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Ice Bears & Islands - Kayak around Svalbard

  • Prints Going Out     3 December 2015
    Posted by: Ice Bears and Islands - Kayak Around Svalbard
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    We are excited to have got the final selection of Photo prints from backers, and now they are stretched on frames and heading out in the post. If anyone else is interested in getting some of these amazing shots for their wall, please contact Jaime at jaime@worldwildadventure.com

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  • WE MADE IT! THANK YOU ALL!     22 September 2015
    Posted by: Ice Bears and Islands - Kayak Around Svalbard
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    Thanks for all your support and belief in this project. On September 5th 2015 our team arrived back in the township of Longyearbyen becoming the first ever Kayakers to not only circumnavigate Svalbard Archipelago but also the amazing island of Nordaustlandet that is included in this Island group.

    We are immensely re-leaved to be done and feel like we have accomplished something quite significant. here is our press release for a bit more of a read, and stay tuned for articles in magazines and Newspapers near you.

    Tara and Jaime are also doing talks on the trip, with Jaime having done very successful one already in Tromso Norway.

    Kayakers complete World First Circumnavigation of Svalbard Archipelago

    On the 5th of September 2015, a team of three kayakers completed the first ever kayak circumnavigation of Svalbard Archipelago including the islands of Spitsbergen, Nordaustlandet, Barents Oya and Edge Oya. The 2200km long journey took them 71 days, during which they paddled north over the 80th parallel, had many encounters with polar bears, negotiated ice choked waters, survived gales, and endured days of freezing temperatures in the Arctic wilderness.

    The team consisted of New Zealanders Jaime Sharp and Tara Mulvany, as well as Per Gustav Porsanger from Norway. It was Sharp who first envisioned the trip six years ago and brought the team together. He states, "I had dreamt of doing a trip like this since I was a kid, Arctic exploration in my mind is the plateau of any pursuit and of course every adventurer dreams of claiming a "world first". Even after watching the failed attempts previously over the last 6 years, I was still drawn to do the trip, and this year it all fell into place as if it was meant to be." In late 2014 the dream began turning into a reality and with Mulvany and Porsanger onboard they began organising, planning and preparing for the expedition which they expected to take between 2-3 months.

    Situated in the Arctic Ocean between 76-81 degrees north, Svalbard Archipelago has seen a number of attempts by expedition kayakers over the years, the last being in 2010 when two Norwegian paddlers were attacked by a polar bear while sleeping in their tent. In order to save the man, who the polar bear had dragged from the tent by his head, the other had to shoot the bear dead while not hitting his mauled team mate. Despite this known harsh reality, Sharp's dream persisted.

    With the constant threat of polar bears the kayakers slept in shifts with one person awake at all times on 'polar bear watch' to guard their camp. Numerous times they were forced to use rifles and signal gun shots to scare away bears, some in excess of 800kg and which came within 50m of their camp. They saw a total of 40 bears during their expedition. The most intense encounter required 13 rifle rounds and 6 flash bangs to repel a single bear, only to have yet another one come at the group only a minute later. "Sometimes you just have to use the rifle" Porsanger states bluntly. Thankfully the group never had to shoot a polar bear in defence, which by Norwegian law would have brought their trip to a premature end.

    Apart from the bears, one of their biggest challenges was a 180km uninterrupted glacial front, with waters often choked with ice debris, which took them over two days to cover including one last push of more than 26 hours of continuous paddling until they could step on solid ground again. For 17 hours of this endeavour they were also surrounded by thick fog and had to navigate by compass. Mulvany describes this experience as being, "brutal yet beautiful, and totally surreal."

    They also tackled a number of long open water crossings across the fiords, the biggest being 65km which took them 15 hours of paddling before they landed on the other side.

    In their 18 foot long sea kayaks they carried more than 50 days worth of food, as well as rifles, camping gear and everything else that they needed to be self sufficient for months at a time. Along the way they had one food resupply, which they had organised for a small cruise boat to drop for them approximately 500km into their journey.

