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Smaaland Cove to Cape Charlotte
Chris
28/11/2010, 54 31.24'S:36 04.68'W, Moltke Harbour, South Georgia

What a day. They kayakers got up at 2am and started paddling shortly after four.On Pelagic we had a more leisurely wake up at four am and got underway at five. Our plan was to meet the kayakers at the entrance to Drygalski fjord but when we got into the fjord the wind was howling down it at close to 40 knots, as it often does out of Drygalski) so we didn't expect to meed the kayakers. They were there however, sheltering at Nattriss Head waiting for us and a lull so that they could cross. They paddled a little way up the fjord in the lee of a headland to get a better angle for the crossing and when a lull came they were ready to paddle straight accross.

After that the wind dropped and the day developed into a beautiful paddling day. They stopped for their first lunch of the day, at 8:30am, in Cooper Bay and continued around Cape Vahsel then across to Bjornstadt Bay for lunch number two at about 3pm. During the second lunch stop the wind picked up, but they continued around Cape Charlotte until tired bodies, and the head-wind, forced them to make camp for the night on the west side of the Cape. Pelagic carried on across Royal Bay to Moltke Harbour where we will spend the night.

Today's distance covered was well in excess of 30 nautical miles, about 60kms.

Another early start is planned for tomorrow.

Near Gold Harbour today we met our big sister 'Pelagic Australis' who took a few photos of us; so today's photo is of Pelagic and her charges off Gold Harbour.

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Around the Corner
Chris
27/11/2010, 54 50.32'S:36 00.67'W, Larsen Harbour, South Georgia

Sorry there was no update yesterday, but we didn't do anything or go anywhere so you didn't miss anything. There was quite a strong wind all day, but what stopped the kayakers from moving was the large swell offshore. The swell was coming from a low pressure system a long way south of us and not generated by the local winds. The local winds on top of the swell made made conditions too rough to proceed. Pelagic rolled uncomfortably in her anchorage all day. In the evening we went ashore for a walk along the beach. The beach was covered in Elephant seal weaners (which are harmless) and pretty much free of fur seals (which are not harmless) so that was nice. On a tussac headland were a lot of breeding birds; giant petrels, cape petrels, various prions, light mantled sooties, south georgia pipets, south georgia pintails, among others.

This morning the wind, and swell, had gone down enough for the kayakers to make a move by midday and the left Ranvik. We left Trollhul just as they passed and caught them up to follow, and film them as they rounded Cape Disappointment. Cape Disappointment is named because it is the point where Captain Cook realised that he had not found the southern continent that he was searching for but an island instead. The breeze was strong and the sea turbulent as they rounded making for some exciting conditions. The kayakers finished for the day in Smaaland and Pelagic continued on to Larsen Harbour.

Cape Disappointment is a huge milestone for kayaking circumnavigation attempts here as it means that the exposed and tricky south western coast has been completed. Big smiles all round at the end of today. Hopefully it means that we won't have a rolly swell filled anchorage tonight!

The plan is to put in a long day tomorrow so it's an early start for all.

Photo: Can you spot all four kayakers below Cape Disappointment?

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28/11/2010 | Arild Henjum
Hello to all from Norway.
Many congratulations and greetings to the four kayakers and to the careing crew at the boat. Thanks for the daily updates at the your blogg, very inportant for all familymembers and friends in Norway. Keep up the good work and hopefully they will succeed in getting back to Grytviken in time. Good luck to all for the rest of this exciting trip. Greeting from Sigrid's family in Leikanger
A short day
Chris
25/11/2010, 54 49.28'S:36 12.23'W, Trollhul, South Georgia

Today was another windy one. The kayak team made a start from Diaz Cove but only got as far as Ranvik when they decided to call it a day after encountering heavy sea conditions causing a couple of capsizes. They camped there for the rest of the day leaving us to our own devices in Trollhul. The afternoon was very wet along with the wind so a walk ashore wouldn't have been much fun either. Today was Matias' birthday so we celebrated with pizza and cake, all baked by Julie. The wind is due to decrease mid morning tomorrow.

