We arrived at West Point Island in the Western Falkland Islands. We boarded the zodiac for our first excursion since getting on the ship! Quark has a very efficient way of getting passengers off the ship quickly and fairly. We all signed up for a zodiac group. We are in the Worsley zodiac group and it happened to be the first to go ashore. Then the next excursion the groups are rotated so it is fair to all.
It was a sunny day so we were peeling off our parkas and wearing them like a backpack! We signed up to go with David as our leader to hike to the highest point on the island to see some incredible views. The hike was difficult wearing our muck boots and it was a warm day but we persevered and made it to the top!
After we were finished walking around and taking pictures, we started the trek down the hill and over to the rockhopper penguin and black-browed albatross colony! This was our first up close and personal interaction with the birds. We loved it! Of course we needed to keep our distance and respect their space!
The caretakers of the island were there and opened their home to all of us so we could have tea and a table full of pastries! There was gluten free items too!
We left West Point Island and our ship moved on to our afternoon destination which was Saunders Island. Once we dropped anchor, the zodiacs took us to shore where the beach was full of magellanic penguins! This was a wet landing so our muck boots were definitely needed. Of course, any time we boarded the zodiacs we were required to be wearing our muck boots, waterproof pants and coats! We also saw gentoo, rockhopper and king penguins! It was another sensory overload!
We all were in awe to be walking the beaches on both sides of the island with the penguins. It’s hard to believe what we experienced today between the 2 islands! During dinner we all were talking about what a fantastic day we had on West Point and Saunders Islands.
At this evenings recap and briefing we were told of a powerful storm that is heading our way! This evening our ship set sail for Stanley on the Eastern Falkland Islands. Stanley is a city with a population of about 2,050 residents.
Eighty percent of all the albatross can be found in the Falkland Islands. Their wing span is 7.87 feet. The babies we saw were about 5 weeks old. They were also panting because it was too warm for them. We would see these birds following the ship.
This evening we met our kayak guides to get all of our equipment and get measured for the pedals. All of our gear had to come back to our cabin. We were each given a dry suit, dish gloves, booties, kayak skirt, and a dry waterproof bag.