We just spoke with adventurer John Peaveler all the way from Iceland via satellite phone. John was calling from his tent after he had paddled out of the open sea into a more protected fjord where he found a good camping site to wait out a storm and spend the night. After setting up camp, John took a few minutes to fill us in on his epic kayak trip around Iceland .
As you may remember, on June 1, John launched a 1,100 mile kayak around the coast of Iceland to raise awareness for Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) and the plight of farm animals around the world. No stranger to animal welfare, John is Managing Director for the Kuwait Society for the Protection of Animals and Their Habitat (K’S PATH). John believes deeply in goals of the Certified Humane Raised and Handled® program and chose HFAC as the inaugural charity to be recognized in his “Kayaking for a Cause” expeditions. In the future he hopes to attempt more international trips that focus on a variety of important causes.
John has been on the trip for now 15 days and has paddled about eight of them. “The weather has been really challenging,” he said. “Rain and lots of wind, wind that makes it very difficult to be in the water.” A good day, with decent weather, will have him paddling about 13 hours with rest break in between. “The rest breaks take place in the kayak, or is we can get it to shore, there, as the kayak is such a tightly, efficiently laid out boat, there isn’t much room to stretch out. At night I camp on the shoreline, or if I’m lucky, find a local inn or hotel.”
The summer temperatures in Iceland are not what one would call hot. In fact, the temperatures average 50 degrees a day. But John has been experiencing highs of only 40 degrees with rain, wind and dense fog. He wears a dry suit in the kayak which does a good job protecting him from the elements.
John’s current position has him on the northwest side of the country. An upcoming challenge is a large land mass that looks like a horn jutting west off the coast of the country. The sea around this horn crashes into large cliffs making the ocean very challenging to navigate. Even more so with bad weather. “Local guides who have been paddling these waters all their lives and who are experts have told me they wouldn’t try to go around it in these situations, so I’m taking a rest day today and hope that conditions improve. If they wouldn’t attempt it, neither would I,” he said. “Once I get on the other side of the country, conditions should make the paddling a bit easier.”
His longest day so far has had him covering over 26 miles, with a typical day, in good conditions, averaging about 15 miles. Some days he paddles very close to the coast line, while others he is a mile out. Still other times the ocean features require he is a whopping 3 or 4 miles from the shore. That’s a lot of hard work in open seas.
John reports that Iceland is beautiful and he has run into a lot of sheep and an amazing variety of birds!
Out of curiosity we asked if he is anywhere near the pesky erupting volcano that has caused such havoc around the world the past few months. “Way on the other side of the country,” he said. “I’m nowhere near it.” Good to know!
Follow John’s incredible trip on our website www.certifiedhumane.org