We recently entertained two visitors from the UK - our first, and hopefully not our last. As a treat, I arranged an evening visit to Kidney Island, in the next bay from Stanley, and asked several friend to come along. The photo below was captured by Larry's son, in the UK, from the Jetty Centre webcam, as we waited for the launch to take us on the 45-minute trip.
You can see what the weather is like at any time in Stanley by checking the webcam on the Cable & Wireless site, and you'll also see the crowds (I kid you not) when cruise ships are in the harbour. This is where the tour guides meet up with passengers wishing to explore the Falklands - its wildlife and history. There should be a ship, Seabourn Sojourn, arriving on Saturday 8th December, but more of that later............
|"Wave, we're in the Falklands!"|
|Kidney Island - about 1 mile by half a mile.|
|The boat waiting for us in the bay|
|Tussac grass is taller than you think. Where are the others?|
|First glimpse of a Rocky..|
|Stuart and Jackie in ringside seats....|
|Sitting on the eggs...|
|Partner ready to take over egg-sitting duties....|
|Trying to see the penguins, but avoid the cliff edge.|
|The group beginning to wonder if they are stranded...|
|Inquisitive Fur seals investigate us.|
|"Bet you can't do this!"|
|Sunset, and not a single Shearwater to be seen!|
|Dusk, and the sky fills with thousands of Sooty Shearwaters.|
Soon we were skimming through the sea in the warm and comfortable Sulivan Shipping launch, "Barinthus". The excited chatter onboard suggested that the others had felt the experience had been an "Attenborough" moment. I certainly did, despite it being my third visit.
|Penguins, with Stanley across the harbour|
|Spotting penguins in their burrows, with ship behind.|
|Seabourn Sojourn. Anchored in the outer harbour.|
On busy days, the population of Stanley can double or even treble with visitors. Can you imagine London coping with 10 million visitors in one day, and none the next? People here stop doing their day jobs as civil servants or lorry drivers, and gain valuable extra income as tour guides. So, these cancellations, as a result of intimidation from Argentina, are unwelcome, to say the least. Recently, a shipping agent's office in Buenos Aires was smashed up, and I'm sure other pressure is being exerted on cruise companies.
I hope that affected passengers complain to their cruise companies at missing out on these world-class and unique opportunities on the Falklands. As we've seen this week with Starbucks, customer pressure can make big companies sit up and take notice.
On a happier note, today in the West Store, I noticed my purchase of Waitrose Aloe Vera toilet roll was a bit misshapen: more triangular than round, although I didn't think my life would be ruined by it, not being the main loo roll changer of the house. The checkout chap suggested it had been crushed at some point on its 8,000 mile journey, and offered to see if he could give me a discount. He duly returned with "50% off!".
Every Little Helps!