Another striking sunrise greeted us as National Geographic Orion approached the Alderman Islands, the site of our morning operations. Breakfast was served outside to take advantage of the ongoing fine weather, and an occasional red-billed gull attempted to join us.

We jumped into Zodiacs this morning to explore the island group, remnants of ancient volcanos.  Millennia of weathering by relentless atmospheric and oceanic forces has created unique and picturesque scenery which include arches, caves, peepholes, and columns. These are perfect for seabirds to roost between foraging events, taking advantage of the abundant sea life. We topped off the morning with a surprise stop at a Zodiac hosted by our hotel department who offered us beverages and treats.

This afternoon, Certified Photo Instructor, Rich Reed, kicked off our photo presentation series with “Intro to Smartphone Photography”. We were told to bring our phones because this was a hands-on experience! 

Later, National Geographic Orion was off the coast of White Island, home to New Zealand’s most active volcano, erupting multiple times in the last decade. The classic volcanic cone stands more than one thousand feet above the ocean, sending steam skyward from its caldera.

Evening recap and a yummy seafood buffet dinner brought the day to an end.