Weddell Sea to the South Shetland Islands

Eric Guth, Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

  • Daily Expedition Reports
  • 17 Nov 2021

Weddell Sea to the South Shetland Islands, 11/17/2021, National Geographic Explorer

  • Aboard the National Geographic Explorer
  • Antarctica

Morning onboard the National Geographic Explorer was challenging, with swirling wind and ample wave action. After several attempts to disembark the ship and go for an adventure off the ship, the final call was made by Captain Peik and Expedition Leader Lucho to stay onboard and cruise through large tabular icebergs on the ship’s way north.

Tabular icebergs are born from large ice shelves, and tend to calve off into large icebergs of square or rectangular shapes. These huge icebergs can sit 100 feet out of the water, an extensive height for any floating ice. Like any piece of glacial ice, we only see 10-15% on the surface and the bulk of the iceberg remains below. This means that these icebergs tend to remain in extremely deep water, perfect for ship cruising among giants.

After time in the ice our leaders decided to head north, weaving our way between two large storm systems on the way through Drake’s Passage. As folks were not able to complete the polar plunge on this voyage, a couple intrepid guests took to the bow for a personal polar plunge administered by our incredible Assistant Expedition Leader, Alex Van Nostrand. As the mild seas waned folks joined the staff team of the National Geographic Explorer in the lounge for recap as we moved through the South Shetland Island group. Recap moved on to a beautiful dinner prepared by head chef Sara, enjoyed by all.

The ship navigated into Drake’s Passage amid temperamental seas and a beautiful sunset, offering final sights of beauty in Antarctica.

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Barrientos Island and the Drake Passage

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Santa Cruz Island: Dragon Hill, Bahia Borrero

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