Kayaking South Georgia: Hayley Arrives!

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Solo kayaker Hayley Shepard arrived at South Georgia Island yesterday, and according to her blog, the waters are as wild and challenging as she expected. Hayley reports that there are plenty of ice bergs off the shore of the island which sits in the Southern Ocean, not far from Antarctica, and the legendary weather systems are already playing havoc with her plans, as high winds have prevented her support boat from reaching safe anchorage at Eleshul Bay. She and the crew were hoping to reach that place today.

The arrival of her boat at South Georgia followed a week of travel from the Falklands across very rough seas. She’ll now spend a few days getting her gear together, and prepping her kayak, to begin her attempt to become the first person to make a solo kayaking expedition around that remote place.

Hayley mentions in her latest blog post that she is over joyed to finally be at the place that has been her goal for so long. She’s been plotting this expedition for more than five years, and is even self-funding it, just to see her dream come true. She mentions that the mountains, beaches, and the wildlife all feel more dramatic and welcoming than she had ever imagined, and now she’s more eager than ever to head out on the water.

While the entire paddle is “just” 375 miles in length, it will be extremely challenging none the less. The waters are beyond cold, and the weather is unpredictable and dangerous. Still, that’s the reason we visit these remote places right? And after a couple of starts and stops, and years of preparation, it seems that at long last Hayley will be getting underway soon. Expect updates on her progress in the days ahead.

Kraig Becker

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