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    September 23

  • 02:02 PM

Last day in The Falklands

CAROL MARTINDALE, carolmartindale@nationnews.com

Added 15 October 2012


  It's the last full day I'm spending in The Falklands and as expected, I want to cram everything in that last day, including any last minute visits to the shops to pick up souveniers. It is also the day our group of Caribbean journalists along with Dan Carruthers of the British High Commission will make a last ditch effort to see the sea lions everyone talked so much about. For many Falklanders, this is a must see, in addition to the penguins. So after what turned out to be a forthright interview with Dick Sawle of the Legislative Assembly, we were taking a boat trip out to Kidney Island and York Bay. We all kept our fingers crossed. Before heading out though two of us - yours truly and Nicole Best of CMC would be heading to the lone television station to be interviewed. We gave our thoughts and feelings about The Falkland Islands over the past week. Just the day before, our full group of Caribbean journalists was on the lone radio station sharing our views on all that we saw during the one-week tour. We were interviewed by Stacey Bragger the news editor there. That day we also had a full line up of interviews, including a talk with Governor of The Falklands Nigel Haywood, and later with members of the Chamber of Commerce where we got a good sense of some of the critical issues facing the country, as well as the achievements. With the interviews out of the way, we were off on our sea adventure. We tried to get to Sea Lion Island the second day we were here but the weather was not very generous. We are hoping that this time around will be different. It's a sunny, windy day but experience has taught us that this weather could change in a heart beat. Remember, you can experience four seasons in one day here. Still we load on to the boat. It was the calm before the storm. As our boat cut through the raging water, some of us were holding on for balance. This was going to be no easy ride. But we endured because “come hell or high water” we were intent on seeing the sea lions. Nicole Best of CMC vowed that she couldn’t return home to Grenada until she captured a sea lion on camera for her son Nicholas. Today was her lucky day. Not hesitating for a second, we all whipped out our cameras to get the much longed for shot of the sea lions. As the boat got closer to an anchored vessel, there was the sea lion spread across the iron rusting platform, with his baby snuggled in close – so close that we almost missed him. We were shooting away then after about ten minutes, we were on our way. During this boat trip, Mike Morrison, a wildlife enthusiast, with crew Aaron Clarke and Lee Clement, guided us through sanctuary nature reserve Kidney Island from the water. Surrounding the island is tussac grass which mistakenly gives the feeling that you are in the Caribbean – minus the wind and cold. Then at York Bay, where we saw the Gentoos penguins in the distance, the white sandy beaches were a sight to behold. Sadly, this picturesque sight is a waste to Falklanders as they can no longer frolic on the beaches which are riddled with landmines after the 1982 conflict. Morrison heading out to these beaches was a favourite past time for some in The Falkland Islands, especially during the summer months, which incidentally is around Christmas time. We also had to pleasure of viewing Stanley from the water which made for a pretty picture, bringing an end to the very rough, but scenic boat ride. Next: Heading back to home sweet home – 18 hours and four airport stops after.  


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