New Island and Carcass Island

Tags: Carcass Island, Falkland Islands, New Island

Date: December 1, 2022

Next, we visited New Island, also one of the western islands of the Falklands. It has been visited by whaling ships since the late 1700s. Especially, many American whaling ships from New England went there which may account for the name of the island.

In 1813, an American sealing captain of the Nanina, Charles Barnard, rescued the crew of a British ship, the Isabella, that had shipwrecked off Eagle Island, one of the southernmost isles of the Falklands where Barnard and his crew was scouting for seals. He decided to rescue the British even though the War of 1812 between Britain and the United States was in full swing. However, during a hunting trip on New Island to get enough provisions to feed the now increased number of persons on Nanina, the British seized Nanina and left Barnard and a few of his men marooned on New Island. Here, they stayed until the end of 1814 when they were finally rescued. Charles Barnard later wrote a book about his time on New Island: Marooned: The Sufferings and Adventures of Captain Charles H. Barnard.

The wreck of former sealing ship, the Protector III, which was beached on the island in 1969:

We walked across the island from the lee side to the windward side to have a look at lots of rockhopper penguins:

One of the characteristics of rockhopper penguins is the streak of yellow feathers they have above the eyes, looking like eyebrows and giving the penguins an angry or even slightly evil look. However, their other characteristic more than makes up for the unfortunate looks: On land the penguins move about mostly by jumping, hence their name. They are able to make vertical jumps almost as high as they are tall and doing it from a stand still without a running start.

This one looks ready to jump:

Cliff side with black browed albatrosses and rockhopper penguins:

These imperial shags are related to the cormorants we have in Northern Europe, but are more spectacular looking:

More rockhoppers relaxing:

A male upland goose:

And a female:

View from a hill looking towards our landing site next to the Protector III wreck. Our ship, Fram, is visible in the background:

Later the same day we went to Carcass Island whose name comes from the ship HMS Carcass, which surveyed the island in 1766.

Here, we also walked across the island toward a sandy beach with penguins. We first encountered a few gentoo penguins:

Later on the beach some Magellanic penguins:

These are either Falkland steamer ducks or flying steamer ducks:

Most species of steamer duck are unable to fly and although the flying steamer duck do retain the ability to fly (hence their name) they only very rarely do it.

More Magellanic penguins:

Back at our landing site with Fram in the background: