National Geographic Explorer was at sea today. After departing the South Shetland Islands through Nelson Strait last night, we made our way into the Drake Passage. Much of the morning, we experienced blue skies and a brisk wind. Presentations were given by several of the expedition naturalists. In the morning, undersea specialist Gail Ashton presented a lecture about krill, the keystone species of the Antarctic food web. Karen Murray Bergquist presented on some of the history and folklore associated with Antarctica and Antarctic exploration. In the afternoon, I gave a presentation about snow and snowflake photography. Later, Steve Zeph presented a reflection about the changes he has seen while working in Antarctica for over 20 years.

Many of the guests, expedition staff, and our National Geographic photographer used the sea day to examine and share numerous photos taken earlier in our expedition.

Several guests shared reflections on the incredible week we have had exploring wild and remote places around the Southern Continent. Here are a few thoughts from our fellow explorers…

“Antarctica is beautifully disconnected, frozen and desolate, yet it came to life as a delicate ecosystem.”

“It was humbling to consider our scale and the vastness of the wilderness.”

“I have a new perspective on the beauty and fragility of Antarctica.”

“Antarctica is so much more than the ‘White Continent.’ It is an immense diversity of landscapes.”

“This expedition was an opportunity to see the world as I wish more of it was…”

One of the Grosvenor Teacher fellows shared that the expedition provides a perspective shift between academic knowledge and a visceral and deeply personal connection to this place, which will help them develop explorer mindsets with students.