After arriving into the Falklands for Easter holidays in the rain at four in the morning on the plane, we set off at lunchtime on a helicopter to New Island on West Falkland. When we landed, we were followed to the house we were staying at by a group of Caracaras, a very inquisitive bird of prey. The house we were staying in overlooked a beautiful bay where you could see the dolphins playing in the evening, and for this reason, and because we don’t know the name of the bay, we have named the bay ‘Dolphin Inlet’.
When we had unpacked we walked to the Rookery where we saw lots of Rockhopper penguins in a sea of Black Browed Albatross. The adult Albatross had already left, but the young were still there and were testing their wings by sitting in their nests and flapping flapping flapping! After this we went for a walk around the island and found millions (!) of rabbits, and a small bay at the back of the settlement which harboured a wrecked ship which used to be an old minesweeper. At the back of the bay there was a stone house, which was called the ‘Barnard Building Museum’, named after a sea captain who was stranded on the island over 150 years ago.
The next day, Georgina and Jason (who live on the island) drove us up to the north end of the island. We stopped where the road got too muddy and we walked the rest of the way. We found a Gentoo colony on a beautiful beach surrounded by ‘Snowy Sheathbills’ (a white seabird- which is usually seen standing on one leg!). We then walked up the ridge above the beach and looked down on the sea. We watched the penguins jumping in the waves for a while, and then noticed some seals/sea lions (one looked like a sea lion, but the others looked like seals) in the water as well. We decided that they must have been fishing as the penguins were swimming very close to them, and neither seemed at all bothered. Then we walked back to the other side of the island, and had our picnic in the shelter of a small shed(or rather shared it with the Caracaras). The helicopter was meant to be fetching us soon, so we phoned Heliops to ask when they were coming. To our surprise, they told us that the weather in MPC was too bad to fly anywhere, so they would pick us up the following day. We were very confused because the weather where we were was sunny and bright! It also meant that we had an extra day on the island to explore!
That night, because we had to stay unexpectedly, Georgina and Jason asked us for tea at their house. We had mussels off the beach, and quiche which Georgina had made. She also had made some 'no-knead bread' which, as its name suggests, didn't need kneading (!) and had a bit of treacle in to make it a bit sweet. It was delicious. That evening, we also met their two kittens (Gingernut and Diesel) who were very sweet!
The next day, we wandered about the island, played games, and Mummy and I drew pictures of the wildlife.
In the afternoon, the helicopter came to collect us, and we flew back to MPC.
Overall, New Island is teeming with wildlife and when we were there, had amazingly good weather. We will be back!
By Phoebe x