Day 4 |
Jan 16, 2012

Stanley, Falkland Islands and at sea

By Uli Kunz, Oceanographer and Zodiac-Driver

Position: 51°50’ S, 56°07’ W
Air temperature: 9 °C, 48.2 °F
Water temperature: 11 °C, 51.8 °F
Air pressure: 1015 hPa
Wind speed: 15 km/h

Our guests are still doing a wonderful job with the weather! In the early morning, the Silver Explorer arrived in Stanley, the capital of the Falkland Islands, and dropped anchor under a clear blue sky.

The visit to the small village is a very colourful experience with all its painted roofs, doors and beautiful gardens. Together with some guests, I was transported in a Zodiac to a swimming dock and began a walk along the shore side. I was joined by Shoshanah Jacobs who had a fragile and valuable object in her backpack... Stan Lee, the garden gnome that we took on an Antarctic adventure during our last Christmas cruise. It belongs to Kay, an elderly woman who runs a Bed & Breakfast hostel in Stanley and who takes care of about 100 gnomes of different sizes, which are neatly arranged in her garden.

The garden gnome was an attraction during that cruise and especially the children on board the Silver Explorer had fun to take Stan on a walk or to take pictures with him in the ice and snow of Antarctica. But now it was time to return him to his home, as he felt homesick after such a long time abroad...

Later in the morning I took over a Zodiac to continue shuttling our guests from and to the ship. It was incredibly warm and the sun was shining, making it hard to believe that we are heading to an icy continent in a few days.

After lunch, our geologist (and 'rockstar') Juan Restrepo gave a lecture to introduce the basic terminology that is necessary to understand the geological formations that we are going to see during our voyage. Juan talked about the origin of the earth, the different types of rocks and their formation, the structure of sediments on the sea floor and explained the process of continental drift.

At 5 o'clock in the afternoon, our botanist Hans-Peter Reinthaler took us on a fascinating journey around the Antarctic convergence telling us stories of the unique plant life that has adapted to each island. He finished off with a detailed description of the plants that we would be observing once we are in South Georgia and the Antarctic Peninsula.

Shortly before dinner, our Expedition Team invited all the guests into The Theatre for a Briefing and our first Recap, an opportunity for everyone to ask questions about what we have seen during the last landings.