    Some of their highlights included sleeping atop a low section of glacial cliff, many encounters with wildlife including walrus, belugas, humpbacks and fin whales, as well as swimming polar bears who, despite attempting to eat the kayakers, where one of the most memorable moments of the trip.

    When asked if they would do it again, the unanimous opinion was "no". Sharp states, "we where so lucky with many things, not just the sea ice breaking and allowing us to pass, but the weather... We had a weather year like no other, and all the locals scoffed in disbelief on our return when we told them how little wind we had the whole trip. We hit the jackpot. This kinda trip is about being prepared and able yes, though there is a reason so many have failed before. I believe Svalbard is 70% luck, she has to want you to succeed."

    Further information about their journey can be found at www.svalbard.worldwildadventure.com

    Contact: Jaime Sharp

    Jaime@worldwildadventure.com

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  • FROM SVALBARD: THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT WE ARE ON OUR WAY!     26 June 2015
    Posted by: Ice Bears and Islands - Kayak Around Svalbard
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    We have been in Svalbard a week now, and are finally packed and ready to go, however the ice is not co- operating. we have about two weeks of coastline to paddle before we hit the current sea ice, the maps are not looking good compared to the last 3 ice free years, so we are uncertain of our outcome.

    However we are here, we now the ice will break up more in the weeks to come and the locals are telling us the summer is delayed by two weeks, this combined with the warmest Arctic winter on history with record low ice, has us feeling that in two weeks time things could be very different. So with that hope we are pushing north slowly in our boats that are loaded with 55 days plus worth of food and gear. Plus we have our food drop with another 20 days placed.

    Thank you all so much for the support, the rewards have either shipped, will be shipped in the next two weeks, or you may have to wait for our return to get the last couple of straggling items.

    Follow our journey on our tracker map either on facebook or the website

    http://svalbard.worldwildadventure.com/followus/follow/

    https://www.facebook.com/YakAboutAdventures?app_data=visitor_mode&sk=app_190322544333196

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  • Cruises & Kayaking trips in Doubtful & Milford with Go Orange     12 May 2015
    Posted by: Ice Bears and Islands - Kayak Around Svalbard
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    Only two days left on our page! A massive thanks everyone for pledging towards our project, it means heaps to us!

    We are stoked to announce that Go Orange have come on board as an expedition sponsor, and have given us a couple of kayaking trips & cruises to use as rewards for pledging towards our project. We have one of each of the following on offer:

    KAYAKING TRIPS

    Pledge $270 for a Milford Must Do - 4.5hrs of kayaking on Milford Sound for 2 people. (Valued at $290) Note that trips start up again in September. Use #MILFORDKAYAK when pledging.

    Pledge $700 for a Doubtful Sound Overnight Kayaking trip for two people. (Valued at $800) note that trip start up again in Nov 2015. Use #DOUBTFULKAYAK when pledging.

    CRUISES

    Pledge $110 for a Milford Sound 2hr Cruise for 2 people. Note that cruises start up again on Oct 1, 2015. Use #MILFORDCRUISE when pledging.

    Pledge $380 for Doubtful Sound day Cruise for 2 people (Valued at $450) note that cruises begin again from Oct 1st 2015. Use #DOUBTFULCRUISE when pledging.

    For more info check out www.goorange.co.nz or email nztara1@gmail.com

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  • $255 NZD ($190 USD) Five Ten Canyoneer 3's Size 10 US 9.0 UK 43 EURO     9 May 2015
    Posted by: Ice Bears and Islands - Kayak Around Svalbard
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    We have one pair of Brand New Five Ten Canyoneer 3's up for pledge. we can Ship to USA, CND and NZ with the pledge price. These shoes are bomber for whitewater kayaking and SAR or extreme kayaking. they run about a half size small unless you have a narrow foot.

