We have arrived to Raja Amapat! Our first stop was Misool. In the morning, our guests were surprised with Zodiac exploration cruises as the bridge team got us to our destination early! When we finished with lunch our guests joined expedition staff for hours of snorkeling in the most pristine and diverse reefs many of us had ever seen; there were so many fish species, and smiles so big our cheeks hurt as we returned to the ship. Raja Amapat on day one has already blown our minds! Afterwards our galley team spoiled us with the most delicious and stunning meal I have ever had! What a fabulous day on board National Geographic Orion, AGAIN!
National Geographic Resolution
It’s the second beautiful day of our crossing. The weather has been exceptional with sun and a following sea. We had some spotted dolphins near the ship today and visits from a few birds, including brown boobies and white-tailed tropicbirds. As is our custom on sea days, we had several presentations. We heard from Michaela Skovranova about Southeast Asia and conservation followed by a special presentation by our captain. Captain Martin shared all kinds of information about the ship from the Azipods to infrared cameras to charts and navigation. After lunch, we had a departure briefing, a pilates class, and a presentation about climate change from Joe Holliday. The day had several special moments. Our naturalist and resident birder Santiago Imberti has spent a lot of time on deck this voyage – despite blistering heat. He occasionally hears seabirds vocalizing, which they rarely do while on the ocean. It’s even more rare to have recordings of those calls, so Santiago uses his audio equipment to capture what he can. We had the chance to listen to his recordings of a few short calls from white-tailed tropicbirds overhead. We’ve had visiting scientists Jom Acebes and Tim Gardner with us all voyage. Today, they used the Science Hub screens on Deck 8 to share photos of some of their sightings, including the spotted dolphins. Our route across the Coral Triangle is a scientific rarity, and the data they have collected will be some of the first of its kind from this region. We enjoyed an outdoor barbecue tonight in preparation for the Crew Show! We anticipate a big day tomorrow. A full day in Palau and the last full day of our voyage.