Today marks the final day of our operations in Antarctica and we continue our journey in the footsteps of one of the greatest Antarctic explorers and “gentleman of the Antarctic”, Jean-Baptiste Charcot. The views were stunning while we sailed toward Booth Island and we reached our morning expedition destination at Port Charcot in perfect conditions. This is where the first French expedition led by Jean-Baptiste Charcot wintered in 1904 aboard le Français. A legendary photograph was taken here with Ernest Gourdon, the geologist/glaciologist of the expedition, and Paul Pleneau, the photographer, enjoying a glass of Mumm champagne on Bastille Day, 1904, in front of their ship. Upon landing we hiked up to the 120-year-old cairn left by the members of this extraordinary French expedition and marvelled at the magnificent views from the top.
During lunch we enjoyed a wonderful meal while transiting through one of Antarctica’s top locations, the Lemaire Channel. This stunning narrow passage lies between Booth Island and the Antarctic peninsula, hugged by magnificent towering peaks and steep glacial cliffs, offering some of the most scenic views of our voyage. In the afternoon our captain positioned National Geographic Resolution into South Bay where we lowered our Zodiacs onto the water for a cruise along the shore of Doumer Island. We got a closer look of the Chilean Antarctic research base, Yelcho, built in 1962 and named after the Chilean military ship Yelcho known for participating in the rescue of the men from the Endurance shipwrecked in Antarctica in 1916.