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Falkland Islands 2013: January 20th update

Photo 1: the dive site at York Point
Photo 2: Kelp at York Point
Photo 3: Phragmatopoma reef
Photo 4: Fan worms were common at this site
Photo 5: Colony of Chaetopterid worms
Photo 6: Map of the Falkland Islands showing the location of Cape Pembroke

20.01.13
The weather today has been absolutely glorious. I realize that most people reading this will probably hate me for saying that, due to the current weather in the UK but it’s true. Managed to get out for a local dive this morning, a little further up the coast near York Point, east of Cape Pembroke. The dive site was a small rock rising a couple of metres above the surface (photo 1). It was only very shallow but there was an amazing amount of life on the colourful reef, including, most importantly of course, worm life. The main downside of sampling underwater out here is the prevalence not just of kelp, but of giant kelp (photo 2). This stuff gets everywhere, in your face, round your legs and just generally in the way!

One of the reasons we had gone there was so that I could see and sample some Phragmatopoma reef (as mentioned in the previous blog) and although not large we did find some (photo 3). There were also many fan worms (photo 4), another large worm known as the parchment worm (Chaetopterus sp.) for its thick papery tube and a colony of other smaller, thinner-tubed worms (photo 5) in the same family but a different genus to Chaetopterus.

Sadly, that one dive was the only one we did but I have enough work to keep me going into the evening now looking through them.

Tomorrow, I am heading south to North Arm, the southern-most settlement and furthest south the road goes on East Falkland. The tide times are such that I will be able to make both the evening and the next morning tides in order to get plenty done before heading back to Stanley on Tuesday.

Photo 6 is a map of the Falkland Islands showing where I've been.

Teresa

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