We made it. We survived our two-and-a-half-day crossing from South Georgia to the Falkland Islands. Our first landing took us to Bleaker Island. When Sheri woke us up in the morning, she was still unsure if we were actually able to land, but everything turned out well. The beach was quite splashy, but the shoremen did a wonderful job, and it was worth the wet ride. Gentoo penguins along the beach, some skuas in the sand, and cows and sheep in the distance. All this combined with a beautiful white beach. Welcome to the Falkland Islands.
We started to explore the island by hiking to the local rockhopper penguin colony. It was a nice and easy stroll between cows, Magellanic penguins, Upland geese, and sheep. Once we approached the cliffs, we got to walk between the tussac grass again and had wonderful views over the rockhopper penguin colony. Those who paid attention even spotted a single macaroni penguin, and a few lucky ones saw a king penguin at the landing site. That made five penguin species within a single morning. And in this case, it was even a Monday morning. What a start to the week.
The afternoon brought us to Bull Point. The wind was still blowing quite a bit, making for a wet Zodiac ride to shore, not that we minded anymore. Once ashore, we split into groups. Some guests really wanted to get some good exercise, so they joined Lila and Rachel for an aerobic walk. Others joined Dan and Nathan for a photo walk, whereas another bunch joined Karen and Steve for extended birdwatching by the ponds. And we were lucky. Not only did we spot Upland geese and Falkland steamer ducks, but we also observed crested ducks, skuas, sandpipers, and, of course, a bunch of penguins. What a successful first day in the Falklands.