Saturday, February 20, 2010

All the Ports.


Just back from a few days on the West Island. We live on East Falklands and across The Sound is West Falklands. You can get the ferry which departs from New Haven, our side, and arrives at Port Howard on the West. We were booked to go on Sunday but, due to the weather, got across on Tuesday. So Allen and I had a relaxing day together on Monday as he was off work, as was I, and the children were in school. We then decided to go and stay closer to the ferry port at Darwin. It was a good start to our holiday, Jacob and Abi got to feed a lamb - see photo, and we had a lovely big en suite jacuzzi bath. The ferry left on time on the Tuesday and we arrived at Port Howard with loads of dolphins accompanying us. I've included a photo of a pair of dolphins.

We drove to Port Edgar for a 2 night stay. We were meant to get to Port Stephens too but, due to the delay, didn't make it there. At Port Edgar there was a lovely walk to a sandy beach with penguins and dolphins. It was about a 3 mile round trip and the children were great. We stayed on the beach for a while while everyone played, ate and relaxed. I've included a photo of another dolphin, a different type to the Port Howard ones, a photo of the family and then one of J & A playing in the sand. Abi returned with flea bites from the penguins - delightful! She also had a handful of splinters, literally, from a broken seesaw she found.

After our 2 nights at Port Edgar we drove back to Port Howard for a night in the lodge before the ferry trip back. The lodge was as good as ever, great food and relaxing. So it's now cut back time on the food! Jayne and Roly take over from us in May, we'll find out where we're going at the end of next month. We now have to start cooking strange dishes to use up all the food on the freezer!

Off to a garden fete thing in the Governor's House tomorrow with Abi, hoping to go in with the dolphins again with Allen too this time at Burtha's Beach at some point over the weekend. Real mix of weather here, snow, sleet, wind, rain, sun and hail.

Hope all is well

Sunday, February 14, 2010

School Council


Abi is now a member of the school council. She had to do a little speech about how she would improve the school and then the class voted. Jacob spoke too and came second, not bad as, when we discussed it at home, he said he wasn't going to bother. I've put in a photo of her getting the badge at assembly.
There's also a photo of the new Typhoon, the fast jet down here. They changed the runway for the afternoon so they kept flying pretty low over the houses. It's very graceful to watch and goes vertical quite quickly after take off.

We're on half term this coming week. Jacob and Abi only got 2 days but we've taken them out for the week as we are off to West Falkland to explore the parts we've not seen yet. I've handed in my notice at pre school as we now have a date for going, well a vague one! Should be leaving mid May for Allen to have the op on his knee. So only 3 months left, have just about done all I wanted to here so that'll be about right. No location in the UK for us yet, not even sure it will be the UK. Hope the wind dies down or I reckon the ferry will be cancelled until tomorrow, oh well!
Rachael xx

Friday, February 5, 2010

Camping at Elephant Beach Farm


Last weekend I went camping with Jacob and Abi. We joined a bigger group, the Conservation Watchgroup, which Jacob is a member of. It's about 2 hours from the base and is close to the coast. It was tipping it down and blowing a gale when we arrived so we popped into the house for a cup of tea while mad people tried to put up their tents! As soon as the sun came out we then pitched the tent, with help. I'd borrowed one from the store room here and it was great, especially as another family had the same one so they helped to put up our one! Allen didn't make it on the trip due to work, he's playing war this week and has loads to do.

So after a picnic lunch we went off on our first off road proper experience. Abi and I were in a car with one of the Stanley ladies called Anna. She was lovely and was driving a Freelander (like ours out here), so we gave me lots of confidence about driving off road. We stopped to look at a colony of penguins, Jacob and Abi returned to the cars covered in penguin poo - delightful. Luckily they were head to toe in waterproofs as at the next stop, a beach to clean, it tipped it down. So all of the penguin poo was washed off. There are some photos from the camp site and the beach we cleaned. Off to the next beach where they did racing games, played on a piece of drift wood and made an impressive castle. After a 40 min drive back we settled down to sorting the BBQ, calm weather returned and it was a fun night of games and wine. Eventually got to sleep around midnight with Abi crammed into my sleeping bag as she was cold!

We awoke to ice on the tent but the sun soon melted it all off. After taking the tent down off we went on another off road experience this time to Cape Dolphin. I went in a car with Sally this time, another Falkland lady. We went to see the elephant seals, no dolphins though. It was a much longer drive with Sally letting every child in the car sit on her lap and drive. Abi thought this was wonderful, Jacob was in another car and was a tad jealous, I was just scared really! We stopped for a picnic in the tussock grass before returning and then getting into our own cars to drive back to base. A brilliant weekend with both the kids wanting to go camping straight away again, we will but perhaps in a couple of weeks!


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

In the Sea with Dolphins

Hi Everyone

I managed to actually get in the sea at Bertha's Beach so I could see the dolphins close up. They came up right next to us. I took a video clip that I will try and upload, if it doesn't work I'll just add photos! It was truly amazing. They swam right up to our legs, I was a bit worried that they would swim into us. It was definitely worth braving the 10 degree sea to be in with them. I went with 2 ladies who teach in pre school with me. Now I need to get down there with Jacob and Abi as we only had to go in up to our waists although a wave did get me on the head as I was facing the wrong way, still worth it though. So here goes with the upload....