Falkland Islands


We arrived to Port Stanley, Falkland Islands at 6am. Joe went out on deck to photo our arrival. I was obliged to stay and guard our king size bed in our cabin. :))
The weather has changed dramatically. Dark clouds, threatening skies, cold and wind that is blowing like stink! 

We were tendered ashore and walked around “town”. The 4×4 vehicle business is going very strong here! We saw only 2 non 4x4s during our entire time in town. 
Penguin madness continues but we were unable to get seats on the one tour we would have done so we could see King penguins. It’s Boxing Day and there’s another smaller ship here at the same time. We contacted an independent tour guide to see if we could book a trip with him to volunteer point, but he said there’s a big horse race on today and most of the guides are going to be there and so not available. Think it would be a tough trip with the wind howling and the mist hammering us. Oh, and the last part of the trip (45 minutes) is stuffed in a 4×4 bumping through very rough terrain. Imaging our being in the back seat made us greatfull for the horse races on Boxing Day!
Glad we walked around but glad to leave too. 

Whoa, talking about small world. We started to chat with a couple who sat near us in the tender. We made some kind of comment about France and there was back and forth, turns out they know mutual barge people… Actually the guy was the best man in their wedding 6 months ago!

When we retuned we went up to the covered deck area where we shared photos of us on the first day with beers, in the rattan furniture and umbrellas. There are now thick wool blankets stacked for us to use. The entire pool area has been stripped of furniture and tied down. All cushions on the pool furniture has been bagged and stowed also. 
The captain said we would have to wait until we get closer for him to decide our exact itinerary. We all thought wind and weather, but he said the concern is ice! The ice is forming not melting like it normally does during the summer season in Antarctica. We watched a documentary before we let and it shoed how quickly vessels can get trapped in the ice. Much like Shackelton whose ship not only was trapped in the ice, but the ice actually crushed the ship and it was lost. 
A friend sent an email saying that there’s currently a smaller  (75 people) ice exploration ship trapped in the ice since Christmas and there are ice breakers on their way to open an exit for them. It is on the other side of the Antarctic continent as it departed from New Zealand a month ago. 

I have a pretty good feeling that tonight starts the rougher seas. I’m starting Dramamine when we depart this afternoon as a precaution. 

We leave tonight at 6pm and should be in Antarctica in 36 hours. There actually supposed to be only one roughy part during our crossing of the Drakes Passage … When the Antarctic convergence occurs. It was explained that the ocean circulates around the Antarctic continent at a pretty good rate because the two oceans meet the one coming downward from South America and the ocean coming up from Antarctica. Not only do you have the meeting of the two oceans but he ocean area is “pinched” by the point of South America (Cape Horn) and the tip of the Antarctic peninsula so, like any flow of water when the area is narrowed and becomes turbulent.