Today we got what practically can be considered as the “day off” during our sailing and exploration trip from Montevideo, in Uruguay, to Punta Areas in the Chilean Patagonia. The addition of the days at Falklands as a parenthesis on the following of the Magellan footsteps 500 years ago, added a break on the long sail, plus offered the chances to enjoy those wonderful islands and their luxuriant nature.
Days had passed now landing at different spots at the West Falklands. We have seen plenty of the majestic Black browed albatrosses, rulers of the winds over the rough oceans of the area. Myriads of penguins including Rockhopper rookeries mingling with their far relatives albatrosses and cormorants, Gentoos on what seems to be a continuous rush whooshing in and out the seas on the sandy beaches, and a few of the Kings that use Falklands as breeding grounds. Here and there scattered Sea lions lay in the sun or seemingly in a clumsy way try to catch a penguin in the surf. Endemic land birds teem in some of the islands where the rats haven’t reached yet, and heaps of geese rise their offspring in the grasslands, some of them grazed by ewes and their lambs. Islands and Farm owners welcome us to their lands and offer good conversation.
But now we take a break on all those activities and experiences, and spend a calm day in Stanley. Europa will be our Bed & Breakfast for the day, while we have time to explore a bit more the town and its surroundings.
On board, maintenance activities, sail stitching and repairs took much of the time, all in a joyful Christmas fashion… Our guides, Captain and Mate came up with new plans for the trip once they got hold of the weather forecast. The crew could also enjoy a couple of hours off in town, until 18:00h when the new provisions and stores were brought on board. Mostly we loaded fresh fruits and vegetables for our good meals until the end of the trip about ten days ahead of us.
The plans are to heave anchor tomorrow and continue our Falkland journey for the next few days, now visiting the different landscapes, local people and wildlife of the Eastern Islands coasts, all before setting sail Westwards to the Straits of Magellan.