Westpoin Island to New Island

Lars Alfredson
Mon 5 Dec 2011 00:16
Pos 51:43.42S 61:17.89W Tigre Bay, New Island

04122011 Westpoint to New Island

We wake up to the island shrouded in fog and although the settlement and most of the bay are visible the hills and mountains behind have disappeared. The boiled eggs for breakfast were great but when I put orange juice into my coffee instead of milk I realised I really should wear my glasses first thing in the morning.

Yesterday's trauma of loosing my Blog entry for the second has been resolved when I found it had attached itself to a previous date, now all we have to do is sort our the chronology when we can get back onto wi-fi.

After analysis of the weather forecast we decide to head for New Island, our last stopping off place and nearest point to the Argentina. On crossing we plan to stop at Staten Island near the entrance to the Magellan Straits before working our way up to


0950 Weighing anchor it comes up with a whole garden full of kelp. Armed with his trusty kelp cutter, Peter hangs over the Pulpit rail and makes short work of the offending weed. Meanwhile, Commerson's Dolphin have gathered around our stern ready to give us an escort out of the bay as we depart to the braying sound of Megallenic penguins, which earns them their alternate name of "Jackass".

As we plough our way out through "Wooly Gut", great rafts of Albatross fill the air as the scatter before us. Dolphin continue to frustrate our efforts to photograph them and expose the weakness of digital cameras, shutter delay. Our attempts to predict when they will jump are met with limited success and the occasional reward of a lucky shot every now and then.

By 1100 though the fog persists, we now have enough breeze to push us along at 5kts with number 1 Jib and a full main The sea is calm and covered in birds rising and falling on a long low swell while others fly in formation around us. As well as the birds, groups of penguins dive at our approach.

The sun struggles to break through as the wind drops, so our silent glide is now replace by the rattle of the engine. Scones and Peters home made Rhubarb jam for "Elevenses" and Corned Beef and a beer for lunch punctuate our otherwise serene progress.

With the sun still struggling to clear the fog it finally breaks through at around 1600 drop anchor in Tigre Bay (Named after Captain Smylie's Brig) and opposite the settlement. At the head of the Bay is a beautiful white sand beach. The nearly intact wreck of the "Protector" sits beached on the sand here. She an Ex-Canadian minesweeper built in Nova Scotia in 1943. She arrived in the Falkland Islands in November 1949 and served as a Sealer with the South Atlantic Sealing Company, but was later sold to the Internal Freighting Co., who decided to lay her up after two years work.

Going ashore we meet Jason and Georgina who direct us up the valley from the beach to the "Rookery" Located on steep cut in the cliff on the other side of the islands it's populated by Albatross, Cormorants and Rockhopper Penguin.

We're also advised there are a party of Japanese Scientist and Film crew staying at the moment as well as a somewhat cantankerous lady we are advised to steer clear of!

As we walk back we see our old friends on "Mina 2" Tim, John and Linda, dropping anchor in the Bay. We return via their Yacht and invite them over for drinks a little later when they had sorted their davit problem and able to launch their dinghy.

They join us after dinner and regale us with a tale of the young lady school teacher they met on the dock at Goose Green, carrying a cake for the visiting Yacht only to be surprised that the yacht had shrunk! They valiantly accepted it on our behalf and then told us what a treat we had missed

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