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  • Day24

    Port Stanley, Falkland Islands

    November 16, 2017 in Falkland Islands ⋅ ⛅ 9 °C

    We expected a desolate, windswept island and instead found a strangely attractive island with a variety of flora and fauna. We saw many species of ducks, geese and birds and tall grasses, gorse, hedges and even the odd palm tree. It is early spring here so a few brave flowers were in bloom. And we saw a couple of families of geese with a clutch of goslings.

    But the main draw is the penguins. We had 2 choices: a very bumpy (and expensive) ship excursion to see a large penguin colony on the other side of the island from where we docked or a $20 USD shuttle to Gypsy Cove. The Hadleys and the Delaneys opted for the shuttle to Gypsy Cove. It is a lovely bay where some of the Magellan penguins come to nest. We were lucky to see a few penguins as well as some lovely sea birds, some impressive raptors and a couple of gun emplacements left over from the war between Argentina and Great Britain.

    We elected to walk part of the way back and happened upon the Lighthouse Mariners Mission run by a lovely woman and her husband (who we did not get to meet). Not actually open to the public, we were invited to have a cup of coffee and warm up before we continued our walk back to town. Despite the inference of the word “mission” this appears to be a not-for-profit, non-affiliated refuge for merchant sailors on the boats that dock in Port Stanley. They see many sailors from East Asia who work, primarily, on the fishing boats. The Falklands have a robust squid population which attracts boats from the Far East. The mission provides a safe, alcohol free social club with some services such as WIFI, clothes, coffee and games such as chess, football and pool. For injured or sick sailors, accommodation is offered in which to recover, paid for by insurance.

    Today was windy, overcast and about 45 F. Much as I enjoyed the day, I cannot imagine living here year round, with my 2700 neighbors and not much else. A great example of “Great place to visit....”. You know the rest. However, if you need a job, we're told there are more positions available than there are people!

    Tomorrow we were to go to Ushuaia but just learned that port is to dangerous to visit (huge waves) so we're headed for Punta Arenas.
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