Homeward bound. “Hip, Hip, Hooray” was the cheer of praise often heard throughout the voyage south. Those words continued to ring in my head as we plowed through the calm waters of Drake Passage on the way back to Ushuaia, Argentina. Hooray for Robert Swan and the staff of 2041. Hooray for the ship and the staff. Hooray for my fellow team members.
We thought we had seen it all but the expedition had one last surprise in store for everyone. A whale, with characteristics of a sperm whale, had surfaced in the distance. The captain stopped the ship and waited nearly an hour for the whale to resurface. It was well worth the wait! This was a once-in-lifetime sighting for participants, staff and crew. The words “magnificent” and “awesome” came tumbling out of everyone’s mouth while cameras clicked away.
Exhausted, overwhelmed and euphoric best described how I was feeling. Missing family and home, yet sad to be leaving this beautiful place. After eleven crazy but amazing days, the journey ended with more questions than answers. I worry our efforts towards sustainable life might be futile or too late. What should I do next?