At Sea, En Route to the Falkland Islands

Nov 05, 2018 - National Geographic Explorer


Last night we turned the bow of National Geographic Explorer toward the Falkland Islands, leaving South Georgia Island in our wake. We had the privilege of six glorious days on this remote island paradise. We stopped at many of the places that Sir Ernest Shackleton visited during his epic trip aboard the James Caird from Elephant Island in May 1916. We did a Zodiac tour at Cave Cove on Cape Rosa as well as a landing at Peggotty Bluff, where Shackleton, Worsely, and Creen began their 36-hour hike over the mountains and glaciers of the interior of the island. We hiked at Fortuna Bay, inspected Stromness Harbour, and even visited Grytviken where the whole adventure for the men of the Endurance began in November 1914. What an amazing story of hardship, famine, and fatigue.

All of us on board National Geographic Explorer fared so much better—all because the finest people working aboard our ship! Hardship? Hardly! Not with our hotel department making everything cozy and comfy aboard! Famine? Are you kidding me? Sir Ernest would have marveled at the delectable meals served on board. My guess is that not one of us has lost a pound—perhaps we’ve all even found an extra one or two around our middles, as it’s just about impossible to say no to such great food! Fatigue? With clean clothes, a drink at Recap, and our waiters and stewards taking care of us, we’re hardly living a physically draining life. With all these things taken care of by the true heroes of our journey, we all have so much more time, energy, and passion for the reason we came to South Georgia: to see and photograph the amazing landscapes and wildlife around us.

A HUGE thank you to all the folks on board who make life so enjoyable! You made our expedition to South Georgia very civilized indeed!

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About the Author

Michael Nolan

Naturalist/Certified Photo Instructor

Michael Nolan was born in Bitburg, Germany to an Air Force family stationed there. His first experience of the ocean came at age 12, when he learned to snorkel in the Italian Mediterranean. At age 17 he moved to Tucson, Arizona and became a PADI SCUBA instructor, before starting a SCUBA diving business that specialized in diving trips to the Sea of Cortez.

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