Stanley, Falkland Islands

Nov 23, 2019 - National Geographic Orion

The Falkland Islands have been a haven for ships for several centuries, with large sailing ships of the 1800s and 1900s sailing around Cape Horn frequenting to undertake repairs or even just hoping to reach The Falklands before their ship foundered. This historical perspective may have set us up to see a set of rugged islands in windy stormy conditions, but only half of this was true: the weather was perfect! But, you don’t have to look far to see the Falklands are a windy set of islands that see more than their fair share of bad weather. Perhaps this is why the islanders have made sure their capital city (around 2,000 people) is so colourful.

Today guests were given mostly free rein to explore Stanley, from buying stashes of beautifully soft Falkland sheep wool and delicious British chocolate, to spotting wildlife around the coast. It didn’t take much spotting – Commerson’s dolphins and sea lions were lolling around the coast pretty regularly. The more adventurous of the group even snuck in a quick pint at the pub.

“What were the divers doing?” I hear several people say. Well, we snuck off early in search of some dolphins. Unfortunately, the Commerson’s dolphins were nowhere to be seen, but we were greeted briefly by two Peale’s dolphins before we were left alone to finish the dive on a shallow sandy seabed with several crabs and isopods.

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About the Author

Peter Webster

Naturalist/Expedition Diver

Born in Scotland, Peter became fascinated with nature and wildlife from a very young age. This early interest led to him earning a degree in conservation biology followed shortly after by an M.Sc in marine and fisheries ecology. He is currently studying for another M.Sc in digital mapping. After working as a commercial diver for several years Peter was offered the position of Field Diving Officer with the British Antarctic Survey in 2012. He then spent the next 16 months in the Antarctic, stationed at Rothera Research Station, on the peninsula where he managed the dive operations and a team of scientific divers working on a wide range of research on climate change, ocean acidification, and increased seabed disturbance by icebergs. As well as diving Peter also spent several months in the Antarctic deep field working in aircraft operations, depot laying, and meteorological work whilst living in tents in conditions below -30oC. 

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