Day 6/138.95 miles
The team started off this morning with a “sealed start”. I’ve learned that, due to the large waves, they had to put their spray skirts on and get in their kayaks while on land, then scoot out into the water. If they got skirted up while in the water, the waves will fill their cockpit before they can skirt up. They were prepared for this since, we knew ahead of time, this area is known for high winds. They started off with 4’ waves, at times a little larger. They said these were the worst conditions they experienced, thus far and it, also, accounts for their slow pace.
Overnight, tiny icebergs the size of cars littered the beach. The kayaks could easily navigate around them but it is very unique. For the first eight (8) miles, they could not land due to very large, straight-cliffs to their left and palatial glaciers to their right that were just towering above them. West and Jeff described these as “absolutely amazingly awesome”. Icebergs are the ice forms that break off of glaciers. West’s voice, when describing the scenery, reminds me of a kid seeing Mickey Mouse at Disneyworld for the first time. He said the glaciers are vivid colors of blue and white ice. They tried to stay as far away from them as possible because falling ice can cause grave danger, if close by.
Once they paddled through the challenging first eight miles, the wind died down first and then the waves subsided. Then, the fog rolled in. They could only see 50 yards in front of them at any time. So, cliffs on the left, glaciers on their right, add in fog and staying focused was the name of the game. As they continued to paddle north, the weather cleared up and the terrain became barren, with flat low-lying plants. It was described as West Texas without the 150 degree temperatures.
Tonight, they stopped when they came across a cabin, best described as a shack. These cabins are dirty and smelly but offer much more protection than a tent. In addition, they don’t have to set up camp which will save time and physical exertion.