I have to confess that a large part of me has been wanting Han to love it here, so we’ve been heading out to various places in the hope that she’ll see what I see in it all. This means we might have less to report as weeks go on but in the mean-time…this weekend I planned a pretty busy Saturday; kayaking in the morning, with a day trip to Bertha’s Beach (named after a ship that wrecked there) on the South coast of the Falklands. I left all of my kayaking gear in the UK, wrongly assuming that there wouldn’t be the opportunity to paddle here but there are kayaks around. I was lucky enough to meet up with a colleague who had spare gear and boats so we took them down to ‘B Slip’ (a slipway in Stanley known for the over 1 million tonnes of cargo that was offloaded in the two years after the conflict). Stanley lies in a huge natural harbour with the iconic ‘Lady Liz’ rusted shipwreck, among others, at one end and the opening of the harbour (‘the Narrows’) opposite the town. After paddling to the Lady Liz, we looped around to the Narrows where I spotted a dolphin fin surfacing. Paddling over, we realised they were attracted to the paddling and the school of Commerson’s dolphins joined us to play in the harbour. I’ve paddled in some stunning places but today was something different: a sunny day with clear, still water and dolphins swimming under our boats and playing on at our bows, at times less than a metre from the boats. There is something about these Islands. I can’t put it in words any better. No waterproof camera, sorry.
The thing is, this was only Saturday morning. The afternoon we drove out to Bertha’s Beach, miles of white sand, deceptively tropical-looking water and some rare sunshine to accompany us 90 minutes’ drive from Stanley. For the second time in one day, I spotted dolphin fins surfacing nearby to our location. Like us, they were following the length of the beach, surfing the waves in close to shore as they went so we chased them down the coast. I don’t know who was enjoying the day more.
Bertha’s beach is also home to Gentoo penguins (and the occasional Sealion, breeding on the Island you can see in the distance) so we had a giggle at the ever-ridiculous attempts by penguins to walk too. There truly is something about these Islands.