Kayaking for Albatross

Written by  Verge January 28, 2010

Woman adventurer attempts first solo sea kayak expedition around South Georgia Island to raise awareness for endangered albatross.

On Jan. 28, 2010, Vancouver Island based wilderness guide and expedition leader, Hayley Shephard will set sail from Ushuaia, Argentina, headed for the remote island of South Georgia where she will attempt the first solo sea kayak expedition around the Sub-Antarctic island.

Hayley intends to bring public awareness to the devastating decline in albatross, the world’s largest flying bird. Worldwide, 95% of albatross species are endangered. Because they spend most of their lives at sea, often flying several thousand kilometers at a time as they hunt for fish and squid, these enormous birds are the highly vulnerable to longline fishing, a technique that involves large vessels dragging 100 km-long fishing lines bristling with thousands of baited hooks.

Isolated, storm-torn, battered by savage winds, South Georgia is alone in the middle of the Southern Ocean, 1,400 km from it’s nearest neighbor.  Once home to a remote whaling station, the island was put on the map, as it were, when famed explorer, Ernest Shackleton finally reached its shores after a harrowing crossing of the Southern Ocean in a tiny boat after his ship was crushed in the grip of Antarctica’s ice, turning disaster into one of the world’s most incredible tales of leadership and survival.

Hayley’s epic 900 km adventure is expected to take five weeks and there will be days when she will spend 12 hours or more in her kayak to take advantage of calm weather.

For more information about Hayley’s South Georgia Expedition and for more details on Albatross, please visit Hayley’s website. Follow the journey with expedition updates and audio reports on Hayley’s blogsite.

Hayley’s expedition is inherently dangerous, so much so that British law has required her to hire a rescue vessel to stand by for the duration—an expensive prospect. Her trip has been made possible, in part, by the generous donations of individuals and sponsors, including emergency insurance coverage by Ingle International, a company with a reputation for arranging the right coverage for any adventure—Everest climb or trip to Europe.

Visit Ingle International for more information about adventure travel insurance.

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