Tales from a National Geographic Expedition

Published 5:08 pm Wednesday, January 3, 2018

From staff reports


As temperatures drop in the Golden Triangle area to below freezing, one man may consider it a warm front after recently returning from an adventure in Antarctica.

Golden K Kiwanis Club will present a speaker on National Geographic Expedition Trips, with emphasis on most recent trips to Antarctica at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, January 10, at the Salvation Army Building in Orange.

The Salvation Army Building is located at the corner of MLK and Strickland Drives in Orange.

This meeting will be extended on Jan. 10 only until 10:30 a.m. due to the length of the presentation.

Dr. Sam Showalter, a dentist from Nederland who has been on several National Geographic expeditions, will be showing beautiful photographs on a screen, making this presentation interesting and informative.

Showalter has always had interest in living things, and how they evolved and how they intricately interact with each other.

A family friend had taken a National Geographic/Lindblad trip, and she knew it was on Showalter ‘s “Bucket List” to go to the Galapagos Islands because of his interest in how life works and has evolved, and also in photography. National Geographic/Lindblad emailed her about a 2 for 1 deal, so Showalter’s wife, Gail, gave the trip for his birthday.

The trip, which National Geographic calls Expeditions, was fantastic and much better than he had imagined, so they booked a trip from Bergen Norway to Arctic Svalbard, far above the Arctic Circle, and, having become friends with one of the photographer/naturalists, who invited to join him, went on “The Remarkable Journey” expedition in Baja, California, where Gail got to pet a California Gray Whale.

Then they sailed on the “Sea Cloud,” originally Marjorie Merriweather Post’s four-masted Square Rigged Private Yacht, from Athens to Dubrovnik.

Sea Cloud was built in 1931 at the Krupp family shipyard in Kiel according to plans of the renowned American contractors Gibbs & Cox.

Following that, based on the recommendation of the staff on the Norway trip, they sailed the British, Irish, and Scottish Isles Expedition from London to Bergen Norway.

Showalter had always wanted to go to Antarctica, so when the opportunity came to travel with his National Geographic Photographer friend, Michael Nolan, he went on the trip without Gail this past November.

The 21-day trip included the Falkland Islands, South Georgia, and the Antarctic Peninsula.

Showalter was born in Port Arthur, graduated from Thomas Jefferson in 1962. He went to Lamar and took Pre-Dental courses with a degree in Biology. He graduated from the Houston University of Texas Dental Branch in 1970.

Then he went back home to take over another dentist’s practice. Showalter loved the creativity, complexity and ability to create lasting beneficial treatments for other people. He has sold his practice, but still sees patients every day that he is in town.

The public is invited at no charge.  Coffee and doughnuts will be provided.

Guests are urged to arrive early to guarantee seating.