Thursday, 5 February 2009


Paddling in Patagonia sometimes ¨puts¨ you in a narrow corridor, surrounded by the sky, water and mountains.

Paddling forward in a place like that is like living in a paint. You have a number diferent horizons ahead of you and about the same amount at your back.

As you slide through the water, you slowly change the colors of what`s around.
You make the white mountain ahead gray. The gray becomes blue. And the blue one`s become green by your side.
By looking back, you find out that the oposite was happening behind you the whole time.
The green mountains besides the kayak turned blue as it passed by. Later on it ¨greened¨. Becoming gray and white again is just a matter of time.

After spending a few days here in Puerto Natales, considering our options, we decided to stop here.

Our original plan was to go further south to the city of Punta Arenas. Through the Strait of Magelan. When we went to get our plans authorized by the Chilean Armada, we understood that it`s much safer to take a different rout, in an inner passage. Taking that rout, in 10 days paddling, we would have been in a small port, about 40 km north of Punta Arenas. There, we could load the kayaks on a truck and get to the city.

So, why not?

First, the views are not as dramatic as it was north of here. Vast, open, wind swept planes. Unlike the fjords we got used to...
Second, there is something dissapointing in finishing in a small harbour, without getting to a ¨real place¨.
Third, getting the expedition started took much more time then we expected. Setting of now, will make us miss other things we are planning to do here, since summer last forever onley if you keep traveling...

So, when going through the Magallanes (which are evoided by much larger ships) became irrelevant, continuing south became less apealing as well.

+Logistics are going to be mouch harder from there.

Why to continue?

Because we said so.

Many hours of thinking peacefully while paddling, makes u understand that it`s not a good enough reason.
The extra 10 days (less then 200 miles), are not as important as leaving the water when you still havnèt had enough. Right now, we all feel like we didn`t have enough of paddling. And we prefer it to keep it that way.

In israel. Chile`s fjord were in every though we had for months.
The biggest question was ¨How is it going to be?¨
Well, the answer is- As we imagened and much more.
The weather was better then we thought it will be.
The views more beutifull then we could imagine.
Mountains were higher.
We saw more marine mammels.
More birds.
Fishing was easier.
The wind was stronger.
Currents were stronger but at our back.
People we met along the way were always surprising for the best.
We worked better together then we could expect.
And some parts were more dificult then we thought it will be.

In the 65 days since we left Puerto Montt.
We paddled 49 days.
Had 8 days of rest (usually due to weather)
Had 8 days of re-supplying and resting in villages along the way.
Our longest day was a bit more then 60 km.
And we paddled about 1800 km.

We paddle at the feet of a smoking volcano.
With icebergs, we were pushed by the currents to an icy lagoon.

Spent a nigh on the kicthen floor of an old land guard in the middle of nowhere.

Pushed south by strong gusts of wind, came out of no where.

Cought fish for 3 days in 30 minutes.

Got sea sick.
Got dyharia.
Made new freinds. Smelled bad..
And sang. Alot.
But most of all, we had to deal with ourselves.
Everybody says that in that kind of experience you have the time to look inside, what they don`t say is, that usually you find more questions then answers.
We all had personal goals for the trip.
Now it`s time to start checking if we made some progress.
When you come back to israel, after traveling for a while. the mountains looks lower and the car rides seems shorter. After a while, everything is back to it`s regular ¨size¨.

We can onley hope, that at least some things will keep in their ¨new¨ dimentions, even in our real life.
All of that would have been much harder (or imposible )without the help of a few great people.
Hadas Feldman. Hadas helped us orgenizing, never stopped the tips comming, delivered our position daily to the chilean navy, and kept the blog updated and interesting. We learned alot from the info Hadas uploaded.
Her expedition experiense and knowledge was priceless for us. THANKS!!!!!!!!
Karel Vissel, that sent us an SMS with the next 2 days weather forecast every day(!). In many cases, what we got from Karel efected our plans ahead. Sometimes the accuracy was amazing. So thanks, Karel, for brining it mostely from the north.
Our sponsors:
Werner Paddels
And for all the support we got from all the guys at home. People helped us with collecting information, contacts, medical advice, logistics, psychological preperation, and supporting us the whole way south.

Our plans ahead.
Roy and On are trying to get to Antarctica if they find a ride, and start trecking the hell out of South America. They are also checking the option of a kayak expedition to the Amazone river.
I`m going to make a dream come true by kayaking the Futalefu river.

Don`t stop painting the views...
Roy, On and me.

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.