How this Blog works
- 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
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
March 8th - Day 9, Rosita Harbour.
It felt good to be on the water most of the day, gaining miles and covering some familiar ground It was the calmest day since setting off from Grytviken 9 days ago and I utilized it fully by not getting out of the kayak or stopping for 8 hours. I island hopped in the Bay of Isles, relying on compass bearings while I experienced pea-soup fog for most of the crossings. I was delighted to pass by islands familiar to me, where we often land with the ships, particularly Prion Island. It is this area, amongst this scattering of islands where the Wandering Albatross nest and due to the calm Easterly winds that blew gently, I did not see one flying Wanderer, only Blackbrows and the odd Light Mantled Sooty Albatross passed over my head as I paddled. At one stage in the near distance with my foggy eyes, I thought I saw an area of Brash Ice, settled on the water just off from an islands I soon realized it was four or five pure white Wanderers, waiting out the calm, perhaps unable to take off due to the windless conditions. When you see them still and wading on the water, they look big and can be seen from miles away.
Throughout the day I was constantly escorted by Fur seals who porpoised next to me and on occasion swam right beneath my kayak. The huge giant kelp that laced the rocky outcrops, seemed alive as the incoming surge from wind swell, made them sway vigorously in the water like bundles of sea snakes. Although after 5 hours of paddling, my back stiffened and my left leg went numb, I ignored the discomfort and continued on happy to know that today I was making progress. I will sleep well tonight
It was good to finally touch base with Northanger on VHF radio, to touch base and make a plan to rendezvous. Due to the wind and sea conditions, Rosita Harbour was an ideal spot for them to anchor safely. It was time to meet up, pick up Week twos food bag, get all my equipment charged, download video footage and most importantly switch kayaks. I felt eager and excited to be packing my gear in my kayak, it looking - once bruised and battered, now mended and strong. Magnus with help from Brian and Beth-Anne did a fabulous job. They ended up working on it for another 3 days after I departed from Grytviken, so I was thankful that I decided to begin the trip, even though it was in the less desired spare kayak. However, now as I look at my kayak, I see a kayak that has a story, like the scars we wear after years of adventures and mishaps. Beth-Anne past on one of the 'name' suggestions the King Edward Point staff gave us and I like it.
And so my 17 foot Necky 'Looksha IV' YELLOW kayak will be named...'Banana Split'. Thanks Jane, a perfect fit.
Meeting up with the Northanger also gave us the opportunity to discuss the big picture for the coming week. Keri looked at the 5 day forecast coming up and again it looks as though I will continue to be tormented by winds that may make it difficult to gain efficient ground. There are a few windows of calm here and there, which I will take, even if it gets me only a few miles further.
I also found out that we finally have new flights, however it has been quite the chore for Sally and Dean. Our original international flight left from Santiago taking us to Victoria BC and due to the earthquake Chile suffered only a few weeks ago, that airport has been closed and flights are backed up for over 2 weeks. The airport building as been marked as unsafe so people are sleeping in tents in the surrounding area waiting for their flights. And so we have had to re-route our flight which made options very limited. Sally was able to find after calling every day, only one departure date with no more openings for months afterwards. April 2 we have to be in Buenos Aries and our next challenge is trying to get from Stanley to B.A.
Due to the 7-10 day sail back, already we are looking at the likeliest departure date for leaving South Georgia, a subject I am not ready to discuss or contemplate at this stage. I feel like I have only just got started and the last thing I want to think about is having to leave.
My stomach churns at the thought.
Now that I am here, seeing South Georgia as intimately as I am, seeing the varied wind and sea conditions, becoming familiar with the land , it's contours and opportunities for landing, experiencing the sudden changes in temperatures, sharing this gorgeous place with wildlife who seem rather tolerant. With all of this – I have come to realize that I can do this, I can succeed with my goal and accomplish what I have originally set out to do. All it requires is time which myself and the Northanger are unfortunately running out of. This thought is tormenting me a little, so right now I am putting it out of my mind and trying to be present. South Georgia is good for that. It is one place that forces you to be in the present, otherwise you miss things, or if not paying attention you may make a mistake that could be lethal.
At this moment it is all what I dreamed – kayaking and camping alone in South Georgia, although backed with constant challenges, is absolute bliss and I am grateful.