Calm seas and clear skies granted us a smooth day on the Drake Passage, or, as naturalist Maria Intxaustegi taught guests, the Mar de Hoces. Amongst other seabirds, petrels, skuas, wandering albatrosses, royal albatrosses, and black-browed albatrosses all graced us with their presence today. Naturalist Eric Guth gave an in-depth presentation on “Southern Ocean Seabirds,” including some of the unique adaptations that allow them to survive in such a challenging environment.

Throughout the day, guests familiarized themselves with National Geographic Explorer. Many spent time with the staff and crew on the bridge. From here, fleeting observations of wildlife kept everyone on their toes, from occasional humpback spouts to the rare sighting of an orca pod.

In between exciting viewing opportunities, a handful of lectures were held. The lectures help guests build their foundational knowledge of the area and better hone their photographic skills so they are ready to capture the best images once we reach the continent tomorrow.

All and all, it’s hard to imagine a better day at sea.