In the end we spent 6 days in Stanley, longer than anticipated, but there was so much to do on the boat, and in the end we had to wait for the wind to abate before we could set sail.
Tim’s delivery of stuff from England eventually arrived having been held up while the military offloaded all their crates and pallets. Vast amounts of material were delivered , including an inflatable canoe, spare inflatable and engine, 440 meters of rope to be used to secure the boat to rocks in the Antarctic Peninsula. All of this needed to be sorted and stowed on a boat that already seemed to be crammed full. The rope needed to be cut into 4 lengths of meters each. The best way of doing this turned out to be to stretch the whole lot out along the quayside. This of course attracted considerable attention. As I went into shops around the town, I heard people talking about the strange goings on along the quayside.
Tim had introductions to several people in Stanley. First there was Barry and his wife, Bernadette, who were both doctors. Barry was extremely helpful with sorting out boating problems. Bernadette joined us for dinner on Saturday night, and brought along offerings from her polytunnel, plus a box of duck eggs. The first duck egg was immediately made into egg custard to accompany the rhubarb crumble made from Bernadette’s rhubarb. The lettuce is being added to our sandwiches and salad bowl and the parsley is awaiting the kedgeree due to be made from local smoked tooth fish.
We had a very good evening with the children of the Robinson family that we are due to meet in Port Stephens. The connection is through a cousin of Maria’s. All very sociable, and they offered us the use of their washing machine and dryer – ‘our door is always unlocked’ – so we put through two loads of washing.
The final contact was with Maria and Ian Strange. Maria is Argentine and a friend of a close friend of Tim’s Maria. Ian has written a lot of books about the wild life in the Falklands. He has set up the island they owned as a charitable trust. His daughter now works on the island and we are due to visit it at the end of our Falklands journey. It will be our stepping off point to Argentina.
We were due to leave Stanley on Sunday, but strong winds prevented this so we luckily had a day of relative leisure. A cruise ship was in, so luckily the museum was open. This is a glory hole of memorabilia of ships wrecked, Victorian life, sheep farming and of course the ’82 war. A very blustery walk back from the museum to Stanley took past us various memorials and plaques commemorating ships no longer visible beneath the waters of the harbour.
We have been so warmly welcomed in Stanley. We have been able to stock up with a mixture of food from home – mainly Waitrose stock, and local meat and eggs from the islands which is proving to be particularly delicious. We had a good roast dinner on Sunday night, prior to our departure for Goose Green, of which more later.