Tormod Austring, Simen Havig-Gjelseth, Dag Marius Ammerud, and Sigrid Henjum made it round South Georgia. Image by The South Georgia 2010 Expedition, courtesy The South Georgia 2010 Expedition, http://www.southgeorgia2010.blogspot.com/
Posted: Dec 02, 2010 05:09 am EST Simen Havig-Gjelseth, Sigrid Henjum, Tormod Austring, and Dag Marius Ammerud reached Grytviken after a successful 20 days circumnavigation of South Georgia Thursday morning. They are the third kayak expedition who has ever made it round what most kayakers look at as their Mount Everest.
When the four Norwegians paddled in to Grytviken Thursday morning they where met by all the locals, about 15 people, at the pier. They fired flares and served cognac to celebrate the achievement. In 2005 two groups, one British and one from New Zealand, managed to kayak round the 170 km long, 35 km wide and almost 3000 meter high island for the first time. Several others have tried the same, but failed.
Now the Norwegians have repeated the unsupported achievement of circumnavigate the very exposed island in the Southern Ocean.
The island is known to have some, if not the worst weather conditions in the world. On the east side you have winds that comes hurling down the mountains in +100 knots speed, and on the west side you have massive waves that started their journey in New Zealand. On top of that you have angry fur seals on all the rocky beaches.
It was a very early morning for the four as they started on the last stretch at 03.15 to take advantage of the light following winds
- The smiles kept growing as we started to recognize the nature around Grytviken, and well back on shore we could really start the celebration, reports the team.
The researchers on the station had fired up the sauna for them, and the tourists on the Russian cruise ship got extra value for their money as they got to watch four happy Norwegians running naked among the fur seals down to the beach for a cold bath.
- We had stones with us to fend of any angry seals, but they must have been as chocked as the tourists, they report.
Now the four is enjoying steak, beer and good care. They start the 1000 nautical sail back to the Falkland Island tomorrow, so that they can be back in Norway to Christmas.