(ThePoles.com/TheOceans.net) Last we heard from him; Jerry Kobalenko had finished his top-ten expedition BS countdown and fled to Labrador.
"Off to paddle 1000km from Goose Bay, Labrador to Blanc Sablon, Quebec. I don't know of anyone who's done this entire route," Jerry reported on his website.
"The last person to attempt to kayak the entire south coast of Labrador as far as the Strait of Belle Isle, however, died of a heart attack shortly after beginning, in summer 2000," Jerry wrote.
An email the other day made clear that Jerry's still here though. So how did it go?
The plan - and the debrief
Except for locals paddling bits and pieces of the route; at least a couple of parties have paddled the entire coast of Labrador in a season, but skipped the 150km of Hamilton Inlet. Jerry was after long days on a rough coast without seeing a soul, abandoned villages from the era when cod was king, and to get a whiff of the spirits of old explorers like George Cartwright.
At the end of the journey, Jerry's girl Alexandra was to meet up in Blanc Sablon and the two planned to drive back home along the Trans-Labrador Highway, "a dramatic wilderness road that is the eastern version of the Alaska Highway."
Back from Labrador, Jerry writes that for the last few days he's been putting updates from the expedition on his website.
"In the end, I kayaked 850km out of the 1,000km and finished at a small village called Lodge Bay, south of Battle Harbour. There were no problems at the end; constant headwinds had just slowed my progress, and I ran out of time, Jerry reports in his note.
The date at the end of the trip made time an issue: "A couple of fishermen I bumped into along the kayak route told me, 'You've got nerve,' but someone would have to be really nervy to mess up their spouse's vacation plans, especially after all my time away (I've been three months in a tent this year on various journeys.)"
Jerry says he needed another five or six days to complete the journey to Blanc Sablon, "it was a hard trip, mainly because of all the headwind." Check Jerry's website in the link section for pics and reports.
March 2007 Canadian Jerry Kobalenko and American Bob Cochran skied 600 km in 45 days from Canada to Pim Island, following Frederick Cook's 1909 route from his winter den on Devon Island. The original goal was to reach the abandoned hunting site of Annoatok in northwest Greenland but lack of ice forced the skiers to finish the trip at Pim Island, 50 km away from Greenland. It was Jerry Kobalenko's 15th sledding expedition actually his 30th self-propelled arctic journey -- including kayaking, canoeing, and backpacking.
This summer Jerry left again for self-propelled arctic journey no 31: to kayak 1000 km solo along the SE coast of Labrador.
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