Day 25 – Paradise Falls, Falkland Islands


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South America » Falkland Islands » East Falkland
December 30th 2012
Published: January 24th 2013
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Actually we are in Stanley this morning, but one of our granddaughters, Allyson, is positive we are in Paradise Falls, South America, so there you are. We spent the last 24 hours steaming northeast of South Georgia and South Sandwich Island in “Whale Wars” country. Dropped the hook at 0730 and began the 2.5 mile tender ride into Stanley about 0830. This is an adventure because the Star Princess draws about 30’ of draft in a bay that is about 15 feet deep, so we are anchored outside in Port William Bay, and exposed to the elements a little more than usual, which provides for an interesting 30-minute ride in the small tenders.

Conditions today are sloppy wet, thick mists, and gale-force winds. High chop in the bay and the visibility is about 1/3 of a mile. This is what we have been expecting the past few days, so indeed, we have been extremely fortunate in our trip around the Horn. There is enough visibility in intermittent periods, however, to note there British warship anchored in the fog about ¼ mile off our port beam, as well as our security banner (Do not approach any closer than 300 meters) hung over the portside railing, and a constant harbor patrol boat cruising around us.

The Falklands themselves are totally unremarkable. They are almost as bleak as Cape Horn was yesterday, and aside from the 2,967 hearty souls who live here, it is mainly about six million sheep and many penguin colonies. Both main islands are almost totally flat and covered in heather-like scrub and rocks, with the high point in altitude being just over 500 meters. However, the inhabitants of the Falklands are completely remarkable! Just think of when we were in school learning about life in overseas colonies, and that is life today in the Falklands. It is if someone took a square cookie cutter, sunk it into farmland in the UK, pulled it up, and dropped in the middle of nowhere in the south Atlantic ocean – people, homes, land, and animals. Everything here is very British, including the people, who make no bones about being “British to the Core!” Once outside of Stanley, there are multiple signs warning folks of mines, still planted from the 1982 war with Argentina. We got off to a late departure, as one of the tour groups that went penguin watching, got their 4 X 4 stuck in a huge big, and needed to wait for another 4 X 4 to come along and tow them out. Where is the OVH Team when you need them?!

Rough seas and gale force winds tonight as we steam northwest back toward the east coast of Argentina, but at a more sedate pace of 18 knots, which helps a bit.


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