Falklands development has been through a number of gruesome stages in its history and the early tales of sealing and whaling have left their scars and evidence around the Islands. The pictures and descriptions of the sealing are particularly graphic, but thankfully there has been a shift in thought processes both internationally and locally. The Falklands now protects its wildlife fiercely and is amongst the most sustainable environmental countries in the world; 30-40% of its power is generated by the wind turbines on the MPA road and its sustainable fishing policies are internationally recognised, allowing it to account for a surprisingly large percentage of the World’s squid production).
The result of all of this is that, slowly but surely, numbers of previously hunted species are rising and the little-studied whale population has been seen to increase (though no-one quite knows the extent of this). We had hoped to see them on our crossing to the West Island but to no avail. The large inlet North of Stanley known as Berkeley Sound (see the new/old map at the top of the page) has been filled with them lately so we hopped on a last-minute boat trip in the week to see what we could see at sea. Turns out, quite a lot:
After several hours chasing the whale blows only for them to disappear, we headed in at sunset happy to have had a great day with the dolphins, seal and albatross. It was then that we caught up with two whales (either Fin or Sei), one large and one smaller so we guess a mother and calf. Well worth the time and temperature of the trip. Photo credits to Han as she a) has a DSLR and now with a zoom lens and b) actually takes photos.
Lately, I’ve found with some situations (like seeing the first whales of my life), I’ve been worrying more about me being focussed on what’s happening than the camera being focussed on it. Perhaps that’s a good thing, but it makes for a poorer blog.