4th Jan 2017 - Adventure in Antarctica
Carcass, Island Falkland Islands
When I met Brian at breakfast he was not feeling well at all. Yesterday when I asked him how he was feeling, his reply was "About fifty percent." Today his reply was "15 percent" and I knew that meant he wasn't going to shore with us. It would be sad to not have my buddy shooting pictures beside me, but he needed some rest. Based on what mom told us over breakfast about the briefing from the day before, it didn't sound like Brian would miss much.
Mom, dad, and I went to deck 4 to be prepared for when they called our whales for the tender boats. Due to an earlier announcement that was misleading many people hurried down to the boats and it took quite some time before we were called. I got very hot waiting and I am not sure that Brian would have been able to handle that. When we were eventually called, I felt satisfied to see that all the other animal groups that tried to sneak down early were waiting on the side of the hallway for their turn. We hopped on our boats and were off to the dock.
On land, I was surprised by how much greenery there was on this island. I saw a lot of grass, trees, bushes, and even palm trees. What an odd ecosystem it is here. It needs to be rugged enough to survive, yet is diverse to represent the meeting of two different continents.
I was excited to walk to the settlement and photograph the houses, in hopes of another stone house with iron roof like yesterday. Once I approached the houses, I asked Maurice where we could venture with permission and was very relieved to be able to wander freely (unlike the self-imposed stress of yesterday). I started right away with a fading green house with rusted gas cylinders in front of an old, worn window. Stunning. I managed to photograph every building on the island from a variety of angles...after all, I was shooting for two today!
Satisfied with my settlement pictures, I ventured to the beach to find my parents. They were setting along a fresh water stream and birds were hopping along their feet and enjoying some water. We took some quick pictures of the ducklings on the beach before mom and dad heading in for tea and cookies. There is a couple on the island who like to bake and upon the arrival of every cruise ship, they bake an enormous amount of goodies for the 'starving' tourists on the ships. I took a little longer on the beach because a boy told me to walk another 400m to see a king penguin, but I think his English translation confused 400 and 4000. I turned around knowing that I already had some great photos from before. When I got to the tea and cookies, I was met outside by my parents and thought that I might skip it. To which, mom and dad vehemently shook their heads, I just had to try come of the cookies. When I walked in, there was a full table of so many treats. There were handmade chocolates, cakes, cookies, tarts, squares, cinnamon rolls, etc.. I selected the three made with chocolate and wrapped them in a napkin for Brian and headed back out to meet my parents. Dad informed me on the walk home that he was so happy to have had mince meat pie and fruit cake. At first, I balked at the selections he made, but then realized that he got to have a treat he loves, but rarely gets , without having leftovers in the house. A good deal for all of us.
We boarded our zodiac and headed back to the boat. I checked in on Brian and gave the chocolate treats that might lift his spirits. We all met for lunch a short while later to discuss what we had seen. We all agreed that Brian picked the right day to be sick. The afternoon was spent updating the blog, sorting through photos, and chatting.
After a. Lovely dinner of beef Wellington, we played more Hand and Foot. Mom and dad finally won a game! We had fun before heading off to the crew show (mom and dad) and to bed. I a, sad that tomorrow is my last day. It feels like it just flew by.
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