Calm seas met the National Geographic Endurance like two Adelie penguins greeting after many weeks apart – it was though these two were meant for each other. Little to no wind and wave heights at just a few feet led to a rather smooth ride within the Southern Ocean. The smell of salt lingered in the air as each of us reflected on our cherished time sailing along the coast of that Great White Continent. Today was perhaps the last day we will encounter any type of Antarctic ice – but fear not; many adventures still await us as we sail towards Macquarie Island, a biological hotspot for wildlife.

Alongside the ship we witnessed several new bird species of the trip. This includes the mottled petrel and the Antarctic prion, both of which most of us (including naturalists) hadn’t seen before! As we delighted at the thought of new species a call came over the speakers – humpback whales. Many were sighted off and on throughout the day to ensure everyone got good looks at them as we passed by them. Several naturalists also lead tours of our Art Exhibition onboard. Guests were invited to learn about the various artists and their artwork that hang in the hallways and stairways. A great day at sea with much merriment for wildlife and each other.