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Sea Kayaking in Antarctica – The Final Information for 2023


When you’ve ever thought-about going sea kayaking in Antarctica (or are simply curious), then this entire information will inform you the whole lot it’s worthwhile to know.

There’s no exercise extra tranquil, extra invigorating, extra uplifting, than floating majestically throughout a peaceful sea beneath an excellent pale-blue sky.

Throw in some icebergs, penguins, seals and baileys with scorching chocolate, and also you’ve received a recipe for perfection.

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Our first few days in Antarctica had concerned zodiac cruises, land excursions, watching the ample wildlife up shut and even a night spent tenting on the continent. Each second had been amongst the very best experiences of our lives.

However there was one exercise we had been extra excited for than the rest – kayaking alongside the Antarctic Peninsula.

We’ve been fortunate sufficient to kayak in some phenomenal locations, from the lakes of British Columbia to Ningaloo Reef in Australia, to the tropical islands of Southeast Asia and the Caribbean. However all these appeared to fall brief in comparison with one thing as mystical as paddling subsequent to icebergs and glaciers.

Throughout our journey to Antarctica with One Ocean Expeditions, who’re now not in operation, we had signed up for his or her unique kayaking program, and anxiously awaited our probability to exit.

On our latest journey to Antarctica in 2022 we received to go kayaking once more, and it was each bit as unimaginable as the primary time.

EXCLUSIVE – We now have partnered with the world’s high polar tour operator, Quark Expeditions, to supply readers of NOMADasaurus a really particular deal on any journey to Antarctica or the Arctic! Contact us ([email protected]) in case you’d prefer to study extra.

Try loads of different superb issues to do in Antarctica in our newest article.

Kayaking Antarctica One Ocean Expeditions Sunset
The kayaks on the deck of the Akademik Ioffe, with a tremendous sundown within the background.

As we had a need to additionally soak up as many possibilities for land excursions and pictures alternatives as properly, we organised to get out on the 4th day with the remainder of the workforce.

We couldn’t imagine our luck once we wakened that morning to an image good day.

There was no wind in any respect, creating glassy circumstances throughout the ocean. Including definition to the clear sky was certainly one of nature’s most intriguing phenomena – lenticular clouds.

These UFO-shaped clouds are shaped when air passes throughout the floor of the earth and comes into contact with ‘obstructions’ – on this case mountains. The air rises up and condenses on the downwind aspect of the height, creating stationary waves of moisture.

Evidently, we had been ecstatic!

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Lenticular Clouds Antarctica
Lenticular clouds rising above the Antarctic mountains.

Simply earlier than breakfast we joined our fellow kayakers for a briefing about the place we’d be going and what to anticipate.

The kayaking guides had been Mark and Ehren, two hardcore adventurers who had led numerous expeditions in among the world’s most distant locations, resembling Alaska, Greenland and Mongolia.

Between them that they had over 40 years expertise in instructing and guiding, so we knew we had been within the most secure arms potential.

The morning’s kayaking tour would happen in Cierva Cove, a surprising spot on the Antarctic Peninsula peppered with black rock islands and floating icebergs.

After filling up on a scrumptious breakfast we headed into the mudroom on the Akademik Ioffe to get into our drysuits.

Absolutely wearing the very best technical gear in the marketplace we walked down the gangway and jumped into the zodiac to take us to our launch level.

The One Ocean Expeditions crew had already unloaded the kayaks and had been ready for us out within the open sea. Alesha and I had been stuffed with nervous pleasure as the zodiac received nearer.

Kayakers Antarctica Iceberg
A few kayakers taking photographs of an iceberg.

Reaching a secluded space within the coronary heart of the cove, Mark and Ehren organised the group in order that some would take single kayaks, whereas others went in doubles. We opted for the double kayaks, so we may get pleasure from this stunning expertise collectively (and take copious quantities of photographs and video).

The kayaks had been towed as much as our zodiac and Mark helped load every visitor into them, guaranteeing they might not capsize whereas we slid into them, whereas Ehren parked his kayak on the opposite aspect to carry them regular.

Alesha and I had been two of the final folks to load into our kayaks, and with the assistance Mark and Ehren gave it was surprisingly straightforward to leap in. We had put all of our cameras into dry luggage to verify nothing could be broken.

As soon as we had been settled with the waterproof aprons hooked up to guard the inside of the kayak (and our legs) from any splashes, we paddled off into the cove.

We rapidly received into the rhythm of issues and joined the remainder of the group. Mark and Ehren adopted shut behind, gave one ultimate briefing, then we headed off for our journey.

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Cierva Cove Kayaker
Our kayaking information Mark loves his workplace.

