Monday, 16 January 2012

Sunny Stanley - Sunday 15th Jan

A few days into our Antarctic cruise, it seemed odd to see classic English phone-booths and red letter boxes as we walked ashore at Stanley this morning. Before exploring the town, we rambled to Gypsy Cove and clambered over the dunes – avoiding the land mines – to find a group of pink-faced magellanic penguins and a lone king penguin waddling around in the silicon-like sand and surfing the shore break. The king had apparently come ashore to malt – a rather uncomfortable time for a penguin, when its sheds its worn-out coat for an entire new plumage on an annual basis.

White sands and megellanic penguins at Gypsy Cove
Stanley itself is a peaceful town of colourful, corrugated iron houses and welcoming inhabitants - known as ‘kelpers’ - who are keen to chat about the history and daily life of their island. Stanley has roads but no traffic lights and no native trees. The gardens here are dressed in colourful flowers and organic vegetable patches burst with green leaves; “we grow these out of necessity – we need to eat,” one elderly resident informed me; “gardening in Stanley is not just for fun!”. After we'd hiked across the island, perused the gift shops and sunk a few beers in The Globe, the Gadventures team shuttled us back to the ship to continue our Antarctic cruise.

Stanley's colourful houses

Beers at the Globe in Stanley
Now back onboard the M/S Expedition, we enter the next chapter of our Spirit of Shackleton adventure and face two days at sea, on our voyage southwards to South Georgia. Sea-sickness tablets in our stomachs and sick-buckets on standby, we’re all hoping that the Antarctic weather will stay calm for the crossing…

This blog-post forms part of a series of adventures experienced on-board the M/S Expedition in January 2012, whilst on an Antarctic Cruise - The Spirit of Shackleton - courtesy of Gadventures

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