The Falkland Islands and South Atlantic
Early photo of Stanley with sailing ships MARITIME HISTORY


in 1848 Governor Rennie, with a view to attracting the many vessels that could be seen passing but not calling at the islands (the ‘gold rushes’ in California and Australia were just beginning), had a pilot, Mr Phillips, draw up sailing directions and charts for Port Stanley. By 1850 the number calling and revenues were greatly increasing. During the next half century until the 1890’s when the sailing ship rescue and repair trade began to decline with the arrival of steamships, Stanley harbour came into its own with flourishing although exorbitant ship repair/ supplies (and wrecking) businesses. Attractive and useful side-lines were to be had from the many condemned hulks. Many were used as storage hulks, others used for the bases of jetty heads. In the foundling colony with no trees wood was scarce and the wood from other condemned or wrecked ships was used in dwelling houses, chicken houses or for fence posts. Nothing was wasted.

Whales by now had been pretty much depleted in the Falklands and there were not many being harvested after the mid-1850's but whalers on their way to the Pacific whaling grounds called bringing large stores and many transations took place between the masters of whaling vessels and residents of the islands.

link to sealing and whalingSealing


Ship repair era

Disasters and rescues

Casualties/ wrecks trade





Photographic credits: Jean Sinclair, Robert Maddocks