    Pledge a minimum of $255 NZD and use code #FIVETEN to secure this pair of shoes.

    In canyoneering, where static friction is life and sliding friction death, Canyoneers have become the gold standard. The Canyoneer 3, with its Stealth S1 soles, reflects more than 15 years of R&D in some of the world’s harshest environments. The new 2015 Canyoneer retains the burly protection and excellent stability of its predecessor, but adds an increased lug height for improved penetration on soft ground and easier mud release. We’ve added welded rubber rands that interlock with the mesh upper to eliminate any chance of delamination; an asymmetric fast-lace system for single-handed adjustability in cold, wet conditions; a protective tuck-away lace pouch and svelte heel cage for torsional stiffness and support. And the flexible ankle cuff gives you support and protection without compromising range of motion.

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  • $20 -$30 Fresh As Freeze Dried Fruit     9 May 2015
    Posted by: Ice Bears and Islands - Kayak Around Svalbard
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    A mountain of freeze dried fruit packets arrived in the mail today, thanks Fresh As!! It's only a week until our fundraising page ends and we've got a pile of deliciousness to give away.. pledge $20 and we'll send you a packet, or $30 for two (within NZ only) USE CODE #FRESHAS when pledging and send me an email with your postal address. nztara1@gmail.com

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  • $180NZD ($130 USD) Watershed Aleutian Deck Bag     6 May 2015
    Posted by: Ice Bears and Islands - Kayak Around Svalbard
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    Thanks to Watershed we have some great kit up for offer. This reward is for an Aleutian Deck Bag.

    If you need low-profile waterproof storage on the deck of a sea kayak, look no further than the Watershed Aleutian. Straps nicely onto the front deck of most sea kayaks, and allows fast access to your camera and valuables. You can also use it to keep a map dry but viewable, and will even hold a bilge pump with its handy straps.

    Fits most kayaks and canoes

    2 Elasto-Lok buckles for your bilge pump

    Convenient reusable water bottle holder

    Map case

    Pledge your minimum $180NZD and use code #DECKBAG

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  • All SOLD THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT $210 NZD ($150 USD) Seals Shocker Pro Shocker Spray Skirts     6 May 2015
    Posted by: Ice Bears and Islands - Kayak Around Svalbard
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    SOLD SOLD SOLD!

    We have two Pro Shockers up or claim.

    Awesome for whitewater paddling and extreme sea kayaking. the deck size is 1.4 for both skirts and Tunnel size can be either medium or large.

    High performance 4mm neoprene

    3/8" stitched bungee attachment to rim

    Top-edge wear guard with 22% Kevlar fibers

    Rim grip/safety slip technology

    Form fitting anatomical tunnel

    Glued, stitched and sealed seams

    size 1.4 is good for standard sized cockpits like Jackson Zen, Liquid logic Stomper, Wave Sport Recon, most standard sea kayaks.

    Pledge your minimum $210 NZD and use code #SHOCKERM or #SHOCKERL depending on size wanted.

    price includes shipping within USA, Canada and NZ other countries extra $20

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  • $65 Limited Edition Art Prints and $595 Original Art Piece Framed     27 April 2015
    Posted by: Ice Bears and Islands - Kayak Around Svalbard
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    This art piece, done in micron pen with professional inks and watercolours on a acid-free archival stock paper, was done in celebration of our expedition by Vancouver Island Artist Kristy Pedersen of Fog and Swell.

    The piece represents the essence of why we love to travel and explore by kayak, showing a scene of arctic marine life centered around the paddlers quite and unobtrusive presence as they pass through the world like a zipper. "Experiences" opening up before the paddler and then zipping shut behind in their diminishing wake, leaving no trace what so ever that they had passed.

