get out and be active after our days at sea. This island has diverse vegetation and an abundance of birds! Caracaras, gentoo penguins, Magellanic penguins, skuas, imperial shags, rock shags, kelp geese, ruddy-head geese, upland geese, blackish oystercatchers, Magellanic oystercatchers, cobb’s wrens, tussacbirds, and more. What a day. And what a time to be alive.
National Geographic Resolution
Any true voyage contains the element of return. As we approached South America, we reflected on our voyage thus far. Nearly three weeks ago, we cast our lines from Ushuaia and sailed towards the seventh continent. We saw corners of the world privy only to a few…truly special experiences that we will hold close for our lifetimes. Seabirds circled the ship, coming in and out of our wake to pay visits. These beautiful animals wander the ocean. They are at home at sea, an alien concept to us terrestrial animals. As the day progressed, the landscape began to unravel. Snowy peaks in the distance eventually gave way to a forested landscape, quite a shock as we had not seen proper trees in weeks! For our final wildlife encounter, we spent time with a group of killer whales. Our incredible ship and bridge team allowed close and personal views of these amazing animals. Aboard the ship, we hosted presentations with topics on photography and how to take observations from our voyage and share them with the scientific community. The hotel department pampered us with delicious treats. Our much-anticipated auction was a lively hit, raising money for our crew fund and conservation on South Georgia. In the afternoon, we met our pilots on the eastern edge of the Beagle Channel. Under their guidance, we will be dockside in a few hours, the same location we departed from three weeks ago. It feels like a lifetime has passed, bursting with countless memories. Memories we look forward to taking home with us and sharing with our loved ones and the world.