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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.
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Cheers and thanks for your interest. Hayley
Saturday, February 27, 2010
February 26th update
Somewhere in transit from Victoria to Halifax then by ship to the
Arctic, onwards to Antarctica and finally to South Georgia ….my kayak
was accidentally damaged. This morning Northanger crew and I spent a
few minutes gathered around the damaged kayak and scratched our heads,
trying to work out what could have caused this kind of damage.
Here is Northanger crew theories as to what happened to my brand new,
fibre reinforced Necky kayak. There was a sea-sick Hef-a-lump which
snuck into the ships cargo hold in an attempt to seek the steadiest part of
the ship while transiting the South Atlantic in huge seas. The ship suddenly
lurched which caused the 10 ton Hef-a lump to be lunged with all four
kayak cockpit-sized feet off the ground, flung through the air landing
on the starboard side of the kayak. The angry Hef-a-lump got mad and
in his attempt to get even took the kayak by its trunk and flung it across
the cargo hold, where it smashed against the bulk head of the steel hulled
ship causing the kayak to then land on it's starboard side.
Please note - this theory was created at the end of a long day of
grinding therefore the content of this theory may be slightly obscured.
Thankfully we have a yacht which is crewed by a bunch of not only good
humored and friendly folk, but talented, handy and multi-skilled as
well. Magnus actually got excited at the concept of giving the mending
of my kayak a go. His first and up until now only other visit to South
Georgia was when he was 13 years of age onboard his fathers sailboat.
And back then, right here in Grytviken he actually built a snowboard out
of fibreglass. Combined with Magnus's fibreglassing skills, Brian's
natural ability to be a logical problem solver and Beth-Annes intricate
knowledge and understanding of the construction of a kayak, our team
decided; with 2 days work, a few liters of epoxy and resin and bed-sheet
sized fiberglass matting, we may actually be able to salvage the wreckage.
In return for our positive approach, South Georgia gave us a gift of
delightfully warm sunshine and little wind. While Brian and Magnus
grinded the day away, I prepared the rest of my gear and did a test
paddle in the back-up kayak. It was divine to be in a kayak again, my
boat-bound body appreciated the rhythmical movement as I paddled for the
first time in 5 weeks. The water was mirror-still and the local King
Edward Point Fur seals seemed to also be appreciating the summer holiday
type weather. Infact all day we were in the constant company of fur
seal pups who were scrapping playfully close to the waters edge as we
all went about our day.
King Edward Point is a working base, staffed by scientists and
government officials. They are a busy bunch and although my expedition
is required to be completely self sufficient and fully equipped to deal
with most unexpected incidences, we have eagerly accepted the base
personnels offer to use their work shop. The staff have been friendly,
sympathetic and extremely supportive which goes a really long way and
is much appreciated after this recent disappointment. However all is well
because by tomorrow evening we shall have a Necky kayak fixed and
perhaps even stronger than ever.
I took a moment to paddle across and visit Shackleton's graveside, the
first time being alone beside his granite headstone. Waves of emotion
came over me, I had been dreaming of this moment for 10 for years. Here
I was, in South Georgia, beside my Polar hero, about to launch in a
kayak expedition that will take me around the unique shorelines of this
island, a dream that has been on my mind and in my focus for a number of
Our day was complimented by an invite from the KEP staff to join them
for a beverage after dinner. It was a delight to meet the folks who
keenly signed up for a year or two to live and work in South Georgia.
As I write this, I am sitting on my thermorest, sleeping bag over my lap
on the deck of the base buildings. A small swell is gently crashing on
the nearby beach, the snow capped mountains are lit up by the nearly
full moon and we have the South Georgia sounds of Seals and Penguins
lulling us to sleep. Yep, Beth-Anne, Magnus and I have joined a handful
of staff to sleep under the stars. A clear night sky and calm
conditions are rare in these polar parts therefore some of us are
seizing this moment.
Don't forget to check out the webcam situated here at King Edward Point
as well as Gryviken. The cam takes a photo every 3 minutes and we are
coming and going frequently, so check it out on occasion. You can find
the address of the webcam on my blog.
Cheers folks and goodnight.