    LIMITED EDITION PRINTS $65nzd

    Printed with professional inks on archival paper the prints will be limited to a run of 20, and measure 11x14 inches, they will be individually numbered and signed by Artist Kristy Pedersen and come with a hand signed message from the Ice Bears and Island team attached. Postage included

    To get your copy make a minimum Pledge of $65 NZD (which is roughly $50 USD), Write the Code #ARTPRINT in comments section of pledge,

    ORIGINAL ART PIECE $590 nzd

    10.5x14 with mat and frame (full dimension to be confirmed). this Piece will be signed by Kristy and come with a photo Thank you card signed by the team and attached to the back of the frame. you also have the choice to have the team sign and message the mat around the art inside the frame. Postage included.

    Make a minimum pledge of $595 NZD (roughly $455 USD) and write code #ARTORG in comment section to seal this one and only art piece.

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  • $3500 NZD Tara's Break Sea Fibreglass Sea Kayak     24 April 2015
    Posted by: Ice Bears and Islands - Kayak Around Svalbard
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    Receive Tara's near new Paddling Perfection Breaksea fiberglass sea kayak. This is an awesome, fast boat for an experienced paddler. Kayak is currently in Invercargill.

    make $3500 minimum pledge and Write Code #TARAKYK in comment box when making pledge.

    Our BreakSea kayak is not for the fainthearted. It’s a New Zealand-designed, European-styled kayak that’s fast and lively. Designed for our local waters, it’s quite a different beast to your typical Kiwi kayak. The BreakSea is round-hulled with soft edges – this means lower primary stability, but great secondary stability – and it tracks nicely. It can be paddled with the rudder, and if you’re keen, you can test your skills by leaving the rudder stuck onto the deck.

    Retails at $4250 NZD

    Read more here http://www.paddlingperfection.co.nz/product/breaksea-recreational-kayak/

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  • $230 NZD Kokatat Mis Fit Tour Bouyancy Aids (PFD)     24 April 2015
    Posted by: Ice Bears and Islands - Kayak Around Svalbard
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    We have two, slightly used Kokatat Mis Fit Tour BA/PFD's up for offer. both are sized Womans Medium, one is Blue one is Red.

    They are in New Zealand and we can only offer them to Pledgers from NZ.

    Brand new they retail at $300NZD.

    Make at least a $230 pledge Use Code #PFD BLUE or #PFDRED in comment box when making your pledge

    Front and rear reflective tape, knife garage, strobe lash tab and multiple top-loading pockets gives the gadget-happy paddler plenty of room for gear. Ergonomic and innovative components such as thermo-formed, padded Hypalon® shoulders, 3 side adjustments, GAIA® PVC-free foam, and superlative construction methods set the standard in modern PFD design.

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  • $110NZD T shirt + Sticker + 24 x 36 Official Expedition Poster     24 April 2015
    Posted by: Ice Bears and Islands - Kayak Around Svalbard
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    OK we have 15 Expedition Packages up for grabs. You get a Yak About Adventure Sticker, a Yak About Adventure T Shirt and our official Ice Bears and Islands Expedition Poster.

    T shirts may not be the Color shown, first in first pick on sizes and available colors and designs.

    This is the poster we are sending all our Main sponsors as piece of memorabilia. The poster (image shown is just an example of size) will feature the team in Svalbard with an epic background and will show small sponsor logos and expedition Logo.

    Use Code #POSTERPKG in comment box when making at least a $110nzd pledge

    What you get is one Sticker, one T shirt, and a team signed A1 Large Poster (840mm x 594mm) 24x 36. rolled and posted to your door.

    Includes shipping in NZ, Canada and USA

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  • $80NZD Signed Copy of Tara's Book     24 April 2015
    Posted by: Ice Bears and Islands - Kayak Around Svalbard
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    You will receive a personally signed copy of Tara's "A Winters Paddle" all about her epic circumnavigation of New Zealand's Notorious South Island by Kayak in the middle of winter, the first and likely the last time this will be done.

