From distance, the islands look little more than barren patches of land floating in the South Atlantic. Up close and personal, the attractions are in the small details, particularly the small furry ones.
Travel around the Falklands is most sensibly done with offroad four wheel drives. Roads outside Stanley are not sealed, and even the dirt tracks are often abandoned before one’s destination is reached.
Low hill ranges appear as wannabe mountains with permanent snowcaps, but the landscape is mostly a vast wide and flat plain with little more than grass and shrub for decoration.
King penguins are the chief wildlife attraction on the Falklands, a hint of the populations in South Georgia. Late summer is moulting time.
Juveniles struggle to learn from their elders.
Magellanic penguins are one of the other penguin species on the Falklands.
Some last bird pictures: this is a Falkland thrush, widespread throughout the islands in a range of habitats.
These are rock cormorants, also known as black shags, which breed all around the islands’ coasts.
Bodie suspension bridge, built in the 1920s to shorten a route across East Falkland, was intended not for vehicles but rather sheep. It is the southern-most bridge of its type in the world.
Back in Port Stanley, several wrecks dot the harbor. The Jhelum, on its last legs, was scuttled in 1870 to serve as a jetty head and has deteriorated greatly since those days.
The Lady Elizabeth holed herself on a rock outside of Stanley in 1912. Still intact and floating but considered a write-off, she was then condemned and ultimately sold to the Crown Receiver of Wrecks and held until her mooring lines broke during a particularly bad example of Falklands weather, and she beached herself in Whale Bone Cove where she has been left to her own devices ever since.
This is the “Canache”, a small bay to the east of Port Stanley proper which features a few small pontoon docks and wrecks which can act as docks by sufficiently enterprising boaters.
The Damien II is Jérôme Poncet’s old boat. This 15 m (50′) steel yacht earned its stripes with Jérôme and wife Sally in its passages from Europe to Brazil, Polynesia, Tasmania, New Zealand, and many trips to Antarctica. The Poncets were amongst the original yacht explorers to the Antarctic Peninsula.
Jérôme is one of the most experienced sailors of the area. He now operates his larger yacht Golden Fleece, which makes an appearance in Kiwi Roa’s South Georgia expedition. While Peter was in Stanley, Golden Fleece’s new Rocna 110 anchor had arrived from Auckland, so it seemed approprite for the designer to pay a visit.