A fabulous day out with the Jones Avenue mob; clear blue skies and strong winds and a heli trip with film set views across West Falkland. The island is a stride off the West peninsular; uninhabited for the Winter but managed by Mike and Jeanette Clarke in the Sumer months. They run their distinctive yellow boat back and forth to Carcass island, and from there to Steeple Jason; a 4 hour one way trip which is notorious for impressive waves. We have stuck to helis.
The inlet which heads into the settlement is an idyllic harbour edged with white beaches and hebe, sheep and penguins bothering each other loudly. The house has the most protected gardens I have yet seen – and as a result the most incredible flowers; roses, honeysuckle in full bloom-and away from the wind and inbetween the hedges, the perfume lingered. This was clearly our picnic spot – but we had exploring to do first.
The winding path out of the settlement leads up the saddle dropped between the dramatic cliffs facing south. A half hour uphill climb rewards you with impressive cliff faces, crashing seas, Rockhopper penguins and Albatross. Sunny enough to encourage us to sit and watch, we watched the antics of the chicks, and sat underneath the albatross flightpath, always a risky and exciting pastime.
Back to the house and a magnificent picnic provided by David (well I did a bit) and supplemented by a huge spread of tea and cakes from Jeanette. I wish we had found this island earlier – it is very similar to New Island in character and wildlife – definitely in the top 10.