Tonight we enjoyed an exciting final encounter with the Antarctic coastline and some of its most iconic wildlife–type B2 killer whales!–before transiting to the waters that define the White Continent. All on board National Geographic Endurance enjoyed spending time on the bridge and open decks. We spotted Southern Ocean seabirds, such as pintado petrels and southern royal albatrosses, as they glided in the sunshine and salt spray! Seabird spotting sessions were squeezed in between a full schedule of presentations by the naturalists that offered guests a closer look at some of the subjects we have encountered during our expedition, including krill, ocean currents, and geologic processes. We may be leaving Antarctica behind, but the moments we have shared, the questions we have been inspired to ask, and the conversations we have started during our time exploring this vast wilderness will stay with us as we continue our journey back north and beyond!
National Geographic Resolution
The passengers and crew of National Geographic Resolution started their day surrounded by stunning scenery just south of the Lemaire Channel. We were very close to the Ukraine Research Station, Vernadsky. As we sailed on steadily, passengers were treated to a lecture about snow algae and its effect on the snow and ice of Antarctica by Alia Kahn, our visiting scientist. A short while later, Jim Coyer offered some very interesting insights into krill, which is literally the foundation of the Antarctic life cycle. After lunch, we arrived at Prospect Point at the southern end of the Penola Strait. Zodiacs were lowered, and guests were treated to a wonderfully serene, peaceful cruise amongst ice floes and huge icebergs of various shapes. The sheer majesty of the scenery of the Antarctic Peninsula rarely fails to move us and engage all our senses. Back on board, undersea specialist and naturalist Tanish Peelgrane provided guests with the opportunity to show off their artistic talents with watercolors. This yielded many wonderful interpretations of the afternoon’s experiences. As one more exceptional day draws to an end, we look forward to seeing what delights tomorrow brings.