We broke through the sea ice this morning, leaving behind the ice-choked Amundsen Sea and returning to the open waters of the Southern Ocean. We sailed at 14.5 knots towards the Ross Sea and the Bay of Whales, the farthest point south on Earth that man can go by ship!
Underwater specialists James and Nick kicked off the day’s presentations in the Ice Lounge. James began with an informative presentation on the technical requirements–and the dangers–of being an ice diver. Nick took over to explain dive gear. As only these two charming guys can do, their presentation quickly turned into a delightfully funny show. Nick donned his dry suit and modeled it for us, demonstrating how they keep warm in frigid waters by overinflating the suit with air! He paraded around the Ice Lounge, like a version of the Michelin Man, and was met with our laughter and applause!
After lunch, two groups of guests began engine tours. Chief Engineer Norman Jacobi took us down to the lower decks of National Geographic Endurance! He began the tour in the engine control room on Deck 3 with an overview of all the engineering operations on board. The modern control panels looked like they were straight out of Star Trek! Fascinating! We made our way down to Deck 2, where Norman led us around the giant generators that power not only the electric engines of the ship, but all the power on board. He then took us lower, to Deck 1 and the very bow of National Geographic Endurance, showing us the steel ribs of our Class 5 Icebreaker!
In the late afternoon naturalist Eduardo presented his beautiful and very personal soliloquy, Life as a Naturalist–er, Naturist! He shared about his early life and the beginnings of his lifelong love affair with the natural world, accompanied by Beethoven and Mozart. He inspired us to appreciate all the nature around us in our beautiful world.
At recap, Expedition Leader Brent outlined the activities of our expedition days ahead, exploring the fabled Ross Sea!