After spending the night along the coast of Pitcairn Island, we waited for sunrise. As the first rays began to appear, National Geographic Orion weighed anchor and cruised through the northeast. The goal was to arrive to Henderson Island, a remote and uninhabited elevated coral atoll located in the eastern South Pacific.

We had a set of activities prepared for our explorers as we navigated through the mighty Pacific Ocean. Several presentations were given by our expedition staff, and they were enjoyed by our eager guests. During down time, we shared our thoughts about how ancient Polynesians traveled through the vast ocean.

Upon our arrival to Henderson Island, we all disembarked to explore this gem in the middle of the Pacific. It is one of the world's best remaining examples of an elevated coral atoll ecosystem, along with Makatea in the Tuamotu Archipelago. Henderson exhibits remarkable biological diversity given the island’s size, with four endemic species of land birds and large colonies of breeding seabirds.

At the end of the day, we all concluded that it was an outstanding expedition day. There is still more to come!