At Sea from the Falklands to South Georgia

Mar 12, 2018 - National Geographic Explorer

Early this morning and the Falkland Islands were far behind us while South Georgia was far, far ahead. The sky was grey, the winds were moderate, and the sea was no more, nor less than what we expected. The seabirds were excited, particularly the largest ones, the ones who like plenty of air under their wings: the wandering albatross (a wingspan of 10-plus feet) and the royal albatross (also with a wingspan of 10-plus feet).

For the next couple of days we will prepare ourselves for South Georgia Island—metaphysically, intellectually, and calorically! Camera and video equipment must be thoroughly cleaned and inspected. Cleaning and inspection can be a metaphysical activity, as it is frequently repeated in times of photographic anticipation seemingly to strengthen the spirit. To this end, the photo team offered the loan of equipment courtesy of B&H Photo and National Geographic photographer Jay Dickman provided tips and mystical advice on the goodness of lighting, separation, the MOMENT and “tack sharp” eyes. In the Lounge there was a series of presentations on pertinent topics: penguins, local geology, exploration of remote, icy places (by Peter Hillary) and Ernest Shackleton’s epic adventure which included the first crossing of mountainous South Georgia Island.

All of this metaphysical and intellectual exercising must be supported and here on the National Geographic Explorer we dedicated ourselves to this effort with plenty of gastronomical offerings; a hearty breakfast of many choices; a buffet lunch; teatime treats; cocktail hour hors d'oeuvres; a multicourse, multi-entree dinner; as well as freshly baked cookies at any time! No one stays hungry long, or at all, really. For the true overachiever there is also the gym and the massage therapist.All this will surely be enough to assure great success in our personal goals for a visit to one of the most amazing places on Earth, South Georgia Island.“Oh, are you sure you can eat all of that?I could help!”

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About the Author

Dennis Cornejo


Dennis began scuba diving during the mid-1970s as part of a research project. At the time he was a research associate at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum in Tucson, Arizona, studying the population of winter hibernating sea turtles.  What began as a scientific study soon became a conservation project that expanded to three species of sea turtles along the entire Pacific coast of Mexico.  This project received major funding from the World Wildlife Fund and was eventually taken over directly by that agency with Kim Clifton and Dennis Cornejo as co-principal investigators.

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