Templar Films South Georgia Final Update
9 December 2005:
We arrived back in Port Stanley at 2230 local time. 4 days and 7 hours of sailing from Grytviken to Port Stanley, an exceptionally fast time by all accounts.
The first successful British expedition to circumnavigate the Island of South Georgia, setting the fastest time on record.
A total of 13 days and eight hours.
The challenge to paddle around South Georgia has been considered by many to be the ultimate challenge to any sea kayaker, comparisons between it and K2 to the climbing world have been bandied about, but South Georgia is truly unique and stands alone in the challenges that it does present, it certainly didn’t disappoint us. We had the best and the worst that mother nature had to offer, when the going was good we made as much progress as we could, forcing ourselves to extend the limits at times to which you would not normally consider reasonable, over and above the norm. When the weather was really bad we had no option, paddling wasn’t possible. The hardest thing to judge were those gaps in-between, seeing a weather system form overhead and wind increase from a force 2/3 to a full force 9 in the space of minutes was at times very frightening, especially when you were half way across a five mile open crossing. All of the usual safety nets kayakers back home take for granted, VHF, Coastguard, RNLI even mobile phones were none existent and we knew that down here we were on our own, a self contained unit having to work as a team and being able to trust collectively in the decision making process meant so much more when making daily goals. Although we had to have a support vessel to satisfy the license, the only time we saw it was when the weather was sound, if things turned foul they needed to head for cover as much as we did, what a seventy foot yacht considers appropriate shelter is well removed from what a kayaker would consider to be appropriate.
A yacht such as Pelagic Australis can always head for open water, for us we had to take exceptional care when undertaking crossings, always looking for changes in the clouds, looking at the surface of the sea and reading the flow of water becomes second nature, if it hadn’t we may well have suffered for the mistake and this could have been a different update today.
We realize that there have been technical problems with our web site and updates, for which we apologize, especially to our sponsors, this will be rectified upon our return to the U.K.
We will also establish a photo page, including all expedition members thoughts and feelings on our expedition to South Georgia , during the month of January.
The crate is ready for departure.