Monday, 4 February 2013

Excursion to Rincon Grande and Mt. Kent Farm (Feb. 2; Frithjof)

Another excursion to the scenic north of East Falkland – this time to the eastern shore of the narrows at the exit of Port Salvador. The farm there is called Rincon Grande (“large corner” or “great spot”, truly a very fitting place name). A historic, wooden farm house, now empty, greeted us above our snorkelling site. Probably it is haunted, I remarked, while Pieter remarked that it looked like the kind of place in the Wild West where some guys with guns pointed at us would be sitting on the roof…  jokes aside, the snorkelling was great, with a good number of new specimens. I stayed in my dry suit (which had once more taken in water) while we drove to the next study site at Port Louis – which had also been the site of the 18th century French settlement in the Falklands (leading to the name “Iles Malouines” and later “Malvinas”, after the settlers home town of St. Malo) which had been founded there in parallel (unknowingly!) to the British settlement at Port Egmont on Saunders Island. This site was not to rewarding – after a quick dip in the icy waters, we drove on to nearby Mt. Kent Farm, where snorkelling off the pier looked very promising. Indeed it was!! After warming up at Kay’s B&B in Stanley, we then spent the remainder of the afternoon working on our many samples. This Saturday night was to be our first evening off work for the week – we had an invitation by Sasha Arkhipkin and his wife Zhanna for a barbecue in their beautiful new house overlooking Stanley Harbour and the narrows towards Port William. A very beautiful summer evening indeed, with only the icy wind reminding us of where we actually were! And a great get-together with our various friends and colleagues in the Falkland Islands Fisheries Department and SAERI.

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