Converging from points all over the globe, guest adventurers, expedition staff, the ship’s crew, and indeed National Geographic Endurance itself arrived in Ushuaia, Argentina yesterday. We were all ready to embark on the first Southern Ocean voyage of the year for Lindblad Expeditions. Many of us gathered in Buenos Aires the previous day. We had time for a brief introduction to the city, an introductory cocktail party/expedition orientation, and maybe a moment or two to catch our breath and get set for the early charter flight to Ushuaia, the world’s southernmost city. Arriving on a beautiful, albeit windy, spring day, we took a short tour of the town and the Parque National de Tierra del Fuego to meet a power catamaran for a tour of Lapataia Bay and the Beagle Channel. By late afternoon, we were ready to board National Geographic Endurance, settle into our comfy cabins, and let the real adventure begin!
Today we sailed smoothly and swiftly towards the Falkland Islands in a freshening breeze with moderately increasing seas. Starting the voyage with a “sea day” allowed us to relax into the rhythm of the vessel. We got ourselves oriented to expedition-mode and the basic plan for the upcoming weeks, maybe even catching up on sleep and resetting our internal clocks after the busy days of travel to get here. There was plenty to do: introductions to the staff, a set of presentations from the photo team, and the necessary biosecurity protocols for our travel to remote, wild places. As the daylight waned, there was the comfort of settling into our new home, as well as the expectation of our upcoming day to explore the western Falkland Islands.