Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Port Stanley

Fram cut through the narrows leading into Port Stanley at 07:30. We had had a bumpy ride during the night so it was no surprise that it was overcast and windy in the morning. As we pulled alongside the pier just on the edge of town there was a light rain falling. As always we have to wait for the vessel to be cleared by the customs agents, however this morning we experienced one of the fastest clearances issued ever!

There was a choice of three optional excursions available to enable people to explore Port Stanley and region in a fashion that best suited them. Indeed there was lots of time to do an excursion and then tour Stanley on your own as “all aboard” was not until 17:30.

When Fram stops at Port Stanley we always go to the same pier which is about a thirty minute walk from the centre of town. In order to facilitate the comings and goings from the ship, a free shuttle bus service was arranged which was available every thirty minutes.

Ah. The Falkland Islands. Breathe deep. There is a scent of spicy gorse and burning peat in the air. After a season of ice and snow it is a special feeling to arrive in a place where there is greenery, where there are birds singing and flowers blooming. True, it is the end of summer here, nevertheless it is much warmer than from whence we came on the Antarctic Peninsula and it is so good to walk on grass.

At 18:00 Fram departed the pier. As we cleared the narrows once again and entered more open water we immediately felt the effects of the continual high winds. The seas were between four and five metres and winds gusted over 40 knots. Hmmm. We all went to bed wondering what the morrow would bring.