I never thought I would be able to say this but I, Kat Knapp have kayaked in Antarctica. And it was incredible.
When past Kat was organising her trip to Antarctica working as a travel agent she was fully aware of the kayaking option. She was also drinking an espresso martini at her travel-agent desk and in a caffeininated alcoholic euphoria she clicked book.
The time between the accidental kayak booking and the actual onboard pre kayaking briefing happened went really fast and before I knew it I was assigned t a kayak and partner (the amazing Canadian friend-soulmate Amy) and we were hitting the Antarctic seas.
Our wonderful couple guides Randall and Beth (#couplegoals) were very clear that this was not an experience for beginners (one again #yolo) but I wasn’t going to let the fear of capsizing and getting hyperthermia stop me from having a good time so I pretended I wasn’t a beginner and paddled for dear life.
Actually I was sitting at the front so had the first-class position of not having to work as hard…
Kayaking in Antarctica is out of this world. Seriously.
It is a cold place for anything but the movement of paddling is actually a lot more efficient at keeping you warm than walking around on shore (although I must admit my toes were almost 50 shades of grey).
The experience itself was stunning.
We paddled around icebergs, past seals, through diving penguins and even with humpback whales.
I am not joking at all. WE KAYAKED WITH HUMPBACK WHALES IN ANTARCTICA.
(That espresso martini was the best decision I ever made).
Seeing these beautiful giants move around us was unspeakably phenomenal. I literally have no words to write about these moments that fully capture how it felt to be in that tiny boat surrounded by a mother and child whale. It was beyond beautiful. It was one of the few moments of my life where I was literally tearing up with joy.
I have been lucky enough to see many beautiful things in my life but those moments in that kayak were really spectacular. Those memories I am sure will last until my dying breath.
Kayaking in Antarctica was an unexpected turn of my life and acts as a reminder that the choices I have made that reach outside of my comfort zone leave me with the warmest and cosiest memory lanes. Even when the setting is the icy graveyard that is Antarctica.