Authored by Isobel Romero Shaw
At our cabin windows this morning, bleary-eyed in pyjamas, we had an unexpected sight… land rovers. After several days sailing around the outer Falklands, we had docked at the capital: Stanley, pop. c. 2500.
The wind and rain were strong as we bussed to Gypsy Cove. The landscape was stark – steely blue ocean bleeding into gentle turquoise shallows, pale beaches emerging from dark green shrubs and bright yellow flowers. The intensifying weather followed us to Stanley town centre, where a local explained his experience of global warming: in his 77 years living in Stanley, the last 3 summers have felt the hottest and driest.
While the now-relentless rain was perhaps not our ideal exploration companion, multiple Falklanders expressed relief that the dry spell of the previous days had broken. Drought impacts sheep farms in the Falklands, which rely on wet weather year-round.
At the national museum, I learnt how the Royal Marines defended Stanley in the 1982 Falklands War. I also learnt that our head zodiac pilot had contributed as a 17-year-old Marine, and that nearby Mount Tumbledown was a battleground during WW1.
The Falklanders have withstood multiple threats in their remote outpost. Now, climate change poses them an increasing problem. We set sail for Antarctica today with renewed purpose: to take climate action that protects unique communities of all animals – including humans.
Photo Credit: Isobel Romero Shaw