The Falkland Islands are a group of hilly islands in the Southern Atlantic, some hundred seamiles from Cape Horn and aproximately 1000 seamiles from Antarctica. East and West Falkland, the main islands, are seperated by the Falkland Sound. Now there are known to be 778 islands in total. The coastline is deeply indented with many sheltered harbours, the numerous creeks and bays reach deep into the mainland. There are many inland lakes where trout fishing is excellent. The highest peak is Mount Adam on West Falkland with 700 m. 185 species of birds are registered, of which 66 are breeding. There are 5 types of penguins to be found on the island (among which the most beautiful of all: the king penguin). Different types of albatross are breeding on the Islands, e.g. the wandering albatross. The Birds such as the Striated Caracara (a form of peregrine) are peculiar to the Islands and, as such protected. Also the sea is full of life: sea lions, sea elephants, dolphins and with some luck whales can be seen.
Port Stanley: 1000 inhabitants (total Falklands: 2000). Typical english houses, beautiful villas and simple, run down cottages stand next to each other. We feel, how isolated and lonely, but at the same time typically english these Falklands are. 80% of all cars are landrovers. Nobody walks or rides a bike. Many places remind us of the Falkland war in 1982, be it monuments or fenced off terrain with land mines. The war is still talked about a lot. Argentinians since 2001 are allowed to visit. The Falkland people are a tight community, there is little migration. Every evening at 19:30 you listen to the radio news: the flight schedule gets announced together with the list of passengers, booked on every flight. So everybody is informed. Then the weather report follows with a calculation of the 'windchill factor' and the 'danger-level'. An important message for the sheep farmers. Only what sheep meat is concerned the Falklands are self sufficient. All remaining goods are flown or shipped from England or Punta Arenas in Chile. But still, there is hardly any vegetables or eggs from Falkland that are not priced three times as much as english ones.
1. Day Port Stanley
We pick you up from Mount Pleasant airport,. The military area - 1 hour drive through the Falklands, across one of the three tared roads of the Island - first impression with 'stone runs', farms and lakes at the horizon - arrival at the 'Sarah' - you choose your bunk and get familiar with the boat - visit to the local pub to get to know some Falkland people.
2. Day Port Stanley - Goose Green
Sail along the southern coast of East Falkland - Goose Green: biggest farm of the Falklands - sheep sheering.
3. Day Goose Green - Fanny Creek
We see some Gentoo pinguin colonies - Fanny Creek is a narrow fjord full of life - big Gentoo- and Magellan penguin colony.
4. Day Fanny Creek - Bull Cove
TREKKING: deep tussock grass - narrow pathes - visit of the penguin colony and breeding places of cormorants and wild goose - striated caracaras.
5. - 6. Day Bull Cove - Albemarle Harbour
We leave early before sunrise - it will be a long sailing day - at Albemarle Harbour (West Falkland) we come close to a big sea lion colony .
TREKKING: we will try to reach Mount Alice (1185 ft) - phantastic view - nature is very wild here - along the river Dean we try to reach Port Stephens Settlement - we keep the 'Sarah' informed about our progress by VHF - she will pick us up there.
7. Day Albemarle Harbour - Beaver Island
Sail around the southern most point of Falklands - rockhopper penguins & guanacos - beaver island: owned by the pioneering sailors of the antarctic regions, the Poncets - Sally and Jerome Poncet were the first to undertake sailing expeditions to some subantarctic islands like South Georgia and South Shetland Islands (summer and winter) - they overwintered in Antarctica - since decades they are responsible for many scientific research projects on these islands - their famous yacht Damien II is at anchor here - nobody knows the area better than they do.
8. Day Beaver Island - New Island
New Island possesses a wide variety of wild life: Fur Seals, Magellan-, Rockhopper- and Gentoo Penguins - good achorages - extensive possibilities to enjoy the wildlife.
9. Day New Island - Carcass Island - Westpoint Island
40 seamiles until Carcass Island: Sea Elephants defend their harem - during these fights some joungsters get killed - sail to West Point Settlement: we might join them for a 'smokie': a cup of tea with lots of chatting.
10. Day Hot Stone Cove Mountain
We move the 'Sarah' to Hope Harbour
TREKKING: we can use an old path to the 'waterfall creek' - from there we can try to hike along the waterfall upwards until we reach the 'hot stone cove' plateau - the tussock grass is huge and difficult to get through, but the view is magnificent - we ca watch many (breeding) birds
11. Day Hope Harbour - Port Howard
We have a long sailing passage ahead and try to get as far as Port Howard/Falkland Sound.
12. Day Mount Maria
We stay for the day and visit the wool mill, their production of genuin Falkland jumpers - basic school with 4 childeren and one teacher - farm with 40-60.000 sheep - lodge for 20 tourists/year.
TREKKING: we will try to reach the second highest mountain of the Falklands, Mount Maria - the landscape is full of yellow blossoming 'Gorse', as far as the eye can reach.
13. Day Port Howard - Port Salvador
We sail back north and follow the northern coastline of West Falklands - Port Salvador is a deeply indented creek with a couple of settlements, that partly can only be reached by boat.
14. Day Port Salvador - Volunteer Point
Today we will visit the only King Penguin colony of the islands - access only by sea - these penguins are indeed majestic, they are the most beautiful of all penguins - their Flakland presence is an absolute exceoption, since they can normally only be found on subantarctic islands, that (except for South Georgia) do not get reached by passenger ships or yachts.
15. Day Volunteer Point - Port Stanley