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Penguin News Update.

Friday, September 24th 2004 - 21:00 UTC
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Falklands farmer sails the Atlantic. Bielsa: Flights a question of ?dignity' - no ?commercial motives'. News in brief: Swim funds collected. Bank charge changes. Senior Magistrate arrives. Conservation Ball tonight.

Falklands farmer sails the Atlantic

OWNERS of the schooner Penelope, Michael and Jeannette Clarke have arranged a part exchange for another vessel which at the moment is being sailed to the Falklands from Germany. The schooner Penelope, was originally named Feurlandand was built in North Germany. Burnd Buchner first spotted the Penelope in the harbour at West Point when he was working on the tourist ship World Discoverer. He realised her origin and, said Jeannette, "...from that day on he has been anxious to own her." The part exchange boat Condor, was also built in North Germany and Michael Clarke along with Burnd Buchner and his uncle are working their way south with the refitted ex-fishing boat. The longest sea journey East Falkland farmer and local seafarer Michael Clarke has ever undertaken in his own boat began on the evening of September 3, when the Condorleft Petkum and went to Heligoland to refuel. They are now carrying some 6,500 litres of fuel on board, some in the fuel tanks and the rest in drums on deck. Jeannette said they have had very favourable weather so far, "...apart from two metre waves in the English Channel between Calais and Dover." Michael and Jeannette worked on the Condor preparing her for the journey this winter. They took her to Ditzum, put her on the slip, had her surveyed and painted the bottom. Condor then went back to Petkum. Jannette said with the help of Burnd, his girlfriend Carola and Burnd's uncle Peter, Condorwas fitted for the journey south. Although Jeanette spends a lot of time at sea around the Falklands, she decided not to join her husband on this particular trip because of work commitments and the duration of the journey. Condor has one mast with two sails and on Wednesday was reported to be making steady progress at eight knots heading for the Cape Verde Islands after taking on fuel at Santa Cruz in Tenerife. The next stage of the journey is to Recife in Brazil for more fuel before heading for Uruguay. In Uruguay Burnd and Peter will be leaving Condor. Peter will return to Germany and Burnd will join the Clipper Adventurerin the Caribbean. Islanders Ron Dickson and Gary McGill will meet Michael in Uruguay to accompany him on the last leg of his journey to the Falklands. Jeannette said Michael is hopeful he will reach the Falklands by October 20, "...weather and everything else permitting." Michael and Jeannette have used the Penelopeextensively around the Islands for charter work in the last ten years and particularly on scientific surveys for Falklands Conservation in recent years. Jeannette said, "The Penelope has been good to us, I hope the Condorwill be too." The Penelopehas a long and fascinating history with many Falkland Islanders having worked on her over the years. She was the last of the small schooners, once a mainstay of life in the Falklands, to remain in service. As the Fuerland she was launched in November 1926 and arrived in the Falklands in 1929 owned by John Hamilton who named her Penelopeafter his daughter. Penelopewas based at Weddell Island until she was sold to Jim Lee, then owner of Sea Lion Island in the 1950's. Sold on to the Falkland Islands Company Limited (FIC) in the 1960's she was based at Goose Green. At the time of the Argentine invasion in 1982 Penelopewas used to transport children from the Stanley boarding hostel across Falkland Sound to their homes on West Falkland. In 1989 Bob and John Ferguson bought Penelopefrom FIC and so, after many years she returned to Weddell Island. Michael and Jeannette bought the Penelope in 1993. Her future is undecided at the moment, although possible plans could include a refit and a return to her former name and glory.

Bielsa: Flights a question of ?dignity' - no ?commercial motives'

NEGOTIATIONS could restart between the United Kingdom and Argentina to establish scheduled commercial flights between South America and the Falklands, an objective that appears and disappears with regularity from the bilateral agenda. "The possibility of reopening the discussions has opened," Oscar Feito, spokesman for Argentine Foreign Minister Rafael Bielsa, said last night, following of a meeting with British Foreign Minister Jack Straw. The meeting was considered "positive and constructive" by sources in the Argentine Foreign Ministry and included some decisions about three meetings to take place soon; The Fisheries Commission South Atlantic, the Joint Argentine-British Working Group and the Commission for the Demining of the Falkland Islands, which could take place before the end of the year. During the meeting Bielsa reaffirmed that the need for flights between the continent and the islands was a question of, "dignity" rather than one with commercial motives and indicated that the Argentine Government wouldn't oppose more flights from third countries, "as long as Argentina is included." Councillor Roger Edwards said, "Falklands' Councillors are unanimous in not wanting any scheduled commercial flights from Argentina." (MP/PN)

News in brief

Swim funds collected.

THE MIDWINTER Swim funds from this year's event have been collected and the organisers are proud to announce that the grand total of £4285.37 has been raised. As always, the funds are being split between the Overseas Games Association which will receive £1966.50, and the Seaman's Mission which will receive £2318.87. The South West Atlantic Midwinter Swim organisers would like to thank everyone involved in collecting sponsorship. If you still have not received your certificate, Anna Stenning has extra and can be contacted at the Infant and Junior School.

Bank charge changes

AS FROM October 1, several changes are being made to the charging structure at Standard Chartered Bank. The charges for issuing bank drafts and the cost of returned cheques have both gone up, while the cost of a telegraphic transfer has fallen. A bank draft will now cost £15 rather than £8. The cost of a returned cheque has risen from £8 to £10 pounds, partly to cover the cost of processing, but also as a deterrent to people issuing them. Telegraphic transfers will now cost £20, a reduction of £6.

Senior Magistrate arrives.

THE FALKLANDS' new Senior Magistrate, Clare Faulds, was sworn in at Government House on Tuesday. Mrs Faulds, who is from the Isle of Man, arrived on Monday's Airbus to take up her post. She is here on a two-year contract, leaving behind the Isle of Man law company, Corlett, Bolton and Co, where she is a partner.

Conservation Ball tonight.

DUST OFF the suits and frocks and go along to the Falklands Conservation Charity Ball tonight, starting at 7.30pm with the auction at 8pm and band Hooky Street will start playing at 10pm. Tickets are still available from Beauchene or the Falklands Conservation Office. There will be free wine on the tables courtesy of Beauchene and a complementary glass of champagne on arrival donated by the Falklands Brasserie who will also be serving Tapas throughout the evening.

Categories: Falkland Islands.

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