At Sea to the Falkland Islands

Mar 04, 2019 - National Geographic Explorer

A day for celebrating on board National Geographic Explorer, for three of our shipmates were born this very day—two of our Filipino crew members: stewardess Gina Malcampo and deck AB Ramil Ejercito, as well as expedition team member James Hyde. Life at sea requires that we all embrace the distance and separation from friends and family at home and carry on with our work while supporting one another.

Morning found the seas in a slightly more rugged state than when we retired last night, with mild winds and low, rain-soaked clouds casting a dull tone to the surroundings. Many species of seabird passed by in the early hours of the day, making their way on the open seas as they have for millions of years. Mate (the Argentine tea) and good conversation passed around the bridge as petrels and the like went about their task of finding food. Breakfast was accented with optional Bloody Mary’s as we enjoyed the more relaxed pace of a day at sea, eagerly anticipating our arrival to the Falkland Islands.

A host of lectures and presentations were given to further our understanding of this part of the world, with an emphasis on some of the more critical issues, both past and present, facing these vital waters. As the day progressed, the relatively dense fog eventually lifted and seabirds—including several wandering and royal albatross, boasting the longest wingspan of any living bird—maintained their escort of the ship.

In the evening, after dinner, our photography team hosted a photo-feedback session in the main lounge. Guests submitted images that were shared along with pointers on composition and photography techniques. When the night sky cleared, it revealed the beautiful stars of the southern hemisphere.

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About the Author

Doug Gualtieri


Doug’s passion for the natural world started at an early age in his home state of Michigan. He received two biology degrees from Central Michigan University, and later went on to get a master’s degree in conservation biology. His education led him to study a diverse range of natural sciences, with an emphasis on ecology, animal behavior, and migratory birds. Shortly after leaving the academic world, Doug migrated north to Alaska with his trusty Siberian husky, Koda. He began working as a naturalist in Denali National Park in 1999. For over seven years he has shared his love of Alaska and Denali’s six million acres with Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic guests, as trip leader for the Denali Land Extension based at the North Face Lodge deep within the park.

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