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Cheers and thanks for your interest. Hayley

Monday, February 08, 2010

Still in Stanley

During our recent arrival here in the Falklands we have been welcomed with much kindness, care and generosity. The folks in the hospital took great care in efficiently attending to both Greg and Keri's needs as soon as they arrived. Back here at the Dock, officials came to keep us updated as to Gregs progress and the odd friend from the sailing community dropped by to offer any help.

Ken Passfield who has lived in the Falklands for 20 years, popped down to the boat and had met Greg and Keri 13 years ago. We invited him onboard for a cuppa tea and soon found out that he has recently returned from South Georgia after spending 3 weeks counting Wandering Albatross birds and nests on both Prion and Albatross Island. Unfortunately he did not come bearing good news as the numbers of nests and individuals have plummeted over the past few years, reaching an all time low of only 129 breeding pairs.

Since the mid 50's the Falkland Island Government has supported annual bird surveys on the chain of islands adjacent to South Georgia where the largest flying bird in the world, the Wandering Albatross nests. Bird biologist Sally Poncet has been involved with this South Georgia project for 12 yrs and since the mid 1950's, breeding pairs of Wandering Albatross has dropped from 180 to now 129. It is strongly speculated that the cause of this steady decline is due to the long line fishing industry in waters off the Brazilian and Uruguayan coast. Unfortunately these efficient flying birds cover thousands of miles annually on foraging flights causing them to fly amongst numerous international longline fishing fleets.

This recent sad news brings on an urgency to do whatever it takes to continue with this South Georgia, solo kayak expedition and begin piecing together the devastating story of what is happening to our world population of Albatross species.

Currently we are looking for an additional crew member to join the Northanger. The open ocean crossing to South Georgia and the wild and exposed coast particularly on the SW side of South Georgia requires a strong crew. All is riding on the hope of a suitable sailor showing up willing to join us on our voyage to and around South Georgia Island.

Plan B? Well there is always the Falkland Islands to kayak around. Never been done before by a woman and there's thousands of Black Browed Albatross nesting on the exposed outer islands, as well as Penguins such as King, Magellanic and the gorgeous Gentoos. Oh, not to mention the odd sandy beach that has swell always worth surfing.

Ahhh, can't express the emotions, thoughts and feelings going on inside of me being so close to South Georgia yet so bloody far. This constant stalling is really frustrating, my desperate desire to just get on with it creates a feeling as though I just want to burst. OK, enough of that ranting. Deep breath hayls, after all it is an expedition :)

I'm trying to attach photos to my blog but am having difficulty. Hopefully I will have some success tomorrow. More news soon.


Kerry said...

My heart goes out to you and I am sending positive thoughts and prayers that you will get what you need. I can imagine the frustration after all the planning and training Hayley. Hang in there, better times are coming. Big hug and kisses.

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine your frustration! Stick with it! I also hope Greg is on the mend and will be ok - all good wishes to you all.


Anonymous said...

Oh Hayley,
So so frustrating and discouraging, I am sure. Lots of Whys? and WTFs? and other cries of despair.
Maybe it helps to remember that the albatross are being helped either way...that you have brought awareness to their plight already (like to me!)...
I think the early explorers can imagine your frustration...
I am praying for your heart, your spirit, and your new captain! (and for Greg!)

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