A day in the Falklands aboard Ocean Diamond: voyage update from David “Woody” Wood

 

We had a great day today with our first day of excursions in the West Falkland area!

First landing:

Our morning started early at 06:30 when we enjoyed sailing between West Point island and West Falkland. The sky was alive with albatross. The Diamond glided through the narrow passage as currents disturbed the water surface.

Captain brought us anchor near Carcass Island. The wind was fresh and the waves swept in towards the small white sand beach that the high tide was seeking to extinguish. Zodiacs were soon safely launched and motored toward the landing.  As guests arrived our guides explored with groups areas where the viewing of the diverse range of ground nesting birds was excellent, but did not disturb the inhabitants. Beautiful white sand beaches and shimmering blue seas were quite enchanting with almost a tropical feel. Gentoo and Magellanic penguins exited the sea like robust torpedoes and then comically made way with stilted and awkward but relentless steps to their nests. Tall tussock grass was impenetrable but from it emerged wrens and tussock birds aplenty.

Carcass Island, Magellanic Penguins

Magellanic Penguins

Carcass Island

Carcass Island, photo courtesy of Sany.

We led one walk up to a summit where Gentoo penguins had taken the penthouse suites.

Eventually we gathered at our landing beach and soon were back on board enjoying great food in the very comfortable dining room.

Second landing:

In the early afternoon we ventured out again in the zodiacs. At Saundars Island we enjoyed beautiful beaches which were teeming with gentoo penguins, as well as an abundance of wildlife. Elegant king penguins posed and strutted whilst the chicks looked on morosely. Rockhopper penguins hopped staccato fashion up the beach and up a steep rocky path to their nests, defying their apparent awkwardness on land. Magellenic penguins peeped from their burrows but seemed timid compared to the other penguins. A crowning glory of the afternoon excursion was viewing black-browed albatross on nests, mutual preening and their majestic and effortless flights by the cliff face.

Hours flew by as we took time to take all the wonders. The final act of the excursion took place as we returned to the Ocean Diamond. A group of long finned pilot whales swam by and gave excellent viewing. Some effortlessly cut the water, whilst others gave leaps and displayed an acrobatic element.

Whales

Photo courtesy of photographer Sue Flood

A perfect end to a perfect day:

Scotty Mack, one of our richly talented Kayak guides and powerhouse musician, singer, songwriter of the Canadian band “More Please”, launched his new album The Bounty on the Ocean Diamond this evening. To a rapt warm and appreciative audience Scotty performed songs from his album. His final song Good times 101 like an anthem for the adventure we are sharing, “having a good time, all of the time” ….on the Ocean Diamond.

Interested in this superb voyage?  Check out: Falklands, South Georgia, and Antarctica

Penguins and sea kayaks

In this photo,  an Antarctic local carefully navigates some rocks, sea kayakers and a Quark ship in the background. Looks like a perfect day in Antarctica!  Feeling adventurous?[...]