Gino Watkins Expedition 2016

tasiilaq-lake

Trip successfully completed

Apart from the obvious attraction of the fantastic mountain scenery, the wild life and paddling amongst huge ice bergs and sea ice – it’s also the history of east Greenland that inspires me to return again and again.

This is the area where Gino Watkins explored during the early 1930’s. Gino Watkins was responsible for the introduction of the sea kayak to the UK and as a result the development of sea kayaking as we now know it.

Back in the 1930’s the local Inuit on the east coast were mainly living in traditional turf houses and survived solely by hunting. During the past 80 years the local Greenlandic people have experienced incredible changes to their way of life – and not least now have to cope with the changing climate and its effect on their hunting season .
This summer a team of 5 experienced kayakers – all with local knowledge – hope to paddle to Tugtulik (Lake Fjord) where Gino established his final base camp in 1932 and is the site where he died, while alone hunting seal from his kayak.

Tugtilik / Lake fjord is approx 150 miles north from the settlement of Angmagssalik - the final 60 miles are along a coast where landings are few and far between and where the team will be exposed to the full force of ocean swells, weather and sea ice.
We hope to paddle into the Lake Fjord using a copy of the original map, made by Rymill during the 1932 expedition and then plan to spend a few days exploring the immediate area around the site of their hut, the local mountains and the lake – which Gino intended to use as a landing and refuelling site for the first commercial transatlantic flights.

This expedition is being supported by NDK Kayaks, Rockpool kayaks, Celtic / Lendal Paddles and the team will all be wearing Kokatat drysuits.

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