Explorers Web is reporting today that a team of Norwegian kayakers has successfully completed an unsupported circumnavigation of South Georgia Island located in the Southern Ocean. The team took 20 days to make the paddle, which has only been done on two other occasions.
The team, consisting of Simen Havig-Gjelseth, Sigrid Henjum, Tormod Austring, and Dag Marius Ammerud, returned to the village of Grytviken yesterday morning where they were greeted by a few locals who welcomed them back by shooting flares in the air and serving them cognac. According to the expedition's website, the paddlers hit the water at 3:15 AM to take advantage of good weather and low winds. By 9:30 AM they were finished and on dry land celebrating.
South Georgia is one of the most remote islands on Earth and is well known for its incredibly bad weather. The cold ocean waters and southerly location keep the place from ever getting warm year round, and the notoriously bad winds are a challenge for any visitor to deal with, whether on land or sea. Throw in some very choppy surf, with big waves that run unbroken across much of the Pacific, and you'll understand why ExWeb calls a circumnavigation of the island the "Everest of Kayaking."
Congratulations to this team for completing their expedition.