We had already set up the kayaks three days ago. Pjotr had been inspired by SY Podorange, where we can moor them well on deck. The dinghy has made a bit of room and now they are snuggled up on the starboard foredeck, their red color matching the Selma perfectly.

Of course, they are at their best when in use, as they have already proved themselves twice.

Ursula and I did the first test on Hovgaard Island. While the others went on a snowshoe hike, we took it easy, paddled between flat rocks and icebergs and enjoyed the silence. We are always delighted by every penguin sighting, it’s impossible not to smile when we see these funny animals. From the kayak, silently and at eye level, taking our time, it is particularly intense. Ursula is paddling for the first time in her life and immediately falls in love with this form of transportation, which I have long been addicted to.

From a distance, Woij keeps an eye on us in the dinghy and could be with us in no time if we need his help or the leopard seal shows too much interest. But we feel comfortable and safe and are only happy about a speedy return trip at the end, when Woij takes us in tow.

We must have raved about our trip, because two days later all six available kayak places are taken when we set off from Vernadzky Station, first to Wordie House and then on a trip around Galindez Island. This round trip is a little longer, but the kayaks prove to be stable, comfortable and with good straight-line stability. We are out for about three hours and enjoy our trip.

As I write this text, we are already heading further south towards Adelaide Island and hope to make intensive use of our kayaks there. My dream is to meet a whale then, at eye level so to speak. We’ll see 😉

At eye level with whales

Two days later, we are on a short exploratory kayak trip off Lagoon Island when we see three humpback whales swimming in the small sound between the islands. They were moving slowly, perhaps feeding.

We immediately start paddling, an imaginary line where our paths might intersect, and the plan works. We get closer and closer to them and are soon only a few kayak lengths away from them, then between them. We see one to our left and another to our right, hear them blow, watch them rise and fall. We are fascinated and excited, hardly dare to breathe and at the same time try to paddle, look everywhere and take photos.

The humpback whales are very close, but don’t seem to take any notice of us. Suddenly, however, one appears right next to the boat, touches it on the bow and makes a wave as it dives down, causing our two small kayaks to rock considerably. Whether out of interest in us or by accident, we don’t know, and it doesn’t matter. We are absolutely overwhelmed, happy and full of adrenaline. We don’t know what to do with all the feelings that are flooding us, we look at each other and are happy to be able to share this experience and see the same fascination in the faces of others that we are experiencing ourselves.

Happy and full of gratitude for this gift, we watch the three whales for a short while before they move on and we return to Selma.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *