ICEolation Film Preview - Kayaking the Antarctic Peninsula

Words and Photos by:

Sophie Ballagh and Ewan Blyth


"We love Antarctica.  It's where we fell in love, it's where we've learned and grown as adventurers - it's truly our home away from home.”

2 people, 2 kayaks, 100 nautical miles, 132 tea bags (each), an expedition tent designed for Antarctica's katabatic winds that can reach upwards of 327 km/hr… and only 1 roll of toilet paper.

For 14 days, this was our life as we kayaked along the western coastline of the Antarctic Peninsula. Worst case scenario? We both flip our kayaks in rough seas and have to swim for shore, losing sight of each other in the process. That may sound like the start of a horror movie, but it is certainly a potential reality when paddling in such a hostile environment.

people getting kayaks ready antarctica ice

We just had to say yes. An opportunity to explore, camp and live in the ice-littered waterways of the Antarctic Peninsula doesn't come along every day! We really wanted to connect with Antarctica on a deeper level as well as connect with ourselves. This was not a standard adrenalin-based expedition; it was for the soul. It was time for us to not only challenge ourselves physically, but challenge ourselves introspectively and go beyond the surface. 

This was not a standard adrenalin-based expedition; it was for the soul. 

Our planning process was robust. We had contingencies for contingencies and took the better portion of two years leading up to the expedition.  We felt ready for anything, but paddling away from our drop-off ship, we quickly realized the true meaning of wilderness and what it means to be "out there.” Antarctica is a place few get to visit, let alone connect with.

woman kayaking antarctica ice

By making this film and sharing our story, we hope that other bold or adventurous folk will be inspired to not only explore the physical realm of the outdoors - but also see that there is much more to explore within at the same time.

However, it’s been harder to make a film about kayaking in Antarctica than it is to actually kayak in Antarctica! Just one of our many learnings from this adventure. With the expertise and vision of Mathew Farrell from Flow State Photography, we are progressing nicely toward a film that hopefully takes the viewer on a thought-provoking journey as we endure the ups and downs of this icy wonderland. 

two people standing antarctica camping outdoors

As the film draws toward being complete, we are very excited to show it to the world and particularly to all those who have supported us on this journey. It's a story that is close to our hearts and one that we hope will have a positive impact on all those who watch it. Stay tuned in 2019.

Letters From the Ends of the Earth is an online multimedia platform that brings the polar regions to you - through real stories, stunning photography, inspiring artwork, and informative resources. From Antarctica to the Arctic, Svalbard to South Georgia, this project shines a new and different kind of light on the unique experiences found at the Ends of the Earth.

Have You Spent Time in Antarctica or the Arctic?


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