After sailing for quite a number of hours, we found ourselves back in Mangareva. The morning sun broke through the clouds over this mysterious island, which breaks the horizon with its jagged peaks and lush tropical forest.

As soon as National Geographic Resolution was ready to get back on track, we set our navigation course to Pitcairn Island. During our navigation, we enjoyed lunch on deck with amazing views of the fringing coral reef and the idyllic, clear turquoise waters that surround little islands covered by coconut palm trees.

As we were sailing, the Natural History Staff was out on deck, spotting white terns with their erratic flying patterns and a solo red-footed booby with its torpedo-shaped body. The birds flew much closer to the water to avoid the turbulence and strong winds.

Spouts off the bow alerted us to the presence of a humpback whale. A few minutes later, the whale started doing what this species of whale likes most…just playing and having fun. The whale slapped its tale and fluked its pectoral fin like it was waving goodbye. What a beautiful treat.

For the rest of the sailing, we enjoyed a great talk by guest speaker Tom Ritchie about “the behind-the-scenes history of Lindblad Expeditions,” and we watched The Bounty, a great introduction to our adventure on Pitcairn Island.