Kayaking South Georgia: Hayley’s Heading Home!

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It’s been a few weeks since we checked in on Hayley Shepard and her efforts to kayak solo around South Georgia Island. At the time, she had just arrived at her destination, and was preparing to set out on her adventure, and now, three weeks later, she is off the water, and preparing to go home.

According to her blog, which she updated nearly everyday while paddling, yesterday should have been Hayley’s last day in the kayak. Unfortunately, due to a number of things beyond her control, she was unable to complete the circumnavigation of the island as she had intended. Strong winds, incredibly rough conditions, and logistics all conspired against her, and prevented her from making the serious attempt that she wanted.

But on a positive note, she doesn’t see these efforts as a failure at all, nor should she. After spending 3+ years planning this adventure, and funding it herself, she finally got the opportunity to visit the remote place she had been dreaming of for a very a long time. She also had 17 amazing days in her kayak exploring places that few people ever get to see, and she made the most of those days, testing herself as well. This is a perfect example of having everything well organized and planned, and being completely ready for the challenge, and still being unable to reach the finish line, and not unlike a climber who won’t see the summit, Hayley has no reason to feel down about her efforts. She gave it one heck of a try, but mother nature wasn’t all that cooperative.

Now that spring is just a few days away here in the Northern Hemisphere, things will begin to take a turn in the Southern. The always treacherous and demanding waters of the Southern Ocean will now take a turn for the worse, which means Hayley and her support crew will be heading home now, and they face another difficult journey across the Drake Passage. From there, it is back home to New Zealand, where she’ll no doubt begin planning her next adventure, although I wouldn’t rule out a return to South Georgia at some point.

Kraig Becker

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