Kayaking In Antartica

Famous for its enormous icebergs, towering glaciers and shimmering summer light, Antarctica offers some of the planet's most awe inspiring landscapes. The North Atlantic and Arctic evoke images of sparse snow covered lands, but when summer comes it bursts with colour and life.

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Re: Kayaking In Antartica

Postby cap33 » Sat Oct 05, 2013 8:45 pm

Anyone do the kayaking in Antarctica? Can you tell me how much experience you need to be able to do it and how many hours are you out on the kayaks at a time? Thanks!
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Re: Kayaking In Antartica

Postby puffin » Thu Aug 07, 2014 4:54 pm

I’ve booked the Falklands, South Georgia, and Antarctica trip at the end of October including the kayak option. I have some questions concerning kayaking.

I understand that, for instance, a life west, drysuit, neoprene pogies, and wet shoes are provided for.
1. Are the wet shoes same as neoprene booties that was mentioned earlier in the Watering Hole Forum?
2. Are the wet shoes suitable to walk in during landings? I assume not.

I understand that the kayakers might do some shorter landings as well sometimes. Either
a) going back to the ship and enter a zodiac or
b) transferring directly to a zodiac, or more seldom,
c) step on shore directly from the kayak?
3. If we are doing a landing from the two last alternatives, how and where can one store suitable shoes for doing the landing and is there then a size limit for the shoes to fit the storage? (That is if the wet shoes are not suitable to walk in.)
4. Are one take off the drysuit during a landing?

I usually easily get cold hands. The preparations notes says “In very cold/ windy conditions it is prudent to wear fleece or wool glove liners inside the pogies”. I’m not sure how pogies look like/ work.
5. Are pogies like fully closed mittens?
Won’t any glove liners get wet?
Or any other suggestions what to wear underneath the pogies? I already have wool liners.

Kokat SuperNova Paddling Suit’s sizing chart is taking one layer of insulation into consideration. We are recommended a light weight thermal layer and a medium weight warm layer.
6. Will also a medium weight warm layer still fit if choosing a size according to the sizing chart then?

Thanks!
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Re: Kayaking In Antartica

Postby thecakeisalie » Fri Aug 08, 2014 9:52 am

I haven't been on this trip but I'm looking to kayak there in the future, and I have some experience with cold water paddling so hopefully you'll find some of these answers useful.

puffin wrote:1. Are the wet shoes same as neoprene booties that was mentioned earlier in the Watering Hole Forum?
2. Are the wet shoes suitable to walk in during landings? I assume not.


I would assume they are some sort of neoprene bootie, and I would assume you could use them on landings! If they are suitable for getting wet and keeping you warm, then they are suitable for landing, and therefore suitable for you to walk around in.

3. If we are doing a landing from the two last alternatives, how and where can one store suitable shoes for doing the landing and is there then a size limit for the shoes to fit the storage? (That is if the wet shoes are not suitable to walk in.)
4. Are one take off the drysuit during a landing?


I would ask what kind (brand and model) of kayak you will be using. I cannot imagine that any sea kayak used for this type of adventure would not have ample storage space (foreward/rear hatches). Those kayaks are used for multi-day touring; tents, food, water, clothes all fit easily, so a pair of shoes should be no problem! Just make sure you have a drybag, hatch compartments never guarantee that water stays out completely. And regarding taking the drysuit off, you may not want to depending on shore conditions. I tend to sweat in my drysuit, so the minute I take it off I get chilled, unless I can immediately change into dry clothes.

I usually easily get cold hands. The preparations notes says “In very cold/ windy conditions it is prudent to wear fleece or wool glove liners inside the pogies”. I’m not sure how pogies look like/ work.
5. Are pogies like fully closed mittens?
Won’t any glove liners get wet?
Or any other suggestions what to wear underneath the pogies? I already have wool liners.


Neoprene pogies are awesome! Pogies are like mittens that wrap around the shaft of the paddle and allow you to slide your hands in and out, so your hands still make contact with the paddle while the neoprene insulates them. I paddle in 0C conditions with NRS neoprene pogies and my hands get HOT. Still, if you want to bring liners just in case, wool is the way to go. Even though they may get wet, wool retains heat, and that's the key with any cold water activity.

Kokat SuperNova Paddling Suit’s sizing chart is taking one layer of insulation into consideration. We are recommended a light weight thermal layer and a medium weight warm layer.
6. Will also a medium weight warm layer still fit if choosing a size according to the sizing chart then?


Likely yes. Kokatat suits have some room, allowing you to layer up accordingly. Also, the PFD will add some warmth, believe it or not.

Make sure to post your experiences (and hopefully photos!) afterwards, because this trip looks amazing. Have a great time.
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