An overcast morning greeted National Geographic Resolution as it cruised along the northern side of Isla de los Estados. As black-browed albatrosses (Thalassarche melanophris) danced around the ship, we took shelter in a deep fiord (Pto. Cook) protected from the Antarctic winds. After enjoying the scenery during an amazing breakfast, Zodiacs departed for shore. Guests landed on a large pebble beach and began a short hike across the island from the north to south shores. The hike took naturalists and guests across a range of Patagonian ecosystems, including intertidal, peatlands, grasslands, and evergreen forests. Upon arriving at the southern side of Isla de los Estados, several unique bird and marine species were discovered along with strong southern winds. After returning to the ship, guests enjoyed lunch as we transited east along the protected leeward side of the island. A second landing site was discovered inside a 3.5-kilometer-long fiord. After landing, guests and staff set off on a short hike through the windblown trees to a small lighthouse, the San Juan of Salvamento Lighthouse (“The Lighthouse at the End of the World”). We visited the site and explored the interior of the lighthouse, and then guests hiked back to the ship. Upon returning to the beach and transiting back to the ship, we departed for the southern side of the island. During our transit, a small pod of killer whales was encountered cruising along the coastline off the portside of the vessel. As the evening came to a close, staff began a recap and a discussion of the plants, animals, history, and geology witnessed throughout the day. Another amazing day came to an end as guests enjoyed a delicious meal and engaged in passionate conversations.
National Geographic Resolution
This morning, we were woken up at 5:00 a.m. Over the intercom, our expedition leader’s calm voice let us know that over thirty killer whales were surfacing around the boat. Weary-eyed and full of wonder, we all watched in the absolute stillness of the morning as over five groups of killer whales hunted and frolicked around the bay. Some chased penguins, and others seemed to be enjoying family time with their youngsters. After breakfast, we went ashore on Devil Island to enjoy an Adelie penguin colony amidst the bergs. Some of us hiked up the ridgeline, and some of us stayed along the beach. We were all treated to lots of calving icebergs as the tide continued to lower throughout our morning operations. In the afternoon, we set foot on the peninsula proper and explored Bald Head. Many Weddell seals and gentoo penguins frolicked on the beach while we hiked over the hill to the overlook. Along the hike, we found two mummified seal carcasses and stopped to admire their amazing teeth, which have adapted for eating krill.