Port Stanley, Falkland Islands

Nov 07, 2018 - National Geographic Explorer


We spent the night at anchor in the shelter of Port William, just outside Port Stanley Harbour. This was most welcome after yesterday’s bumpy ride.

The early morning was beautiful and the skies were filled with warm, pastel shades. There was no wind. Perfect weather to stretch, shake away the sleepy feeling, grab a coffee, and head to the open decks or the bridge to enjoy sights of the Falkland Islands. The bright colors of the houses in Port Stanley brightened up the scene.

Those going ashore enjoyed a hearty breakfast and then headed to put on foul-weather gear; the wind had picked up dramatically and was now gusting at 30 knots. Conditions at the side gates were challenging, and as we headed off toward the jetty, we took on quite a lot of sea spray. With the wind, it was a most invigorating ride.

Our options for the day were:

  • Time on our own, with opportunities to wander and enjoy the charming town of Port Stanley. The excellent museum was a must.
  • Stanley Highlights, a guided tour around the town, that stopped at key spots such as the Lady Elizabeth and the museum.
  • Stanley Growers, located a short distance away from the ship, offered the chance to see a very impressive hydroponics farm where many vegetables are grown to provide the islanders—and incoming ships—with fresh produce.
  • Mount William Walk, a scenic walk with wildlife and many plants as well as the option to visit some of the memorial sites linked to the Falklands Conflict.
  • Long Island Farm, a traditional farm that allowed us to see first-hand how a sheep farm is operated. We also saw how peat is cut, a sheepdog trial, how the horses are saddled, how a sheep is shorn and the wool graded and baled, and of course, a bit of time to enjoy a cup of tea with cakes whilst enjoying a chat with the farmers by the Raeburn peat stove.

The rest of the busy day was spent packing—always a chore—and getting ready for the last Recap from our undersea team after their dive in Gypsy Cove, not far from Port Stanley. This was followed by the captain’s farewell dinner and a wonderful music event in the lounge with local musicians. Many of the songs were from the ’60s and ’70s, and we were all reminded of what great music was composed then and how timely the words continue to be. They were almost prophetic. Our journey was at an end, certainly a sad moment, but we were all brimming with wonderful memories. And for that, we were grateful.

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About the Author

Edward Shaw

Naturalist

Edward Shaw has travelled widely as a naturalist and guide. For the past 18 years, Edward has lived in northwestern Patagonia initially working as a teacher and subsequently working in community projects. This remarkable region of South America is home to many incredible geologic features — fiords, glaciers, volcanos, and lake basins long ago excavated by ice-streams — unique flora and fauna, as well as the archaeological remains of pre-Columbian civilizations dating back to at least the 13th millennium BCE. He is deeply committed to the principles behind sustainable development and currently works for a local foundation.

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