For the following two hours we kayaked between towering icebergs that shimmered brilliant blue within the mid-morning solar, and round a rocky island that held a colony of gentoo penguins.

Being cautious to not get too near the icebergs in case they tipped, we marvelled at how stunning they had been when seen from water stage. Realizing that these chunks of ice had been 1000’s of years outdated was fairly humbling.

The surroundings was probably probably the most stunning we had ever seen, and we couldn’t wipe the grins off of our faces.

Simply once we thought life couldn’t get any higher, the resort supervisor from the ship, Craig, got here as much as our group in a zodiac. He waved everybody over, then with a giant grin referred to as out, Baileys and scorching chocolate anybody?

We couldn’t paddle over quick sufficient. Passing over giant plastic mugs stuffed together with his personal mix of scrumptious alcoholic chocolate we thanked him then allowed ourselves to simply sit there on the calm waters and savour each second.

Baileys Kayak Antarctica
Craig handing out Baileys and scorching chocolate to our group of kayakers.

As we drifted quietly with our pals round us, Alesha checked out me and requested in disbelief, “Is that this truly taking place?”

Trying round on the floating icebergs, snowy peaks, fringing glaciers and lenticular clouds above, we shrugged and took one other sip of our scorching chocolate. Yep, this was truly taking place.

When the Baileys was completed everybody handed their mugs again to Craig and we saved on paddling, benefiting from the spectacular day. A couple of crabeater seals out of the blue appeared, coming proper as much as our kayaks to examine us out earlier than swimming in the direction of the penguin colony.

Penguins Cierva Cove Kayaking
The gentoo penguins chilling on the rocky island in Cierva Cove.

The resident photographer Dave Brosha got here up in a zodiac and requested if he may seize just a few photographs of all of us kayaking collectively. Throughout his month within the Antarctic, he hadn’t had an opportunity to seize the kayakers with the climate as pristine because it was that day.

We huddled collectively in a semi-circle whereas Dave snapped his pictures.

Earlier than the tour got here to an finish Mark discovered some smaller icebergs for us to take a look at, and we paddled round them making an attempt to lengthen the journey so long as potential.

Making our approach again to the ship our hearts had been thumping with happiness. Our dream of sea kayaking in Antarctica had come true, and the circumstances couldn’t have been any extra good.

Although we didn’t see any whales like a few of our pals had the previous couple of days, it didn’t matter. Our day was nonetheless superb.

There’s only one drawback although. How are we ever going to high the expertise of ingesting Baileys and scorching chocolate on a bluebird day, surrounded by icebergs and penguins with lenticular clouds overhead whereas paddling a kayak round Antarctica?

Us Nomadasaurus Kayaking In Antarctica
Life doesn’t get significantly better than this.

Security and Gear When Kayaking in Antarctica

Clearly kayaking in Antarctica isn’t the form of exercise that comes with out some sort of danger, however the precise chance of one thing going unsuitable could be very low.

One Ocean Expeditions*** takes nice satisfaction in offering the most secure and finest expertise for all their clients, and those that select to participate of their kayaking program aren’t any exception.

Every Antarctic (and Arctic) expedition has a restrict of 16 folks allowed to affix the ocean kayaking applications to make sure the guides have full management over the low variety of contributors. This must be pre-booked properly prematurely of your journey, as there isn’t any probability to ebook it as soon as you’re on the boat.

Earlier than anybody is allowed to really set out in a kayak they have to undergo a stringent security briefing and be made conversant in all of the gear that’s required.

Icebergs Kayaking Antarctica
The kind of views you may anticipate when kayaking in Antarctica.

The primary danger with kayaking in Antarctica is publicity to the weather, and particularly the chilly water. That’s why kayakers are supplied with full-body dry fits, particular gloves, boots and an apron.

Donning all this specialty gear takes a while (and a contact of agility), nevertheless it ensures everybody will stay dry.

If the wind picks up or the climate takes a flip for the more serious then the zodiacs will gather all of the kayakers and take them to a safer bay, or the expedition chief will make the choice to cancel the kayak tour till additional discover. Security is paramount.

The kayaks themselves are designed to be used in chilly temperatures and are strengthened for contact with ice and rocks. They’re additionally very sturdy.

At no level did we really feel unstable or unsafe. Realizing how skilled Mark and Ehren, our guides, had been additionally helped make everybody really feel comfy with this superb journey.

When you’ve ever wished to go kayaking in Antarctica, going with One Ocean Expeditions will assist make this once-in-a-lifetime expertise one of many funnest reminiscences you’ll ever have.

[box] Our sea kayaking expertise was made potential due to our partnership with One Ocean Expeditions. All ideas, opinions and mugs of Baileys and scorching chocolate consumed are, as at all times, our personal.[/box]



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