Friday, December 11, 2009

Kayak Noise - Hayley Shephard

Hayley leaves for South Georgia Jan 22....

Here are some things she gets asked frequently as she prepares to leave.

1. What special equipment will you need to take to do an expedition such as this?

I have recently posted a gear list on the GEAR ROOM blog connected to this site so check that out. I basically need to be equipped with gear that can withstand the bitter cold temperatures of the Antarctic as well as hold up in severely strong winds. Basically I need to be warm and all my gear needs to be waterproof and rugged!

2. How will we be able to follow your journey's progress daily?

On my website there will be a google earth map of South Georgia and via a satelite connection through my sat phone, my route will be plotted daily. As well I will be writing a daily progress journal on my notebook computer and posting it on my blog along with the occasional audio broadcast. I will attempt to post a few images as well.

3. Will your support vessel be able to shadow you as you paddle around South Georgia?

South Georgia has very few safe, protected bays and anchorges particularly on the SW side (the crux of the expedition). It is completely exposed to open ocean swell, wind and frequent storms. There will be times where the vessel may be a days sail away from me, therefore I have to be completely self sufficient. I will be in contact with them on a daily basis receiving weather information and passing on my daily plans and intentions of travel.

4. What does your family think about you doing this expedition. Are they nervous and concerned for your safety?

My parents have always been very supportive with the previous expeditions I have done, aswell as the guiding, traveling working life I lead. They admire me for living my dreams and doing exactly what I am passionate about. However they are also concerned for my safety and occasionally express this. They know it is something I need to do in order to live my life fully and truthfully.

5. Are you not taking a huge risk in safety, attempting one of the most challenging kayaking journeys alone? What about all the people who care about you, isn't it a rather selfish act trying to fulfill this goal, putting your life at risk, even though it is for the Albatross?

This is a very interesting topic of conversation one that dates back to the very first explorers who paved the way in this fascinating world of discovery and adventure. For many it does seem like a selfish act: The very act of leaving behind loved ones on a risk taking endeavor simply to discover new lands, attempt World first ambitions, adventure into the unforgiving wilderness. There is a type of peoples who are drawn to this kind of life, just like there are those that want to invent things, those that want to draw, paint and create things. We all have different interests and are passionate about certain things or activities. I strongly believe that it is important to follow those desires, dreams and ambitions because that in it self is living your life to its full potential and simply being your true self. To not do that is risking far more.
Quote: To love is to risk not being loved in return. To hope is to risk pain. To try is to risk failure, but risk must be taken because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.”
However I also strongly believe that if you are choosing to take on a risky endeavor then make sure you have all your ducks in a row, be certain that you are completely and utterly prepared for it. Be certain that you have the skills, experience, knowledge, equipment and the intelligence to take on such a feat where you are managing the risks.

6. How will your kayak expedition around South Georgia Island help safe the Albatross?

My attempt to solo sea kayak around South Georgia is to help raise awareness for the Albatross (and other seabirds) whom are being accidentally drowned then killed by out-dated techniques used in the longline fishing industry. South Georgia Islands fishing industry has eliminated seabird by-catch by implementing new techniques that discourage birds from going after the baited hooks. My kayak journey, which is attracting alot of interest world wide, is a catalyst to inform the general public about the devastating situation of the Albatross and to encourage them to help put pressure on the International Longline fishing industry to also implement new techniques.
Through presenting a series of slide shows, writing and publishing a book and magazine articles and finally broadcasting a documentary film, this story of a solo woman kayaking alone around a treacherous island to help save the albatross will reach an international audience. There is an urgency to tell this story, as the future of the Albatross lies literally waiting in our hands.

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