Leaving Ushuaia early Monday morning, National Geographic Explorer headed towards the Drake Passage via the Beagle Channel. Forecasted weather conditions identified that swells up to 30 feet could be expected for the Drake Passage. Throughout the day, we experienced such swells and all guests, crew and staff carefully strolled around the ship observing the sea conditions and wildlife. This included observing black-browed albatross, cape petrels, southern fulmars and some very special sightings of wandering albatross.
Presentations were given throughout the day: “Seaweed – Magical Forest of the Ocean,” by our naturalist Anne Hedlund; “How to See Through a Camera – Exploring the Images Around Us,” by David Cothran; and ‘Seabirds of the Southern Ocean,” by Javier Cotin. Presenters gave their talks as we made our way across the passage. At recap, naturalist Maya Santangelo showed a video of an undersea dive made several days ago with naturalist Anne Hedlund. The video highlighted the marine environment that is unique to the fiords of Southern Patagonia and in the area of Alberto de Agostini National Park, a protected area created on January 22, 1965. Kelp forests, sea stars eating bivalves, and shrimp-like creatures were visible in the video.