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Our very first excursion in Antarctica was some frolicking fun kayaking. Iceberg experience not required. Kayak safety briefing absolutely required!

Our first morning briefing (which should have been while crossing the Drake, but was at anchor in Puerto Williams) was the mandatory kayak safety briefing, with our fabulous kayak expedition staff. They demonstrated how to put on the drysuits, paddle grip, and how to board the kayak from the zodiac. (NOTE: It’s way easier to board a zodiac from a kayak in a drysuit than to board one from the water in a wetsuit.)

The safety briefing stated kayakers must have previous experience.drysuit Antarctica kayaking Antarctica is not the place to learn. Luckily, I’d been kayaking in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam and that qualified me!

Each night we were given the opportunity to sign up for one of two possible kayaking excursions the next day. But signing up didn’t guarantee you a spot. They cycled thru until everyone had an opportunity, before allowing repeats. I signed up for both the morning and afternoon excursions the first day. (TIP: It’s best to sign up for both in case the weather doesn’t cooperate!)

After we crossed the Drake, we woke up to a gray, snowy, winterland and kayaking was possible. After breakfast we collected our drysuits, neoprene booties, neoprene mittens, and loaner dry bag and went back to the suite to layer & gear up.

My layers included:

  • merino sock liners
  • merino socks
  • merino leggings
  • merino long sleeve base layer
  • merino vest
  • headband

After gently pulling the drysuit on (a first for me, since I prefer to dive in WARM water), I burped the suit (yeah that’s a thing you do), I put my booties on over the suit, adjusted the neck to ensure it was flush, and had my friend zip me up.

My gear included:

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