What a day! Brown Bluff is an extraordinary place. As we cruised toward the shore, we noted black and white movement—small forms walking up hills and shooting out of the water onto land. Adelie penguins and their chicks! These penguins live along the coast of Antarctica, and they have distinctive white rings around their eyes. We also observed gentoo penguins with their chicks. Gentoos are stockier, distinguishable by the bold white band between their eyes and over their heads. Excitement filled us as the penguins wandered past to carry out their duties during an eventful austral summer in Antarctica.
National Geographic Explorer
Today was quite busy with many interesting presentations. In the morning, geologist Serguei Ponomarenko spoke about the geological history of Antarctica. Before glaciation wiped out thousands of species of the animals and plants that used to be here, Antarctica was once connected to Australia, and much earlier, it was connected to Africa, Madagascar, India, and South America. Later, Gerard Baker spoke about conservation efforts in the Southern Ocean. After lunch, National Geographic photographer Michaela Skovranova instructed guests on live editing of photographs, an essential skill after a memorable trip. The last activity before dinner was an Antarctica quiz. In the late afternoon, National Geographic Explorer entered the Beagle Channel. Almost immediately, the wind subsided, and the sky cleared. Guests enjoyed the spectacular scenery on the Chilean and Argentinian sides of the channel. After dinner, the ship docked in Ushuaia, and guests had an opportunity to spend a few late evening hours in this most southern town in the world.