Wednesday, December 23, 2015


Speedwell Settlement

At the Speedwell/George/Barren group we applied that favorite tactic for sailing vessels harbor-bound by bad weather: patience.

Eventually we waited long enough.  The west winds died to a whisper, and we carried on our way, unstuck.

We were bound across Falkland Sound, the body of water that separates East Falkland from West Falkland.  Our destination was Albermarle, a property run by the same extended family that owns Speedwell.

We were happy to be able to carry some empty fuel barrels from one settlement to the other.  The first practical thing we've ever done with the boat, I joked with the farmers.  The boys found the drums to be useful for making music.

With Tanya and Shaun and family at Albermarle
We had another good visit at Albermarle.  Tanya and Shaun, the young couple who farm the place, made us very welcome.

From Albermarle we took two leisurely days to get right around the bottom of West Falkland to our local friend's island.  We had good sailing winds both days, and it was a joy to not be motoring into the weather.  But I was still a bit on edge about the state of our rig, with the three stranded lower shrouds.  It will be a relief to finally replace that wire when we get back to Stanley.

Gentoo penguin
Peale's dolphin
On the second day out of Arbelmarle we came upon our local friend, completing a charter for a group of biologists on his yacht Peregrine.  We had last seen Peregrine in Tasmania - a lot of sailing miles ago, let me assure you. 

It was a treat to sail in company with a friendly boat.  That doesn't happen too often.

Our friend, Leiv, got this picture of Galactic as we were coming in towards Beaver Island, with a fresh breeze behind us and the tide full in our face.

The jetty at Beaver Island
Beaver Island
It was at Beaver Island that the adventure really began for us.  Particularly for the boys, who are now utterly and completely in the Boys' Own Heaven that is a Falkland Islands outer island settlement with a very generous, patient, and forbearing host.  Both Elias and Eric have told us in no uncertain terms that Beaver Island is their 100% favorite place on earth.

I'll show you why in the next post.
Local sight
Boy with reindeer antler.  It became our Christmas tree on Galactic.


  1. I'm thrilled to see Swallows and Amazon aboard your travels. It's a favorite of our floating family as well.

    1. Hey Joy - Yep, it was a treat to find it in the Stanley library. I'm sure we'll read it more than once. For now I'm getting great mileage out of calling Alisa "Mr. Mate".

  2. I remember reading all the Swallows and Amazon books as a kid. I cant believe they are making it into a movie. Really enjoy your blog.

    1. Glad you like the blog, Barry. And yeah, a movie version - who would need that when you could read the book to your kids while sailing through the Falklands?

  3. That new camera of yours is a mighty fine instrument Mike - brilliant pix. Deeply envious of your location for the family Christmas set the bar ridiculously high!

    1. Thanks, guys. Alex's pics are still the standard for sailing blogs. Meanwhile, if I told you how bloody cold it is here, you might not be so envious!