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01/27/2009

Stanley, Falkland Islands

The fine weather is holding well. We entered Port Williams on the east coast of the Falkland Islands in the early hours and moored alongside a tanker to take on much-needed fuel. The operation was completed soon after breakfast and Minerva moved into Stanley Harbour and moored at the jetty. Shuttle buses were waiting to ferry us into Stanley but some of us chose to walk along the shore where a lone king penguin became the centre of interest. The sun was shining brightly so the colourful little town was seen at its best. There was plenty of interest: the cathedral, a little museum, the philatelic bureau and of course shops full of souvenirs.

Several tours were laid on to take us farther afield to visit a rockhopper penguin colony, learn about life on a Falkland farm or to look for the local wildlife. There was still time to explore Stanley and go shopping! On our return to the ship there were plenty of stories to exchange.

Minerva slipped out of Stanley Harbour in the late afternoon and headed into open sea, where there was yet another excitement waiting. Just before dinner whales were sighted. They proved to be a pod of six sei (pronounced 'say') whales. These are ocean greyhounds but Captain Biasutti manoeuvred Minerva along their path and we had the thrill of seeing whales 'blow' at the surface from less than 100 yards, before they 'showed us their heels' and we resumed our course to South Georgia.
 

   

In the distance, the steeple of the Anglican Church in Stanley.

Along the way of the trail to Stanley we found a lot of wildlife, like this female Kelp Goose...

This is a species where the male is completely white.

After leaving Stanley we found ourselves surrounded by whales.

Just like this Sei Whale, a very large and very fast whale of the Southern Ocean.


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