Kayaker Marcus Demuth of New York City, became the first person to completely circumnavigate the Falkland Islands, finishing up the 615 mile paddle in 22-days on the open water.
According to Paddling Life, before Damuth’s successful attempt, three other similar attempts failed. Two British special forces teams and an American team all tried to the journey, but each of those teams failed in no small part thanks to the crazy, unpredictable weather in the region. The Falklands sit less than 600 miles north of Antarctica, and 300 miles east of Cape Horn, which means cold, powerful, sustained winds buffet the islands.
The unpredictable weather in the Southern Ocean isn’t the only thing that Damuth had to contend with on his journey. He also had to navigate through mine fields. Some of the waters surrounding the Falklands still have left over mines from the Falklands War back in the early 80’s, and Marcus was forced to navigate using two maps at times. One of those maps was a nautical chart showing the way, and the other was a map of the location of the mines provided by one of the British teams that had previously made the attempt.
You can read more about the Falklands Circumnavigation at Demuth’s website, where he has more stories from his days out on the water and plenty of photos too. Great story, and very cool expedition. Congratulations to Marcus for his successful journey.
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6 thoughts on “Paddler Circumnavigates The Falkland Islands”
Having had the good fortune to meet Marcus in the Falklands before and after his epic paddle, I think he would be embarrassed by the mis-information about mines contained in your article.
There are land mines on some beaches and maps to show where they are, as well as fences on the landward side to keep people out, but there are no areas of sea that are mined. The Argentines made an unsuccesful attempt to mine the approaches to Stanley harbour, but any mines that they laid were cleared years ago.
Perhaps I overstated the number of mines, but the quote on using two maps to navigate and going through mined waters comes directly from Marcus in the Paddling Life article.
The mine chart I was referring to was indeed a chart of land mines (not sea mines), which were at some stretches of the trip buried along the coast. This mined beaches made landings for lunch breaks or to set up camp etc. impossible, this is why I paddled with 2 charts.
An honest misunderstanding, propably caused by my horrible written English … no worries!
Thanks for the clarification Marcus. It is much appreciated.
And congratulations on a very cool adventure. Great work!
Great blog by the way! Thanks for including the Falklands trip!
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