After an amazing time exploring the Antarctic Peninsula, we awoke on the final day of our journey to blue skies and wonderfully calm seas as we neared the end of the infamous Drake Passage. Right out of the gates in the morning, Naturalist Madalena Patacho told us the story of Magellan, before our attention was drawn to the slight detour we had made to sail by Cape Horn. As we made our way towards the Beagle Channel, we enjoyed views of Peale’s dolphins riding the X-bow of the National Geographic Endurance. Soon after lunch, the fresh breeze beckoned us outside again to appreciate the smell of earth and trees as we made our way back into the southern tip of South America, just in time to listen to naturalist Conor Ryan give a talk on “The Smell of the Sea.” Several species of seabirds – from albatross to petrels and penguins – and views of sei whales were seen around the ship in the afternoon. We finally rounded out our last day on board this magnificent ship with the world premiere of the Guest Slideshow, before celebrating our experience over the last 10 days at Captain Aaron Woods’ farewell cocktail party.
National Geographic Resolution
The sea calmed down over night, and we enjoyed breakfast together. David kicked off the day with a presentation about ocean acidification in the Ice Lounge. It was slightly disconcerting to see the predictions about what might happen to our world’s oceans in the near future if we don’t manage to get a grip on global warming. Next in line, Tiffany gave a presentation about her home, the Falkland Islands. It was really interesting to hear details about this remote corner of the world, and all of us are surely tempted to visit these remote islands one day. Just as Tiffany finished her presentation, the first dolphins were spotted outside the vessel. We headed to the outside decks before making our way to lunch. As the ship continued sailing north during the afternoon, we soon saw our first glimpse of land on the horizon. The coast of Argentina and the Beagle Channel came into sight. Fitting to the occasion, we watched the black and white movie Around Cape Horn before we headed to Tupaia for a special “Welcome to Argentina” afternoon tea. As we entered the Beagle Channel and approached the pilot station, Captain Martin came down to the Ice Lounge to tell us all there is to know about National Geographic Resolution . What a beast of a ship, tailor-made for expedition cruising in polar regions. Once the presentation finished, we all remained in the lounge for the final Captain’s cocktail hour. We toasted a successful voyage and then enjoyed our final dinner. After yet another delightful meal, we took the chance to explore Ushuaia at night. When else do you get to visit the southernmost Irish pub in the world? What a great end to a successful voyage.