South African Kayakers Reach Iceland’s South Coast Skip to content

South African Kayakers Reach Iceland’s South Coast

The South African adventurers Riaan Manser and Dan Skinstad are now almost half-way on their kayak journey around the country. They started out in Húsavík, northeast Iceland, on March 27 and had reached Ingólfshöfdi in the south on June 14.

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The surf by Hvalnesskridur near Djúpivogur, southeast Iceland. Photo by Páll Stefánsson.

After significant delays, they are now paddling at full speed along the southern coast and expect to reach Reykjavík in two to three weeks, Morgunbladid reports.

When the kayakers reached Stokksnes near Höfn in the southeast on May 30, the weather had turned too stormy for them to continue. Finally when the weather cleared, it turned out that the kayak had been tossed around the beach by the wind and was damaged.

That called for many days of repairs and “a lot of patience,” Manser said. All in all, he and Skinstad had to stay in Höfn for about one month.

Another incident that set them back was when Skinstad, who is disabled, fell overboard in rough seas by Glettinganes. But all went well and although Skinstad was a bit shaken afterwards, he also gained confidence as an oarsman, Manser said.

He and Skinstad now row at night when the waters are usually calmer than during the day. They are determined to complete their journey in spite of a few mishaps and are pleased with how welcoming Icelanders have been.

Manser wanted to send their greetings to Stefán and Jón Stefán who were biking around the country. “They had heard about our journey and wished us all the best. It is very valuable for us to know that we are supported in Iceland.”

Meanwhile, the two couples who are running around the country to raise funds for resources for children with cancer and their families will complete the last leg of their journey and reach Reykjavík today.

“It has gone well but we are all a little tired and the body has started to complain. We will appreciate the rest,” commented Signý Gunnarsdóttir.

They expected to reach Mt. Esja at noon and their final destination, the headquarters of the sports club Valur at 3 pm. So far, they have raised around ISK 9 million (USD 77,000, EUR 54,000).

Click here to read more about the kayak adventure, here to read more about the runners and here to read about an American oarsman who is about to embark on a journey from Scotland to Iceland.

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