We departed Ushuaia on January 30 on the Quark Expeditions m/v Ocean Diamond and arrived in the Falklands February 1.  While at sea we are issued our waterproof lined yellow jackets (ours to keep) and insulated muck boots, essentials in cold and penguin poo rich environs.  We also have several lectures each day covering the history, ecology, geology and all manner of subjects for our destinations in the South Sea.  I will not lecture here and this information is easily accessible on-line.  I also tried my hand at photographing birds in flight from a ship at sea surging up and down.  This is not an easy prospect but afterwards I did find some decent images.  I also worked out nearly every day of the cruise, weights and cardio.  The meals can be as healthy or evil as you wish but it is said that these trips are so active you may consume 5000-6000 calories per day without gaining weight...and that’s before you add gym.  I lost 5 lbs on this cruise which was my intention.

One general thing to note on this cruise was that we had fine and warmish weather the whole way and I believe our coldest temperature reached was about 28F just inside the Antarctic Circle.  We made all of our landings except Point Wild on Elephant Island and we had one other zodiac ride cancelled due to rough seas.  We were very, very lucky.  The odds of making each landing vary but several are as rare as 1 in 10.

On February 1st in the morning we landed at West Point Island where we hiked overland to the dramatic Devil’s Nose and surrounding cliffs.  Here we have black-browed Albatross and Rockhopper Penguin living side by side. 

In the afternoon we landed at Saunders Island which hosted Gentoo Penguin, King Penguin, Magellanic Penguin, Rockhopper Penguin and black-browed Albatross.  We also saw Striated Caracara, Oystercatcher, upland geese and sheep.  I had gotten a ton of Albatross in the morning and focussed on shooting Rockhoppers.

On February 2nd in the morning our ship enters the inner harbor of Port Stanley.  We go ashore for some general sightseeing, museum visit and I also grabbed a couple of pints at the very British Pub. 

After our visit in Port Stanley we sail out of the harbor and say good-bye to the Falklands and look forward to our next destination, South Georgia Island.  There is a pool on when we will see our first Iceberg.  We are quite excited when on Feb 4th it is announced that the first iceberg has been spotted.  We are not certainly not disappointed when we come up on deck to photograph  a behemoth rising 40 meters out of the water and approximately 5km long.


The Falklands (Islas Malvinas)

February 1, 2015

The value of our life is not solely measured by its length, but also by the depth of our hearts.

And breadth of our experiences.  And indeed the heights that we achieve.