FROM 1-9. Falklands

Mar 18, 2005 - 0125hrs UTC

0125hrs 18 Mar 2005 UTC 51’41”S 057’49”W Map Ref 123

Stanley(the place, not the name)

Alex: The Falklands – fascinating – land of contrasts – chunks of wrecked or modified 19th century sailing ships lying around in heaps, absolutely no facilities for visiting yachties and I was told they try to discourage us because some visitors have turned up and ripped off the people who were helping them and one of the highest per capita incomes in the world from selling fishing licences to the highest bidder. So much so that no locals have to go fishing unless they actually feel like it.

Wonderful place – we got here in the middle of a cold windy night and parked just inside the harbour entrance – woke to a bleak windy dawn and had an awful day trying to get Berri parked somewhere where she would not get damaged and was sheltered from the easterly that is still blowing.

Then Mike Harte and John Maskell-Bott, Andy Cullen and Bruce Wilkes turned up and things started to improve – massively. JMB brought the new generator, BW a case of guinness and some bottles – Thanks Tim – and Mike brought his presence and advice and local knowledge and in no time at all we were half way to being organised. And a shower at Mike’s place WOOHOO. And definitely not a B&B – Lafone Guest House is one of the best and most welcoming places I have ever stayed in.

And then Mike told me about the marathon – the first ever in the FI and, apart from one run at the S. Pole, I think, the southernmost anywhere and how could anyone say no. Had to cheat to get in – entries long since closed ,and I get no 13 – traditionally not allocated, so there’s a challenge lads and lasses. The local radio station broadcast an appeal for running shoes and HM Govt obliged – a bit big but they’ll get me round. I’m really concerned about the cold – it’s 7 degrees and windy and drizzly – but I’ll get there. Don’t know how many entries but less than 30, I think.

And the ISS link up tomorrow. As I said to NASA, absolutely gobsmacking. Cant send you Commander Leroy Chiao’s photos but you’d be gobsmacked too.

Supposed to be having dinner – another long story – and will be in trouble if I dont stop. We loves yez all.

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