The blow…a giant, audible exhale. Heads turned to look, hoping for a glance at the world’s second largest mammal, the fin whale. A single fin whale can be up to 85 feet long and weigh up to 160,000 pounds. At Cornwallis Island, guests aboard National Geographic Resolution had a once in a lifetime experience, the thrill and awe-inspiring delight of a super pod of fin whales. Audible and visible blows in every direction as far as the eye could see sent us all into sensory overload. The water surrounding the ship was filled with gentoo and chinstrap penguins, numerous seabirds, and an estimated 200 fin whales. The visual blow, the audible sound, the overloaded sensory experience…a day we will never forget.
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.