We are sitting here at Barren Island, taking the chance to show our local friend what sort of stuff we're made of.
Not sterner stuff, us.
We're on our way from Stanley, at the far eastern end of the Falkland Islands, out to the local friend's island, at the far western end. Those of you who remember Mr. Coriolis from some long-ago dose of pedagogy will instantly twig that this can be an inconvenient direction of travel for a small vessel in the 50s, South latitude.
And so we are sitting here at Barren Island, listening to the wind whistle in the rig and firm in our determination not to get lured out for further westward travel until things calm down, already. We are helped in our determination by the fact that our rig is still held in place with bits of string, and will remain so until we can return to Stanley to claim the new rigging that has come down from England on a ship. But even without that excuse, we might be slow to bash into it all that much.
Luckily, we are anchored next to two little islands that are blessed by a number of southern elephant seals and South American sea lions. The views that we had ashore yesterday, of molting sea lions roaring at each other, was the wildlife spectacle that you might imagine. On the main Barren Island there are Magellanic penguins and giant petrel colonies and various rock shags and steamer ducks and cobb wrens to keep us content.
So there are much much worse places to wait a bit.
Alisa occasionally looks around and says, "Where ARE we?" And it's true. For all the out-of-the-way places that we've been too, these windy windy flat islands on the edge of the Falklands give the best impression of end-of-the-world-ness that I can remember seeing anywhere. There are sheep on the islands, and cattle, and houses for the people who are not here just now. It's a very intriguing scene, very different indeed from anything we are used to.