Weather: Windy with partly cloudy skies
Air Temperature: 9.7 C, 49.5 F
Sea Temperature: 1.0 C, 33.8 F
Pressure: 997 hPa
Wind: 0-25 km/h
This morning I awoke to see the street lights of Stanley glowing outside my stateroom window. As the skies brightened the colorful homes, shops, and other buildings could be clearly seen. Stanley is the only town we will stop at on this trip. With it so close to Christmas I was looking forward to doing a little holiday shopping.
I started out my day as driver in one of the MK-06 Zodiacs shuttling guests ashore from 0800–1000. The winds were not too strong and only a little water made it into the boat. Everyone was in a good mood and looking forward to stretching their legs. Today the guests would start their day with a guided excursion to Bluff Cove to see Gentoo and King Penguins.
I guided a group of guests from the disembarkation site to the shuttle busses that would take us part of the way to Bluff Cove. Once we were out of town, we transferred to Land Rovers for the final off-road portion of our trip. Bluff Cove has a Gentoo Penguin rookery and it was active. Adult birds already had developed chicks and all I enjoyed watching them as they went about their daily activities feeding, preening, and nurturing their young. Four King Penguins and a group of Magellanic Penguins were seen as well along the path and at the beach. Two-banded Plovers skittered about on the beach. It was a very enjoyable visit.
When I returned to Stanley I decided to go for a walk around town. Stanley is made up of many quiet streets and neighborhoods. I always enjoy just walking about the streets, saying hello to some of the native “Kelpers” and seeing how they live in this very remote town. I had a nice talk with a local builder who was working when the winds picked up and were gusting. Many of the guests were excited about the bumpy return ride to the ship, and teased me along the way to see if I could get the landing in one shot. I never missed.
Captain Peter Stahlberg gave the order to hoist the anchor at 1600 and turned the ship into the wind and out of the bay. I look forward to our visit to the incredible South Georgia Island after a couple of days at sea.