Today at 5:42 we witnessed yet another amazing Antarctic sunrise. We spent the night in the south end of the Antarctic Sound around Erebus and Terror Gulf. These areas where named after the ships used by Otto Nordenskjöld in the Swedish Antarctic Expedition (1901-1904) and by James Clark Ross in the Ross Expedition (1839-1843) respectively. After breakfast we used the Zodiacs to explore nearby Egg, Tail, and Eagle Island and we were able to make a continental landing on the rarely visited side of the Trinity Peninsula, the northern most part of the Antarctic Peninsula. A spectacular morning and a suiting finish to our visit to Antarctica as it was time to head north to South Georgia. And as usual the crew of the National Geographic Orion did so in the most interesting way by taking us though the scenic and ice clogged waters of Fridtjof Sound. A fitting close to this chapter of our voyage.
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.