Last night, we left the port of Ushuaia to start our long and exciting journey across the Atlantic Ocean. This is our first of many days “at sea.” It takes a certain spirit to join a 35+ day transoceanic transit, a person who is prepared to spend days without seeing land. This “at sea” spirit is palpable in our group, as we all know we are on a unique expedition to remote islands and across a vast ocean. As we settled into the ship, many of us flip-flopped between adjusting to our sea legs to spending time on the bridge to exploring our home for the next month, National Geographic Explorer.

Our first day at sea was sunny with calmer winds than expected. We observed a variety of albatrosses, petrels, and seabirds dynamically soaring ahead of and behind us. We enjoyed lectures on “Seabirds Off the Tip of South America,” “Expedition Photography,” and the history of National Geographic magazine. We looked out to see land in the distance and were greeted by multiple sei whales; one was just a few hundred meters from the ship. We spotted blows in the distance and watched a quick showing of sei whale dorsal fins as the whales surfaced nearby. We’re looking forward to exploring the Falkland Islands tomorrow.