Monday, December 21, 2015



So, Stanley, the capital and only port of entry, is all the way on the eastern side of the Falklands.  Our local friend lives all the way on the western side.

When I was done with my latest frenzied bout of science work in Stanley, we made a couple of day hops westward.  We got as far as a group of islands - George, Barren, and Speedwell - where a local farming family runs sheep.  And there we became...stuck.

The wind came up from the west in a determined and persistent way, such that we weren't making any more progress until conditions improved.

We ended up waiting for a week.

Our first foray in Smooches at Emily Island.  We are surrounded by curious sea lions at this point.
I look concerned, Elias prepares to repel boarders.
Luckily, these three islands were a fantastic place to be stuck.  There was plenty of wildlife to keep us interested on George and Barren, and plenty of walking to do.  And when we finally made our way to Speedwell the family gave us a very gracious welcome.

Our biggest draw at George and Barren, and actually the reason that we went there in the first place, was the promise of seeing southern elephant seals.  Elias was demanding an elephant seal viewing experience, and the rest of us were keen.

We anchored next to two little islands - Tiny Island and Emily Island, which were more or less heaving with sea lions and molting elephant seals.


And more hail
Meanwhile the weather came through in waves.  (Relatively) calm and sunny, followed by squalls with driving wind.

Falkland skua

Kelp goose

Turkey vulture 
Magellanic penguin

Galactic at Speedwell Settlement

No pictures of it, and I won't gush too much, but we very much enjoyed visiting with the family at Speedwell.  They took the time to invite us into their home and tell us a bit about life in the Falklands.

More about our visit with the family, and how we came to be unstuck, next time.