Sat on a comfortable sofa sipping a warm tea I am reminded of the night before my journey around Scotland- I am nervous but excited, energised and exhausted. This time I am not alone, I am joined by my best childhood friend Seumas Nairn who I grew up with like a brother and who I owe to a lifetime of curious exploring. Ever since we spent a night across our local loch building shelters on what I now consider my first ‘real adventure’ it has been a dream of ours to do a big expedition together. Now he is here in the southern end of the middle of nowhere and we are set to go.
Staring into the void of the impending unknown is daunting, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared but with our P&H Scorpio kayaks loaded with 45 days of food we are prepared to wait, even if the 100kg+ might struggle to float at first. We know that Patagonia needs patience and consideration- for me it is one of the last great frontiers to explore. In anticipation of the expected weather we have christened our boats Viento and Ráfaga- ‘Wind’ and ‘Spindrift,’ so they may carry us home on the south bound breeze.
The last few days have been a blur. Seumas arrived about five days ago and we have since been running around Puerto Natales (my home for my last two winter seasons) sourcing food, fuel and the paper charts which I only printed tonight; the night before we leave. We still do not have official Naval permission but discussions with the captain are promising, hopefully we will pass their test smoothly upon arrival in the north or we will be home next week- fingers crossed.
So…This is our aim: To paddle self supported for 880km through the western fjords from Puerto Eden to Puerto Natales, it is not a first- just have a look at the intrepid Erin Bastian’s film of a similar adventure here, but for us it will be an incredible once in a lifetime paddle. Our journey will add two portages, this gives a different side to our adventure and a slightly smoother route with the wind. We have also chosen April to explore as it is on the edge of the less windy season but with daylight to spare.
This is our ROUTE
I owe a huge amount of thanks to David and Carlos Dittmar whose companies Dittmar Adventures and Tutravesia have provided gear and for me a job all season as well as an incredible amount of personal help and an overall fantastic time.
I will have no way to hear from you, nor will Seumas yet we can talk to you- we have an InReach device which my father (who I gave permission to use my facebook….gulp) will post on my page. TRACK US HERE.
Wish us luck and see you on the other side.