Falkland Islands – Sea Lion Island

Le Boreal Antarctic Cruise Ship Map - Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands | FollowPanda.COM

January 8, 2014: current ship position for Le Boreal luxury Antarctic cruise ship. This morning we arrived at Sea Lion Island of the Falkland Islands.


The Le Boreal luxury Antarctic cruise ship arrives at the Falkland Islands today. A zodiac landing is scheduled at Sea Lion Island located ten miles south of mainland East Falkland. At only five miles long and one mile wide at its widest point, Sea Lion is one of the smallest islands in the Falklands archipelago. Isolated and hard to reach, the island was home to rugged sheep farmers until the decline of the wool industry. Our tentative hiking schedule is to stop at Sea Lion Lodge for tea and cakes before exploring the island which is now a designated nature preserve. Sea Lion is home to over 47 species of breeding birds including Gentoo, rockhopper, and Magellanic penguins. It is an important breeding site for southern elephant seals and colony of southern sea lions. Dolphins and orca whales are regularly spotted off shore. The more intrepid can hike to beautiful Rockhopper Point and the HMS Sheffield Memorial at Bull Hill. The memorial overlooks the site of the sinking of the HMS Sheffield, the first of the four Royal Navy ships sunk by Argentine forces during the Falklands conflict in 1982. Twenty of the ship’s crew died in the attack which was the single largest British casualty event of the undeclared war that claimed nearly 1,000 British and Argentine casualties.

Le Boreal Antarctic Cruise Ship Map - Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands | FollowPanda.COM

January 8, 2014: Sea Lion Island is 10 miles south of the main Falkland Islands.

Sea Lion Island (52o26’S, 59o05’W)

Sea Lion Island lies 10mi (16km) south of mainland East Falkland. The island is a relatively flat plateau. It has a total area of 2236 acres (906ha). Sea Lion was originally a sheep farm and the farmhouse was built from an old sailing shipwreck, the Viscount, wrecked here in 1892. It is now the premier wildlife tourism site in the Falklands and was designated a National Nature Reserve in 2011. An estimated 70 species of flowering plants have been recorded on the island. Zodiac landings on Sea Lion Island are very dependent on weather and sea conditions. These are wet landings and are extremely exposed due to the prevailing winds. Take care not to disturb the giant petrels; they vomit and spit when disturbed near their nests.

The island derives its name from the small sea lion colony living there. You will also be able to see southern elephant seals, Gentoo and Magellanic penguins, a variety of bird life and some of 56 species of flowering plants. Sea Lion Island is blessed with an abundance of fauna and flora.

Le Boreal Antarctic Cruise Ship Map - Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands | FollowPanda.COM

January 8, 2014: Map for Sea Lion Island of the Falkland Islands.

Le Boreal Antarctic Cruise Ship Map - Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands | FollowPanda.COM

January 8, 2014: Map for Sea Lion Island of the Falkland Islands.

Le Boreal Antarctic Cruise Ship Zodiac Landing - Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands | FollowPanda.COM

January 8, 2014: Le Boreal expedition staff drove around Sea Lion Island to find a perfect spot for the zodiac landing. If the condition had been good, this would have been our very first zodiac landing during our voyage to the Antarctica.

Farm House - Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands | FollowPanda.COM

January 8, 2014: A little farm house on Sea Lion Island. This could be one that we were going to have tea and cake prior to our hiking on the island.

Farm House - Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands | FollowPanda.COM

January 8, 2014: Close-up view of the farm house on Sea Lion Island.

Farm House - Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands | FollowPanda.COM

January 8, 2014: the farm house viewed in distance from Le Boreal.

Le Boreal Antarctic Cruise Ship Zodiac Landing - Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands | FollowPanda.COM

January 8, 2014: Le Boreal Zodiac.

Le Boreal Antarctic Cruise Ship Zodiac Landing - Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands | FollowPanda.COM

January 8, 2014: More zodiacs were dispatched to find a good landing site on Sea Lion Island. It was a cloudy and rather windy day.

Le Boreal Antarctic Cruise Ship Zodiac Landing - Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands | FollowPanda.COM

January 8, 2014: After 20min of searching, the expedition team decided to abort the landing due to excessive kelps by the coast of Sea Lion Island. What a letdown!!! This could have been our very first zodiac landing. However, the Le Boreal expedition team always had a back-up plan. Instead of landing on Sea Lion, we would be heading to Bleaker Island with two landing opportunities, one at south bay and the other at north bay...if the weather condition was right, of course.

Le Boreal Antarctic Cruise Ship Zodiac Landing - Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands | FollowPanda.COM

January 8, 2014: The zodiacs headed back to Le Boreal.

Le Boreal Antarctic Cruise Ship Zodiac Landing - Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands | FollowPanda.COM

January 8, 2014: The staff prepared to load the zodiac up the ship.

Le Boreal Antarctic Cruise Ship Zodiac Landing - Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands | FollowPanda.COM

January 8, 2014: The zodiac was being lifted up the Le Boreal Antarctic ship.

Le Boreal Antarctic Cruise Ship Zodiac Landing - Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands | FollowPanda.COM

January 8, 2014: A passenger was looking through his binoculars to see if he could see penguins on the island.

Sea Birds Flying Around Le Boreal Antarctic Cruise Ship - Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands | FollowPanda.COM

January 8, 2014: My camera lens doesn't have enough optic zoom to see any penguin on the island; however, I saw quite a few sea birds around the Le Boreal.

Sea Birds Flying Around Le Boreal Antarctic Cruise Ship - Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands | FollowPanda.COM

January 8, 2014: Sea birds flying around Le Boreal.

Sea Birds Flying Around Le Boreal Antarctic Cruise Ship - Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands | FollowPanda.COM

January 8, 2014: Another species of bird.

Sea Birds Flying Around Le Boreal Antarctic Cruise Ship - Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands | FollowPanda.COM

January 8, 2014: Sea birds flying around Le Boreal.

Sea Birds Flying Around Le Boreal Antarctic Cruise Ship - Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands | FollowPanda.COM

January 8, 2014: Sea birds flying around Le Boreal.

Sea Birds Flying Around Le Boreal Antarctic Cruise Ship - Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands | FollowPanda.COM

January 8, 2014: A group of sea birds flying off the coast of Sea Lion Island.

Sea Birds Flying Around Le Boreal Antarctic Cruise Ship - Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands | FollowPanda.COM

January 8, 2014: More sea birds flying off the coast of Sea Lion Island.

Le Boreal Antarctic Cruise Ship Zodiac Landing - Sea Lion Island, Falkland Islands | FollowPanda.COM

January 8, 2014: The last zodiac. This concluded our mission to Sea Lion Island. We didn't land, but the sea birds cheered us up.

Today Itinerary

The schedule of activities on Le Boreal Antarctic ship.

Latitude - Le Boreal Antarctic Cruise Ship - Antarctica | FollowPanda.COM

January 8, 2014: Latitude front

Latitude - Le Boreal Antarctic Cruise Ship - Antarctica | FollowPanda.COM

January 8, 2014: Latitude back

Back to Antarctic Expedition to read other destinations of the trip.

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