Friday, 24 October 2008

How to "grow" a sea kayak expedition?

A year ago, during the optimist kayak symposium, the seed of sea kayaking expedition was planted.
I met Jeff Allen and Justine Curgenven, heard the stories, talked alot to Hadas Feldman
(Who agreed to be the expedition manager), and decided I also want some of it.
After guiding for a few years, and traveling around with white water kayaks. I thought I must try this as well.
Since then, I spent hours on Google earth. I measured the length of the coasts around almost every island on the blue planet. The conditions I set came from the time limits I had, the time of year I wanted to paddle in, and gut feeling.

In this virtual circumnavigation of the globe, I met other paddlers, always keen to help. Each place I found attractive, I looked if someone have already paddle there. So the combination of "………. Kayak circumnavigation" came more then once on my Google search bar.
One of the more interesting paddlers I talked to was Anthony Malloch. The guy has a great web site, describing some amazing expeditions in Australia. Actually, after hearing his crocks stories, I decided not paddle to Papua New Guinea.
Then Sharon, my girlfriend said something about Chile. At first, it looked like to long expedition to take (considering the time limits). But then, the more I gave it a though, it looked as if another month won't be too bad.
So, I began by buying a pilot book of the region. Then started to talk about it to friends and this is how I got Roy into it and he brought On.
From that point, there was no turning back. With Hadas's help, we got REED and WERNER and OPTIMIST as gear sponsors. LARABAR as energy bar sponsors, and even Limor and Udi who kayak with us, offered their help with the logistics expenses.
Along the way, almost everyone around us gave a hand.
So now we are exactly 2 weeks from the flight to Santiago. And after a year that almost every experience I had was in the light of the upcoming adventure, it only gets more intense.
For example, waking up to a first rainy Saturday in Israel, gets different meaning, when you think that the next time will probably be in a wet tent with On and Roy instead of here with Sharon…
We still have some gear arriving soon, On is working on the Solar system and Roy keeps studying the weather.
We still have this year's symposium ahead of us, a few vaccines and some packing to do.
This time was with no pictures, sorry. Hope the ones yet to come will compensate for this bare post…

Friday, 17 October 2008

getting closer....

The road has not really started yet, and the amount of people's willingness to help is amazing.

Just in the past week, almost everyone that heard of the upcoming expedition could look for and find the way he or she can be of assistance. And I'm talking about information, ideas, connections in Chile and more.
I can hardly think of a more boring thing then a "thank you" list, but I think that we can give a general idea of our preparations by mentioning some the people we met in the past few days.

So many of the people we know has offered their help in one way or another, so this is only a partial list from the past few days:

Food, hazards, and marine life-
Racheli Einav, a marine biologist and paddler, hosted us at her house for a great evening of wine, cheese and sea food. She introduced us to Alvaro Israel, a Chilean marine biologists that advised us of what sea food could be found in the fjords of Patagonia. He also connected us with people in Chile that monitor red tide- a dangerous blooming of micro sea weeds, which can cause death within 24 hours if you eat something that ate it…

Solar power:
Racheli heard we are having difficulties with building our solar power system. She immediately connected us with Hanan Levy, an alternative energy expert that was glad to spend a long afternoon on the phone with On, solving some of the issues he ran into while building the system.


Ariel Zilberstein,, who is kayaking at our club and practices to an iron man competition these days, has connected us with a sports nutrition expert ,Yair Karni,. So we all took blood tests, and went to hear from him about the right way of eating during a long distance challenge.

Psychological aspect:
Ohad Shafrir, also a paddler at "Optimist" and psychologist, offered his help in the preparation for spending long days in a small tent together…

Limor and Udi Steigman offered their help as logistics sponsors.

First aid:

Dr. Kobi Sade, who kayaked in north –west Greenland in 2008 spring agreed to help us with building a list of the necessary first aid for the trip.

Yet to come-
Meteorological experts, Israel's past represents in Chile and other adventurers that are willing to share their experience.

With every meeting, the anticipation grows, and it starts to look real.

3 weeks to go…

About Us

Roy Shatzki-(27) an air force officer, traveler and sea paddler. Lives in kibutz Regavim. On Arnon-(32) an engineer, outdoor instructor, and sea paddler. Lives in kibutz Gaaton in the north of Israel. Yosale Dror- (28)- sea kayak instructor at Optimist kayak club in Sdot Yam, student of Psychology, lives in kibutz Nahsholim.