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An Elephant seal sat on my kayak
Chris
24/11/2010, 54 49.28'S:36 12.23'W, Trollhul, South Georgia

A restless night on anchor for us, but a much more troubled night for the kayak team! An elephant seal running away from a fight crashed over the top of Sigrid's kayak and caused it some considerable damage, splitting it open in several places. At least the seal didn't crash over tent!

We, on Pelagic, learnt the news at our morning weather sked on the vhf radio. The guys had the kayak in the tent and were getting started on repairs (they carry quite a supply of spare materials including fibreglass resin and tape) so we landed Matias ashore so that he could film the action. While the kayak repairs were taking place we knocked a few little maintenance jobs off the todo list.

The kayak repairs were finished and the resin set at about midday and the team got right into paddling. South Georgia turned up another great day and the paddlers were able to make Diaz Cove by evening. Diaz Cove is a very beautiful anchorage but is not very sheltered from Westerly winds which is what we have forecast for tonight; so Pelagic continued on down the coast to Trollhul. So far we have seen no Trolls here so 'Trollhul' would seem to be a misnomer;) From our anchorage here we can see Cape Disappointment; which marks the turning at the southern extremity of South Georgia.

Photo: the team's kayaks dwarfed by Mount Paget.

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Surf's Up
Chris
23/11/2010, 54 31'S:36 36.32'W, Ducloz Head, South Georgia

Well we rolled around in the swell all night last night as it built from the south west. The kayakers had a comfortable night ashore in their tent, but when it came time to leave the beach to start paddling it was their turn to be troubled by the surf.

After one aborted attempt to get off the beach they had a look the lee side of the headland that they were camped on to see if conditions were any better there; they were not! So it was back to square one in the surf. We had a grandstand view from our anchorage just off the beach as one by one they were launched out through the surf. Last one off was Simen and on his first attempt he gt upended by a wave, before he had even left the beach. His second attempt was somewhat more successful and he joined the other three kayakers clustered around Pelagic where Matias was doing some on the spot interviews on camera.

The day was beautiful with a light westerly wind and we all got a bit burnt even though we were all wearing sun block (Anybody know the current stat and position of the ozone hole?). We motored slowly down the coast closing up with the kayaks occasionally to film and photograph them. They crossed Newark Bay, then Jacobsen Bight, Cape Darnley & Annenkov Island, Skontorp Rocks and made camp in a small natural harbour at Ducloz Head. About 16 nautical miles covered for the day.

We entered the harbour in Pelagic but decided that it would have been a bit to uncomfortable due to the amount of swell getting inside so we found a quieter spot to the east of Ducloz Head where we were rolling around just a bit. I say were because now the wind has increased as it was forecast to and we have a near gale to gale force wind blowing across the anchorage now.

Tomorrow is forecast to be breezy but not too strong so we are hoping that it is a paddling day.

Today's image: Simen blasts out through the surf.

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23/11/2010 | Ale
The ozone hole is just over your heads!! ...Hahaha, lies! The 220 Dobson unit frontier line for South America was more or less between 66º40' and 68º S on 18th November informed by NASA.
A long day at work
Chris
22/11/2010, 54 21.55'S:36 57.35'W, Sandefjord, South Georgia

The williwaws and katabatic wind that had been giving us a hard time in Nilse Hullet finally eased just after midnight, but then went south pushing Pelagic around onto her mooring lines and towards the beach so it was time to leave; naturally it was sleeting at the time. We got in the shore lines and anchor and motored out into the bay where we drifted for the rest of the night until the kayakers got started for the day. Wayne took the first watch while the rest of us got a little sleep.

The kayakers made an early start, just after four am, and made really good progress stopping at Totorore Point for an early lunch break and then pushing on all the way to Sandefjord, a total distance of about 30 nautical miles in about 12 hours, including a 2-hour break. A good days paddling!

Hopefully we got some great shots of them today as they pushed through some brash ice in front of glaciers and transited a couple of spectacular passes between off islands and mainland South Georgia. This part of South Georgia is very dramatic with alternating rock clifs and glaciers falling into the sea. Some of the rock cliffs are hundreds of metres high peaking at 1125m on Fanning Ridge.

Nobody caught up on much sleep today as sleeping would have meant missing some dramatic view or another!

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