Kayaking South Georgia: Hayley’s Off!

Last week I posted an update on Hayley Shepard, the woman who was preparing to make the first solo kayaking expedition around South Georgia Island in the Southern Ocean. When we last checked in, the expedition was in a bit of jeopardy due to the crew of her support vessel being down one member after Greg Landreth, the captain of the boat, was injured while making a rough crossing of the Drake Passage. Without a full crew, the Northanger wouldn’t be able to perform her duties adequately, which could have forced Hayley to make a journey around the Falklands instead. A noble venture to say the least, but not what she had originally intended to set out to do.

Fortunately, the New Zealander is going to get the opportunity to go after her goal after all. A post to her blog yesterday indicates that she is “South Georgia Bound“, after first mate Keri set down a few ground rules about how the trip would transpire. Basically, they’re going to be very cautious, as Greg’s leadership as the skipper of the boat will be missed immensely. If another crew member goes down, they’re turning back. If weather conditions get too challenging, they’re durning back. Hayley and the boat will stay in constant contact while she is paddling, and they will take their time, not racing a clock, to complete the journey.

At this point Hayley has to be overjoyed. She’s been planning this expedition for years, and is even self-funding the trip, all so she can challenge herself in one of the harshest ocean environments around. The 375 mile paddle isn’t about the distance, it’s about the harsh conditions, which is the appeal to many adventurers that make their way to that part of the world.

So, the expedition is on! We should begin getting updates from South Georgia in a few days time. Good luck to Hayley and the whole crew.

Kraig Becker

3 thoughts on “Kayaking South Georgia: Hayley’s Off!”

  1. I'm so happy that she's going to get this opportunity. The real work is still ahead, but after all the things she's had to deal with already, I'm sure she can't wait to put that paddle in the water. 🙂

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