Steaming volcanic rock in the South Sandwich Islands sets the dramatic background for a 65-foot yacht by the name Golden Fleece. The islands are so remote that it took this crew six days to reach them after leaving the southernmost tip of South America.

Steaming Seas

Steaming volcanic rock in the South Sandwich Islands sets the dramatic background for a 65-foot yacht by the name Golden Fleece. The islands are so remote that it took this crew six days to reach them after leaving the southernmost tip of South America.
Photograph by Maria Stenzel, Nat Geo Image Collection

31 arresting photos from the National Geographic archives

From the dramatic southern seas to the far reaches of the universe, these vintage images celebrate new adventures.

As a brand new year began, I returned to the National Geographic archives in search of images that evoke new goals, adventures, and hopes.

More than half a century into the age of space exploration, we’ve barely scratched the surface; for each accomplishment, a new challenge remains. In 2002, after the installation of a new camera, the Hubble Space Telescope captured an image of a galaxy nicknamed Sombrero, which is brighter than 400 billion suns.

When it comes to adventure, it’s hard to imagine anything more dramatic than Maria Stenzel’s image of the 65-foot yacht Golden Fleece slipping through the steaming volcanic rock of the remote South Sandwich Islands, a six-day sail from the southernmost tip of South America.

And for many Americans, the beloved Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. remains a beacon of hope today, just as much as he was when he delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963.

This year, let’s set our sights high and keep working toward a better future for all.

Breann Birkenbuel is the editor for Photo of the Day. Melody Rowell writes and researches the captions.

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