Overnight, the bridge team of National Geographic Resolution navigated the beautiful and narrow Lemaire Channel as we made our way north. We awoke in Paradise Bay surrounded by glaciers and icebergs. This would be our last outing before heading north through the Drake Passage. We had incredible weather, starting with sunshine that transitioned to a light and gentle snowfall throughout the day. Our staff took Exclusive Resorts members out on Zodiac tours of Skontorp Cove, an exceptionally stunning section of the bay. We were able to see calving ice crash off the glaciers, incredible blue icebergs, Antarctic cormorant breeding colonies, Gentoo penguins, and even humpback whales! The whales certainly stole the show as they circled our boats and showed off their flukes. After our leisurely Zodiac cruises, everyone warmed up with another exquisite lunch from our galley team followed by a photography session led by the photo team. By early evening, we started slowly cruising north towards the Drake Passage. We had a special treat after dinner…the famous Crew Show, where members of the crew sang, danced, and played music as we danced into the early hours of the night in the Ice Lounge. What a fantastic and unforgettable day!
National Geographic Explorer
We headed into the infamous Drake Passage last night after five days in Antarctica, so today's slightly later wakeup call and breakfast were a welcomed change of pace. A day at sea, however, does not mean fewer opportunities for wildlife spotting! Large numbers of seabirds flew all around the ship, such as southern giant petrels, Antarctic prions, and Cape petrels. We observed several light-mantled albatrosses, considered by some to be the most beautiful of that spectacular family of birds. In the early afternoon, several of the less commonly seen Antarctic petrels joined the fray, distinguishable from the artistically patterned Cape petrels (known also by their Spanish name 'pintado,' meaning painted) by their more orderly black and white plumage. While sea days spent heading back north from Antarctica provide time for reflection and processing of our experiences over the last few days, the lecture and enrichment program also continues. In the morning, Undersea Specialist Emmett Clarkin spoke about the ocean currents that keep Antarctica cold and insulate it from the rest of the planet, while Naturalist Elise Lockton gave a long-anticipated account of Sir Ernest Shackleton's famous Imperial Transantarctic Expedition. Finally, Naturalist Maria Intxaustegi presented some of her experiences working as a marine archaeologist. After a hearty dinner of Japanese okonomiyaki, we gathered once more in the lounge for a showing of the documentary Around Cape Horn, in which Captain Irving Johnson recalls his time sailing aboard the bark Peking from Europe around Cape Horn to Santiago. This film puts the historic significance of our spectacular ocean crossing into fitting perspective, especially as we hope to catch a glimpse of the famous lighthouse and monument at Cape Horn tomorrow morning.