23 March 2010 | Stanley, Falkland Islands
Calm seas, glorious sunshine, blue skies - the first day of summer in the Falklands. But hang on, isn't it officially autumn/fall...the end of summer? Yep, so it seems, the Falkland Islands experienced their first day of summer today, all day. Ken Passerfield whom we met on our arrival into Stanley back in February said to me today, "Hayley if you tried paddling around the Falklands, you would not have got very far, the wind and rain and wind continued for most of February and well into March".
It was a glorious day, not only sunny but warm as well. It was strange to reveal our skin to the air and sun but it felt good and welcomed.
It was a productive day. I found a place to store the Quark-borrowed kayak with Sullivan shipping, the shipping agent whom Quark deals with. My personal Necky kayak, which I felt that it was far too soon in our relationship to be parting, was placed underneath the house of our new found friend Ken Passerfield. In fact it was rather weird to arrive at his house and discover that the only access to the under-world of his house was a small hole, which my kayak fitted through so precisely, it was eerie and uncanny, meant to be perhaps. It felt good to have the kayaks tucked away safe n sound, but unsettling to wonder when I would see MY kayak again. We met with Lin, Brian's wife and gave her a personal update of how Brian was doing. We heard from the Northanger and it sounds as though they have finally left South Georgia and are now underway towards the Falklands. This was good news for Lin. We were able to meet with Sally Poncet who has been working on the Albatross surveys on Prion and Albatross Island for the last 12 years. It was really worthwhile touching base and getting her perspective on the worldwide Albatross specie situation and engage in conversation which offered ideas for my approach with the documentary. I was able to squeeze in 45 minutes of lane swimming, after our inactive sea-days. It felt fantastic to stretch and work my body after having suddenly been completely inactive after kayaking. We popped into the Narrows and touched base with Chris, 'skyped' Dean back home as well as organized Ushuaia accommodation with our dear friend Alicia.
By 6.30 pm we were back on the ship getting ready for our Captains farewell cocktail and dinner party.
In amongst our thermal underwear and fleece garments, Beth-Anne and I did carry a sarong/dress for our pre-arranged days in Santiago with our old flight itinerary. Once showered and dressed we realised we did not have any shoes other than gumboots and hiking shoes to go with our feminine attire. I went into the walk-in closest and found our bathroom slippers thinking..."these will do nicely". We walked into the theater and our efforts were admired by most staff and passengers, however the head-waitress did not share the same opinion. We were soon whisked away and offered 'more suitable' footwear and soon blended in with the majority of passengers. It was another delicious meal onboard the Prince Albert II which we were very much grateful for.
I am excited about our days plan tomorrow. We are intending to land on Saunders Island in the morning followed by West Point Island in the afternoon. Both excursions offer opportunities to enjoy Rock-Hopper penguin rookeries and delight in the company of thousands of nesting Blackbrowed Albatross. I look forward to sharing with you our final day amongst the wildlife that surrounds these Southern Ocean islands. Abundant with unique species and dramatic scenery we are completely kept awe-inspired every step we take.