Sunday, 25 August 2013

Snow fun....

[This being an occasional look at my life in the Falkland Islands.....  The last week has seen intermittent snow showers sweeping across the islands.  The weather delayed the Airbridge flight from the UK - causing the passengers to enjoy the delights of Ascension Island for a couple of days.  One of those delayed also happens to be a reader of this blog, and I bumped into her at my neighbours' house today.  What a small world and what a delightful surprise!  Welcome to the Falklands, Emily!  Hope you enjoy it here.]
Snow Penguin
Just as I thought Spring was in the air, the wind direction changed to the South, and bought with it numerous snow showers.  In between the showers, bright sunshine shone on the carpet of icing sugar.
Whalebone Arch, Stanley
All very pretty, but it does play havoc with teaching people to drive, which I am doing at the moment.  Some roads are gritted in Stanley, but most of the roads on steep hills are not.  Hill starts can be a problem on ice!
Upland Goose
The geese have been finding it difficult to find food under the snow, but they are now daily visitors to my back garden, and are doing a great job of keeping it trim.  Although we do have to be careful where we stand when hanging out the washing!

Keeping the grass in trim, just prior to the snow...
Meanwhile, realising we hadn't seen penguins for a few months, we set off to the sand dunes in Yorke Bay, just east of Stanley, where there is a large gathering of Gentoo penguins.
Penguin watching, Yorke Bay
Gentoos stay in the Falklands all year round, and these penguins have been at this location for a couple of years.  They don't appear to be breeding, but otherwise seem a healthy population.
Gentoo penguins in the dunes.
The only drawback is the restricted access due to a minefield! However, this probably provides the penguins with some peace and quiet.
Commersons Dolphins, surfing, in Surf Bay
Later in the same day, we visited Surf Bay - a long, sandy crescent facing east, and usually sheltered from the prevailing winds.  Although sheltered, some of the huge swells that travel through the Drake Passage and around Cape Horn, make landfall here.  The breaking waves can be spectacular, and we were lucky enough to watch a pod of dolphins surfing in the huge waves.
Flock of two-banded plovers, Surf Bay
There were also flocks of plovers, searching for insects in the rotting kelp that had been thrown onto the beach by recent storms.
Stanley direction post - the Griffin.
Meanwhile, back in Stanley, the sunshine and snow sooner had a path been salted and thawed, than the snow covered it again, then freezing to sheet ice overnight.
Plenty of parking at the West Store
Christchurch Cathedral, and International Tours and Travel office.
If you would like more information about visiting the Falkland Islands, there are a couple of  travel agents, eg, International Tours and Travel -

For information about tours, guides, and accommodation throughout the islands, this site is very good - The Tourism Board site -
Dean Street - off limits to drivers.
John Street awaiting the gritting lorry.  Pink Shop on the left.
Marmont Row (formerly the Upland Goose Hotel), and a white Victory Green....
George, the local pet reindeer, scraping for fodder.
On the social front, our quiz team has been knocked out of the Falkland Islands Radio Service (FIRS) Winter Quiz.  We only narrowly lost in the semi-finals (having received a bye!), finding the round on identifying the local voices a tad tricky!  Must do more research!
Snowy kelp on the beach
Whalebone Cove
If you would like to see parts of the Falklands at any time of the day, you can look at the webcams on this site (formerly Cable & Wireless) -
Another spectacular sunset over Stanley

And if you want to see more stunning clouds, this is the place for you >>

There are also pages on Facebook where Falklands photographs are published regularly: some historic, some about sunsets, and some just about people having fun in the Falklands!

More soon,



  1. Who needs David Attenborough when we have Peter Young?

  2. Thanks. I don't remember Mr Attenborough filming a snow penguin!

  3. Was nice meeting you too Peter! :) Great post.

    1. Thanks, Emily. I'm still dazed that people "on the Internet", can appear in the flesh! I'd better be careful as to what I say in future!