Justine Curgenven enjoying the campfire.
Image by Justine Curgenven
Spectacular scenery on their padle around Tierra del Fuego.
Image by Justine Curgenven

Kayak: Second Tierra del Fuego attempt

Posted: Feb 06, 2012 09:24 am EST

(By Jon Amtrup)Justine Curgenven and Barry Shaw had to abandon last year’s attempt to kayak around Tierra del Fuego. Now they are on their way again, and halfway on their adventure. This weekend they kayaked in to Ushuaia – the town at ‘the end of the world’.

It’s been great to be on a kayaking trip again. I feel so alive when travelling through beautiful scenery, using my own power to move forwards and carrying everything I need in my kayak. I love being able to pull the kayak up onto a pretty beach, or in a small bay, Barry pitches the tent while I make a hot drink and some food, then we relax for a few hours – taking a walk and looking around.

The two started where they had to quit last year because of Barry’s bad wrist.

“This time we are taking it a bit more easy! We went at it at full speed last year - due largely to being held up 12 days in Punta Arenas and being worried about time. Barry had a tight seal on his drysuit which led to his tendonitis - this year he has looser neoprene seals. On the first leg this year, we paddled less hard and for less time ( spending more time looking around - which was great). The last few days we paddled harder, but still not for really long days,” Justine tells Explorerweb.

They have paddled approximately 270 nautical miles in 13 days and have 330 nautical miles to go between Ushuaia and Punta Arenas.

“The coastline all the way back to Ushuaia was breath taking. Lots of mountains – a few pocket sandy beaches, small coves, rocky shores, and lots of greenery. Forests reached down to the sea, the trees usually scraped up the side of the mountain by the power of the wind – like a fuzzy green back combed hair!,” they write on their blog.

ExWeb asked them about food:

“Food --- I like to eat well on a trip and always take fresh fruit and vegetables and try to make something fresh last the whole trip - even if it is only a quarter of an onion and a clove of garlic by the last day! We don't take dehydrated meals, or decide in advance what we will eat every day. On the first leg we took enough food for 21 days.

We eat porridge for breakfast -with honey and fruit (real bananas until they run out and then dried raisins or pears this time).

Lunch is usually pita bread with cheese and ham or salami (and avocado for the first 4 days) - although we also have some crackers.
On the water snacks included apples, oranges, chocolate, nuts and Trek & Nakd bars - 100% natural fruit and nut bars that are also high in protein. The 'berry delight' is my favorite! (made by natural balance foods in the UK).

Dinner is pasta, rice, polenta or couscous (500grams for each night). We have a range of sauces, from tomato puree, stock cubes, honey, dehydrated soup mixes, powdered sauces, pesto etc. We usually have a can of tinned tuna or sardines or lentils, plus fresh onions, carrots and/ or garlic. We have extras to add like sunflower seeds, mixed seeds, nuts, sun dried tomatoes.
We make pancakes for a treat sometimes during the day, or have them for breakfast if we have a day off paddling.”

And favorite kit?

“Favorite bit of kit... um….I love our Hilleberg Tarra tent - it's really sturdy and roomy. Also my Kokatat drysuit, Keen mackenzie sandals & my lightweight and flexible Ortlieb dry bags.”