Fiordland, New Zealand
in a kayak

It was an amazing and tough expedition. Though the fiords and the waterfalls were stunnning and I enjoyed so much exploring them, the main goal of the journey was to experience once again the fascinating Southern ocean. I was lucky to have 3 storms one after another in the first 10 days of the expedition. It was scary and so wonderful at the same time. I needed neither the cliffs nor the huge albatrosses around, the fiords were just the complement for the main thing. I was fully struck by the beaty of the big seas. The water mountains that surrounded me, jumping, running, changing, breaking, furious, noble - they were absolutely stunning. I felt the soul of the big ocean as it hosted me, allowed me to be in it. You just have to be there to understand.

I hoped to paddle slower but the basic kayaking instinct pushed me forward each time the weather was bearable. I knew that Inna and kids are waiting for me on the shore. Maybe when the kids grow up I would be able to afford relaxed, slow exploring as I did in Alaska. Up to Breaksea sound the weather was really bad, I was afraid to get stuck for long weeks. Yet, I enjoyed the paddling and the seas so much, so I didn't mind to paddle fast. The only thing I hate in kayaking is to paddle fast when the seas are calm and boring and the skies are clear. That definitely was not the case. It was always a game of a mice and a cat, and be sure that I wasn't the cat. It was always either the fascinating Southern Ocean or the amazing coastline and I just didn't want to go to shore. The sand flies were another reason for making the expedition fast. The more north I progressed the worse they became. At the end of the trip there were black clouds of them surrounding me, so I wanted to flee from them to the sea ASAP.

I really enjoyed paddling alone. I loved talking to myself and to the seas, singing songs, being quite, looking around. Nothing disturbed it. Definitely during the hard moments of the trip I wished to have a parnter by my side, just to share my experience. On the other hand there were quite a few times when the seas were so rough that I was glad not to be responsible for anyone else. I love other kayakers and enjoy paddling with them, but more than anything else I want to have a private dialog with the sea.

The last but not least - the planning. I always used to contact other kayakers who paddled in the areas that I was heading. This time I felt that having nautical charts, satellite images from Google maps and mainly - the experience that I gained during the previous expeditions - was enough to safely plan the whole expedition myself without contacting anyone or reading others' log books. This made the expedition very special for me. Heading uncertainty, and exploring nature has been always the main drive for the trips I've made.

It was just me and the ocean. So good, so great, so capturing and attracting my mind. I want to go back!!!!!!!!!


The seas that hosted me and showed their changing face to me. Though the banner of this web page looks provocative, I know well who is the ruler.

My wife Inna she waited for me, worried every day, sent me the forecasts to the sattelite phone and looked after the kids at the same time.

Lendal for their excellent carbon composite main and spare paddles.

Kokatat for the PFD, dry top and sun protective shirt, hat and mitts. All the equipment was just excellent.

Snapdragon for their excellent spraydeck. With the implosion bar I never had to worry that the spraydeck would pop in the surf.

My mates from Ethos Networks who bought me dry-freezed food for the expedition.

Wrights Technologies from where I rented the satellite phone for their support and service.

Nigel Dennis for making the 3 piece kayak that I've been paddling in for the last 4 years. It was in Ireland, Greece, Turkey, Thailand and now New Zealand and it is still in excellent condition. Nigel was also the one who pushed me and Alon once to start making expeditions.

Meri Leask the legendary operator of the Fishermen's VHF radio station. She was always so responsive, so worring, as if she was a mother of all of us, who stay in the sea.

George from DOC who shared with me his magnificent venison back strips and hosted me in the hut.

Alex Ferguson from Christchurch who helped me to get the Lendal paddle for my expedition.

Stanley and Belinda Mulvany from Invercargill who were so supportive and helped me with the location of a few huts in the area.

Paul Caffyn who inspired me and hundreds of other kayakers in the world. Paul was ready to help me planning this trip. It was me who decided at the end to do all the planning myself.

All my friends who followed the progress and were supportive as usual.

Last updated: March 18, 2008