Yesterday morning was spent getting ready for the trip to South Georgia. We had a quick dash around the shops to pick up some souvenirs and British treats (crisps, chocolate and a giant jar of marmite) while James was completing the paperwork. The Falklands are home to a small shrub the berries of which are known as Diddle Dee. The berries are made into jam, which we bought, or used with maschine cherries to flavour gin or vodka.
There was a cruise ship in the harbour yesterday. It was too big to fit through the Narrows and so it anchored in the outer harbour and its launches ferried the 2000 passengers into Stanley. All the souvenir shops were open from 8 am when the first passengers arrived and the jetty car park was full of coaches, minibuses and more Land Rovers than we’ve ever seen to give tours of the island to the passengers. The passengers were greeted ashore by a man in a penguin suit. Cruise ships must contribute a significant amount of money to the local economy.
Earlier in the week some of the crew popped into the Falkland Island’s newspaper Penguin News to pick up the latest copy. Elinca was unusual enough in not being a charter yacht to interest Penguin News’ staff and so a reporter popped down to the boat to chat to us and take some photos. We think that the front and back covers are available online, but unless it’s a slow news week we’re more likely to feature on the inside pages and so you’ll have to take out a subscription to read about us.
We saw lots of wildlife as we left the Islands. We were escorted out by Hourglass dolphins and magellanic penguins. A few lucky members of the crew saw our first Elephant seal out at sea. We’ve seen them before ashore in Antarctica, but this was the first time from Elinca. Shortly after leaving we sailed through a bank of fog and so didn’t see much for a while but we soon passed through it and out into good visibility. At first the wind was force 4 from the north and so we made quick progress beam reaching with a full jib, staysail and two reefs in the main. Overnight the wind dropped to virtually nothing and so we’ve been motorsailing overnight. This drop in the wind wasn’t forecast and so we’re eagerly anticipating the latest weather forecast, which we’ll collect when we send this blog on the satellite phone.
As well as the usual freezer of food we bought two lamb carcasses from the Falklands. These are currently strapped to the guardrail where the salt helps to preserve them. All of the watches having been dreaming up recipes to use our lambs in. We don’t have a recipe for lamb tagine and so please feel free to reply to the blog with any recipes that you have.
Sarah, Lynda, Di and Jon