Staten Island, Day Two

Mar 11, 2018 - National Geographic Orion


It dawned upon the naturalist staff that we had beaten the sun to rise as we arrived at the silhouette of Puerto Cook’s peaks. Equipped with fresh coffee and our Zodiacs mounted with lights, we braved the wind and rain to reach the looming remains of Staten Island’s prison and cemetery left from the early twentieth century. A blue light washed over the early hikers’ path, traversing across Staten Island – a whopping half mile, each way. After drying off and a quick repositioning, we reached our next outing at the recreation of author Jules Verne’s iconic Lighthouse at the End of the World. Once the hikers had set out from the landing towards the lighthouse, the undersea team went for a dive in the thriving kelp forest nearby.

The weather took a turn as the afternoon progressed, so we opted to cruise around Isla Observatorio from the comfort and protection of our lovely vessel, National Geographic Orion. Eventually, however, we found more opportunities for adventure in the haven of Hopner Bay. We were able to explore the picturesque bay via Zodiac, watching kelp geese along the shores, rock shags flying over the glassy black water, and marveling at the vertical waterfalls, seemingly crying off of the sheer cliffs around us. At the water’s surface, the reflection of the mountains broke way to reveal a minke whale! Nearly simultaneously, and quite miraculously, our beloved naturalist Eduardo Shaw spotted an Andean condor perched high up in the craggy cliff face above. We couldn’t get enough of the breathtaking vistas and fluttering wildlife, yet in the end we had to bid adieu to Staten Island and continue on our journey west towards Cape Horn.

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About the Author

Caitlyn Webster

Undersea Specialist

Caitlyn grew up entranced by the sea. She first became SCUBA certified while in high school in southern California and found her true passion diving and studying marine life. After graduating from Cal Poly State University: San Luis Obispo with a degree in Biological Sciences and a concentration in Marine Science and Fisheries, she began her career in research diving operations and logistics. Through different universities and various opportunities, Caitlyn has been fortunate enough to travel to particularly remote parts of the world, sharing her enthusiasm for exploring the seas and marine conservation.

About the Photographer

Krista Rossow

National Geographic Photographer

For more than a decade, Krista Rossow has worked as a photographer, photo editor, and educator for National Geographic. She began her career as a photo editor at National Geographic Traveler magazine, where she shaped compelling stories from world-class imagery. As a freelance photographer she has shot feature stories for Traveler in New Orleans, San Francisco, South Africa, Costa Rica, and most recently in Asheville, North Carolina. She regularly judges Instagram contests for @NatGeoTravel and photo edits for National Geographic Books. 

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