With our memories and experiences still very fresh in our minds, we set sail last night with The Falkland Islands set as the next destination for our expedition. Skirting along the northern margin of the Scotia Sea, heading almost due west, we would encounter fairly typical weather and sea states for this part of the world. That is to say, strong winds up to 30-40 knots, and swells from 3-4 meters. Fortunately, National Geographic Endurance is more than capable of delivering a comfortable ride on days like this.
Though we are leaving South Georgia on our stern, there’s still plenty of information about the island that we wanted to share with our guests, so part of the day was dedicated to presentations to better round out our experiences there. The first was given by Dr. Conor Ryan on the history of whaling in the Southern Ocean, but particularly from South Georgia. This was of particular significance as we had the opportunity to “visit,” or at least see, three now abandoned whaling stations. Shortly after Conor’s presentation we approached and sailed past Shag Rocks, notable for being the only above sea rocks between South Georgia and The Falkland Islands. Lying over 130 nautical miles due west of South Georgia, these jagged islets are appropriately named as they are covered with tens of thousands of nesting imperial shags.
Later in the morning, naturalist and Falkland Islands resident, Tiphanie May, gave an informative talk focusing on her work as a monitor for the Falkland Islands Fisheries Department, featuring many of the species of fish harvested in the productive waters around the islands. Concluding our presentations for the day, Dr. Deb Goodwin gave us a wonderful summary of the geology of both South Georgia and The Falkland Islands. Our evening concluded with a pleasant recap in the lounge and a delicious dinner service in the dining room.