7th.February, Stanley – Crested ducks, Upland geese, Steamer ducks, Kelp geese and Magellan Penguins
The ship was anchored all day in Stanley harbor and we spent the time on land. In the morning there was as planned a nature walk round a headland overlooking the harbor. First we saw Crested ducks, Upland geese, Steamer ducks, Kelp geese and Oyster Catchers before coming to the Magellan penguins and some cormorants. All these are in fact species which I had seen in Patagonia near Ushuaia on a previous holiday, but particularly the penguins were in a more attractive setting on a beach and I was able to take some better photographs.
I had fish and chips for lunch in the Vic, a typical English pub, or at least how they were 50 years ago. The church with an arch made of whale jaw bones is the main architectural attraction of Stanley. In what appeared to be almost the only shop I bought a penguin beach ball for my grandson and a local newspaper called the Penguin News. The ladies in the shop claimed that Prince William had just flown over in a helicopter on a rescue mission, but I saw no sign of the military presence of the Brits. The base is in another part of the island. What I did see were areas which are fenced off because of mines laid by the Argentinians, which have not yet been cleared. The new area of Stanley looks desolate, just brown wooden houses each surrounded by a small plot of rough grass. No sign of any other plants, but there are some plastic greenhouses where vegetables are grown.