10 February 2016

Ush, Ush, and away...

Ushuaia bills itself as "Capital of the Malvinas", and the visitor - especially the visiting Inglese (Englishman) - needs to be aware that the Falklands/Malvinas issue is alive and well here.

Still, a little political friction doesn't seem to spoiling anyone's fun.  It seems that nearly all the Antarctic Peninsula trips go from Ushuaia.

Antarctic cruise ships at the pier

We trundled through the security gate at the entrance and made our way to our ship - Plancius, operated by Oceanwide Expeditions, our home for the next 19 days. Sailing away eastwards we had glorious evening views back down the Beagle Channel and to the Cordillera Darwin beyond.

Les Eclaireurs Lighthouse, Beagle Channel

We soon got started sea birding, mostly off the rear deck. On the first morning we found a good number of birds - of mostly four or five common species - following the ship.

Southern Fulmar

Southern Giant Petrel

Antarctic Prion

Cape Petrel

Black-browed Albatross

There are a variety of cetaceans in the south Atlantic, here, some shots from a memorable encounter with a group of Long-finned Pilot Whales.

Our first stop in the Falklands was West Point Island.

Kelp Goose (male)

Long-tailed Meadowlark

Land Rovers ! - it must be the Falklands...

The main attraction at West Point Island is a breeding colony of Black-browed Albatrosses.

Black-browed Albatross

Black-browed Albatross

In the afternoon, Carcass Island, Falklands.

Both Magellanic and Gentoo Penguins breed on Carcass Island.

Magellanic Penguin
And the penguins are not the only attraction...
Magellanic Oystercatcher

Magellanic Oystercatcher

Striated Caracara

Flightless Steamer Duck family

Plancius off Carcass Island, Falklands

At sea once more, we were followed by more seabirds as dusk fell....

Southern Giant Petrel

Black-browed Albatross

The next morning we called in at Port Stanley, capital of the Falklands...

....where (former Prime Minister) Margaret Thatcher appears to be popular.


  1. You English pirate, you.

    Wonderful photos John. Except the last one that is...............!

  2. Great story and photos. I look forward to reading more.