    Use Code #WNTRPDLE in comment box when making your minimum. $80 pledge.

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  • $390NZD Small Panoramic 10" x 20" Canvas Prints     24 April 2015
    Posted by: Ice Bears and Islands - Kayak Around Svalbard
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    We are offering small 50cm x 25cm (20" x 10") Giclee Canvas prints of images from our Expedition.

    There will be 10 images of stunning scenic impact, or of ambient adventure feel to choose from at the end of the Expedition, (or you can choose from any of Jaime's current photos from previous adventures) you will also receive a signed thank you photo card from the team.

    The product will be a 50cm x 25cm (20" x 10") canvas on frame. Shipping will be included within New Zealand and USA/Canada, other countries will require an extra $50NZD.

    Prioritize your print option today by purchasing now. Use Code #1020PRNT in comment box when making your pledge.

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  • $790 30 x 40 Large Limited Edition Photographic Print     24 April 2015
    Posted by: Ice Bears and Islands - Kayak Around Svalbard
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    We are offering Limited edition Giclee Canvas prints of images from our Expedition.

    There will be 6 - 10 images of stunning scenic impact to choose from at the end of the Expedition, (or you can choose from any of Jaime's current photos from previous adventures),of each image option there will be only 10 numbered and signed prints. you will also receive a signed "Thank you Photo Card" from the team.

    The product will be a 30x 40 (76cm x 100cm) canvas on frame. Shipping will be included within New Zealand and USA/Canada, other countries will require an extra $50NZD.

    Prioritize your print option today by purchasing now. use Code #3040PRNT in comment box when making your pledge.

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  • Melting sea ice & hungry bears     29 March 2015
    Posted by: Ice Bears and Islands - Kayak Around Svalbard
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    Firstly, we would like to say a massive thank you to everyone who has pledged to our project so far. It has been humbling to have had so much support and encouragement not only from within NZ, but from a few far corners of the world. It means a lot to us!

    Things are now well underway for our departure in June. We have most of our equipment sorted, our permit is one small step from being approved, and our struggle to find an insurance company who will cover us has been solved.

    Lately I have been reading a couple of awesome books - the first called 'Ice Bears and Kotick' by Peter Webb - the story of his circumnavigation of the main island of Spitsbergen in an open rowing/sailing boat. It's an entertaining read and I highly recommend it, especially if you want a little taste of what's ahead for us.

    If you would like to read more about current happening, we have a new blog post up titled 'Melting sea ice & hungry bears' http://svalbard.worldwildadventure.com/melting-sea-ice-hungry-bears/

    Thanks again for your interest and support :)

    Tara & Jaime

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  • $3500 NZD Jaime's Kevlar Sea Bear Waitoa for Sale     2 February 2015
    Posted by: Ice Bears and Islands - Kayak Around Svalbard
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    Jaime is selling his Paddling Perfection Kayak in almost new Condition.

    $3500 NZD gets you Jaime's Kevlar Sea Bear Waitoa. it has paddled the length of New Zealands North Island, though was completely re painted afterwards and is in almost brand new condition. this kayak is a steal at this price and is located in Auckland for pick up, or shipping can be arranged at extra cost.

    Write Code #JAMKYK in Comments with Pledge.

    Retails for $5000

    The iconic Kiwi kayak has been upgraded. The SeaBear Waitoa has been modernized and gives a paddler of today modern comforts on the proven hull design. The SeaBear remains the classic touring kayak but has combined this with high standards in deck design.

    A team of experienced peddlers and designers have worked on the SeaBear and are pleased to introduce the modernised version. Ron Augustin made the redesigned model; as experienced Paddling Perfection kayakers know: Ron is the designer of the SeaBear. The hull design has remained as it was; the SeaBear has proven to be the natural choice for expedition kayakers and kayak enthusiast alike.

    More info on model here http://www.paddlingperfection.co.nz/portfolio/sea-bear/

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