In the early morning hours, National Geographic Resolution rounded Trinity peninsula on a Northwesterly course for the Gerlaches Strait. The wind was forecast for 40-45 knots westerly but the true wind speed reached 70 knots for a few hours providing as stormy ride for all aboard.
By breakfast guests and crew had “a hand for the boat and a hand for themselves” as we made our way toward the Danco coast in search of fairer weather and improving sea conditions.
After lunch the conditions improved and all hands aboard enjoyed much improved sea conditions and the breeze began to drop. A small pod of humpback whales was surface feeding on krill as we approached Brabant Island and scouted a spot to deploy the Zodiacs for a cruise of Freud Channel. The conditions were wonderful for a Zodiac cruise by mid-afternoon. Light snow falling and a gentle breeze allowed for good condition to be had to look for more humpback whales and hopefully additional charismatic megafauna.
Once the ship was on station in Freud Channel, the small boats were over the side and guests were loaded we set off on a Zodiac cruise among the many large bergs. We encountered leopard seals lying on flows, gentoo and chinstrap penguins and a hungry humpback whale right off the ship taking in a feed of Antarctic krill.
Once all souls were back aboard the ship guests enjoyed cocktail hour and the expedition team provided interesting information on seals, whales, and benthic invertebrates prior to dinner being served. What will tomorrow bring on this Antarctic voyage?