Friday 7 November 2014

The Capital!

After a wonderful day out on the “camp” we arrived this morning to the comparatively bustling metropolis, and Falklands capital, Stanley. OK, this is an exaggeration but over half the people living in these islands, live in Stanley and reports are that the impending oil industry is creating quite an economic boom.

Stanley "suburbs"
As we approached Stanley, some Commerson’s Dolphins approached the Fram to welcome us!

Commerson's Dolphins
Once docked our activities began with excursions to the town (history focus), a local nature walk, a birding tour, to Bluff Cove, and even a scenic air tour. Almost all on board took advantage of one of these great opportunities. After all, how often do you get to the Falkland Islands?!

This is spring in the southern hemisphere and the many blossoms and singing birds really told the tale of this most wonderful time of year. On the nature walk and birdwatching tour we saw several species of birds. For some we were afforded great, close views.

Speckled Teal
Silvery Grebe
Long-tailed Meadowlark male with food for his chicks
Many wildflowers were in bloom and the Balsam Bog was very green! This plant is very curious. It looks like a soft moss, but is in fact very hard to the touch. It's a member of the carrot family.

Balsam Bog- Bolax gummifera
The town tour focussed on the rich history of this place and included the war memorial, cathedral and museum.

At Bluff Cove, we were welcomed by the rangers who gave us an introductory talk about the site, including details of the local Gentoo and King Penguin colony. After the colony visit we were treated to a very British morning tea!

Teatime at Bluff Cove
King Penguin on the beach

After the morning excursions, most took advantage of the free time to explore Stanley before we sailed at 1600h. We now have two sea-days before we reach South Georgia!