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- For regular updates related to my travels, guiding work, film and book events or you are simply wondering where the heck I am at the moment, please visit: Travel/Guiding/Adventure blog.


-For South Georgia Expedition and Albatross updates as well as environmental articles of interest, please check out: Oceanmaid Ventures blog site )the site that you are currently on.

Cheers and thanks for your interest. Hayley

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Feb 21st Update

February 21st update
We are less than 2 days away from South Georgia and already I am imagining the first scene on the horizon of this snow clad rugged piece of paradise in the middle of the Southern Ocean. The feelings that may follow will be of excitement, apprehension and an urgency to be finally on its very shores. And then I think of Shackleton.

We have spent 5 days so far at sea, eating rather simply living on plain pasta and Ichiban noodles, trying to keep down the odd cuppa tea and sipping water to stay hydrated. And every time I crawl into my dry, warm bunk I can not help but admire, even envy the strength, will power, the courage and hope it took for Shackleton and his men to survive such an ordeal. Imagine their first feeling as they set eyes on land, having spent 18 days at sea in a 20 foot wooden dory, home stitched canvas for shelter, drinking salt contaminated water, an only a water drenched caribou sleeping bag to turn to in an attempt to sleep.

They were a different breed of man and although I'd rather not be tested as they were, my curiosity of how they endured those circumstances, wondering if I ever could, plays on my mind.

We spent 18 hours hove-to yesterday as the wind blew 50 knots creating building blocks of seas that surrounded our little home. The feeling of vulnerability came over me once again and the confinements of this space and the limited ability to move tormented me. Every little chore was a task that needed our full attention. The simple steps of making a cup of tea or going to the bathroom consisted of precise movements that had to be done a certain way. These usually mindless chores suddenly required step by step instructions.

As we draw nearer to South Georgia my mind spends most of it's time going through the motions of packing my boat, setting up my mounted camera, setting up camp and playing close attention to the weather. I feel nervous as to how my body is going to react sitting in a kayak and the demands on my back and wrists as I paddle a fully loaded boat for the first time in a month. It will be a month tomorrow that Beth-Anne and I departed from Victoria. A whole month removed from a world of kayaking. Although I know it will be best to not push myself at first, to start steady, I know myself to well; if the weather is good I will paddle hard with the aim of trying to get a few miles under my belt.

I'm concerned about the delay and starting so late in the season. South Georgia is a place that itineraries and schedules mean nothing and you can not be in a hurry.

In some way I wonder, 'is it best that I alter my dream a little' an altered dream is still a dream after-all. Do I go into this accepting that how far I get around South Georgia Island, with the paddle window I have, is good enough or do I continue with the determination I still possess and safely, cautiously go about circumnavigating. These thoughts come in and out of my consciousness as our lengthy days at sea drift by like this SW swell.

I need to sign off as I am due to be on watch. We have started doing outside watches after an iceberg was spotted only a mile away from our port side. The air temperature has dropped and fog is common - all signs that we have crossed the convergence.

A big hello and a hug to those special parents – my mum val, my dad and Fran from New Zealand and dear Kal and Win from Ontario. xox


Kerry said...

Each journey starts with the first step. You will soon be realizing that dream, wherever it takes you. Just to BE there is an adventure in itself. God speed.

Anonymous said...

Keep those blogs coming, Hayley, we follow each one with an ever widening circle of family and friends. What you are doing the rest of us can only dream of. Photos at top of page are awe inspiring.

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