Three more short plane hops – Santiago to Punta Arenas, to Rio Gallegos, and finally on to Mount Pleasant airport – and we’re in Falkland at last. Even before we landed we felt the wind: it hit us side-on and the aircraft did a sideways lurch as we touched down.
It’s forty minutes in a 1960s style school bus, over partly unmade roads with roadside signs bearing skull-and-crossbones and ‘Danger – mines’ warnings, to Stanley. It’s got a sort of Reykjavik vibe. Brightly painted houses, tin roofs, a little church with a squat steeple. Just not quite so many stag parties, I imagine.
Pelagic Australis is moored at a dilapidated quay and skipper Miles with his new wife Laura are waiting aboard to meet us. It’s very good to be here. (For my family readers, Miles is a dead ringer for our brother-in-law Mike Evans. Imagine!)
We’ve had dinner, several briefings on how to pump out the heads and scrape out the waste, we’ve partially unpacked some of our mountains of gear, and now it’s 21.15 local time and there isn’t even a move to go out to Deano’s Bar. Everyone’s tired.
More tomorrow, communications permitting.