Saturday, 7 November 2009

Port Stanley, Falkland Islands

This morning we sailed into the harbour of Port Stanley (pop. 3000), capital of the Falkland Islands. Port Stanley was established in 1845, when, as instructed by Lord Stanley, the British Secretary of State, the capital of the islands was moved from Port Louis to a place where a good deep-water harbour, easily accessible to the Royal Navy fleet, could be built. The population increased rapidly afterwards due to the fact that most ships that had been damaged rounding the fierce Cape Horn were repaired here.

Many of our passengers had the great opportunity to discover the surrounding landscape and nature in a 3 hour walk on a path though the dwarf shrub heath leading to Gypsy Cove. We saw a number of birds including the endemic Falkland Flightless Steamer Duck (female pictured with a duckling), Kelp Goose, Upland Goose, Patagonian Crested Duck, White-rumped Sandpiper, Magellanic Oystercatcher, Red-backed Hawk, and others. Others went on a fabulous tour of a Falklands farm near Long Island.

Here we show the national flower of the Falkland Islands- the Pale Maden.

Tonight we sail for South Georgia.