Norwegian Kayakers Circumnavigate South Georgia Island

Dec 2, 2010
Outside Magazine

South georgia

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

Four Norwegian kayakers completed a 20-day unsupported circumnavigation of South Georgia in the Southern Ocean this morning, a kind of Mount Everest for kayakers, ExplorersWeb reports.

Simen Havig-Gjelseth, Sigrid Henjum, Tormod Austring, and Dag Marius Ammerud are the third team to ever finish the harrowing journey by kayak around South Georgia. Many teams have tried and failed. The island has some of the harshest weather conditions in the world, according to ExplorersWeb. On the island's east coast, winds barrel down the mountainside at over 100 knots. To the west, massive waves plunge into the shore. All around, ornery fur seals populate the rocky beaches.

The team beached in Grytviken and celebrated with a crowd of locals. Hot saunas awaited them, and tourists on a Russian cruise ship watched as the team members frolicked naked among the fur seals for a cold bath, precautionarily armed with stones.

After the requisite steak and beer meal, the four still have a 1,000-nautical-mile sail to the Falkland Islands before heading back to Norway. They should be home by Christmas.

--Nick Davidson

Filed To: Adventure, Sailing, Paddling

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