2.14pm - Land, Ho

Trip Start Nov 03, 2009
Trip End Dec 02, 2009

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Flag of Falkland Islands  ,
Sunday, November 8, 2009

Sunday 8 November, 2.14pm, off the coast of Carcass Island, the Falkland Islands

Yes. Jamie's name will definitely crop up again. He is very sarcastic, yet also a perfect gentleman. Well, not quite a perfect gentleman. But a bit of flirting is certainly okay in my book. But you don’t care about the boy I like, you care only about the place I’m visiting! And what a beautiful place it is. Yesterday was spent at sea, or in my case, drinking sea breezes with Andrea and Daphne, having a chat with as many other people I could find to annoy, but mostly hanging off the port side of the bridge gazing at the spray. For those of you who aren’t aware, I did my Helmsman course this summer, so I now have a licence from the RYA to drive a powerboat. But as much as I love sailing Indigo (DA’s little runaround), and I do love it, being on a ship this size is just something else. I truly adore it. I could spend the rest of my life watching the waves breaking against the bow, I think.

So made a few new friends – Fraser and Jackie are an equally beautiful, equally charming, equally lovely couple from Melbourne whom I sat with at lunch yesterday. Also from Melbourne is Justin, who is probably the nearest to my age of the passengers on the boat and, despite his angelic looking face, has quite a filthy sense of humour, which naturally I approve of. Sue and Karen are sisters from Adelaide who are somewhere around 40ish, very well-travelled, have done Antarctica before along with practically every other cruise Peregrine Adventures offer, and I am totally in awe of their confidence and knowledge. Annie is on the crew and adores my determined attempts to be sensible yet stylish (pink gloves, Marc Jacobs wellies, and a silky hat with little faux fur ears that Lowri cajoled me into buying but which I now heart). There are a couple of others, but those are my new buddies from yesterday. I’m trying to sit with new people for at least one meal per day, so I will hopefully get round everyone before the month is out. Haven’t met anyone I don’t like yet, although Janet is increasingly annoying not because of anything she’s said, but because despite saying sanctimoniously to me and Anne on night one, "Now I hope neither of you ladies snore," she has turned out to be quite the little snorer herself. I have to sleep wearing earplugs, which I hate, because it makes my ears hurt to wear them all night, even soft and squishy as they are. During her waking hours she’s okay, though she moans a bit, but at night I want to smother her with my ridiculous collection of fleeces. (Got to be warm!)

Didn’t get much sleep last night after drinking a ridiculous excess of coffee yesterday to warm me up (I kept going outside, watching the water til I couldn’t feel my chin, coming in, warming up, then heading back out again), not to mention Janet’s snoring, but I should definitely sleep tonight, because this morning’s excursion was exhausting – I think in a few days it’ll all seem like second nature, but right now it’s so time consuming to put all your layers on and get your waterproofs and find your life jacket and get your wellies and hat and sunnies and suncream and lipbalm and oh my good giddy god. However, as much as there is to remember, it’s definitely worth it once you get going. For a start, there's Zodiac travel, which to me is like the best thing ever – next time I go back to Lanzarote I definitely want to learn to handle a RIB (Rigid Inflatable Boat). Duncan, my instructor, wouldn’t let any of us have a go when we did the Helmsman course because the RIB is a very different animal, but he took us out for a spin in it and it was brilliant. Out here the swell is a lot bigger, and I must confess, I utterly adore it. I mean, if I were to fall in, I would undoubtedly be very sad, but right now I just think bollocks to the wildlife, just let me play in the Zodiac for the afternoon!!

But the Zodiacs, much as I love them, are really just a ferry to the destination itself. This morning, for excursion number one, that was West Point Island, which is a small privately owned island of the Falklands. It’s a breeding ground for black browed albatrosses and rockhopper penguins, and oh my god, is it beautiful. From the beach where we landed, we wandered a couple of kilometres over to the other side of the island, where the nesting grounds are – for some reason, even though the rockhoppers only have tiny little penguin legs, they have decided that the rockiest and most inaccessible place is where they’d like to be. They’re completely fantastic though, so small and grumpy looking – I like the albatrosses too, but the penguins as ever grabbed my attention entirely. Jamie says they’re definitely some of the toughest of all the penguins, and they look it – like tiny doormen in their black and white.

There was a bit of a tragedy, however: I bought beautiful white fluffy North Face boots to wear around the ship, and since we were heading across the island I thought they’d be a bit comfier to walk in than my wellies. This was a complete error, because it was muddy as fuck around the rookery, and they are now completely ruined. I’m hoping I can give them a scrub this afternoon though and they’ll cheer up a bit.

Next up is Carcass Island, named for the HMS Carcass, which, er, went there once. (You get the feeling there’s not a lot of action on old Carcass Island, don’t you?) There we’ll see Magellanic and gentoo penguins, which I am equally excited for – they burrow into the grass, like the yellow eyed penguins from Dunedin. Heading for only 48hrs on this ship and it’s already stacked up to be the best trip I’ve ever had. 
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Hoops on

You bought WHITE boots for an excursion where there would most likely be dirt? Silly Girl!

I hope there are pictures to come of the boy who has inflamed your loins (In a non-STD way of course) xxx

suzloua on

Laugh it up, fuzzball. The white boots survived in the end. They made me a couple of friends, actually - two guys greeted me for the rest of the trip by saying "But where are your lovely white boots?". Fortunately I am lovely and laughed every time instead of telling them to go and jump.

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