Circumnavigating South Georgia Island with Chris Porter

Chris circumnavigated South Georgia Island in a Sea Kayak, an expedition that was 2 years in the making. This epic adventure truly challenged his psyche.

About Chris

Chris Porter resides in Anglesea on Victoria’s Surf Coast and is a surfer, surf lifesaver, and kayak paddler. Chris began his love with the ocean over 50 years ago when he joined the Anglesea Surf Lifesaving Club as a “Nipper” That love of the ocean grew into a business opportunity when he founded Go Ride a Wave in 1987.

Although Chris is now retired, Go Ride a Wave is one of the largest Outdoor education operators in Australia, teaching surfing, lifesaving and paddling to over 50,000 enthusiasts each year.

On his retirement, Chris was able to further some of his adventurous ambitions, one of them being to paddle in a polar environment. With four friends, in 2015, they successfully paddled around the remote island on South Georgia a feat that is regarded as the “Everest” of sea kayaking. For their endeavours, the team was awarded the Australian Adventurers of the year. Chris now spends his time, as he approaches 60 years of age, planning further adventurous trips and mentoring up and coming adventurers.

Every day we were on the trip, I was outside my comfort zone.
— Chris Porter

In the episode...

  • Chris became so interested in travels and adventures as he has always be curious, always wanting to know what is around the corner and more recently wanting to learn about the history of people and places.

  • Chris did a paddling trip circumnavigating South Georgia Island in a Sea Kayak.

  • There was so much planning Chris and his team had to undertake. It took 2 years to get to the starting point.

  • The expedition took around 42 days in total, including getting to the island on the yacht they had to charter, the paddle its.

  • They had to get their equipment to Poland (the other side of the world) so they could freight it to where it needed to be.

  • Some days winds would get up to 100km per hour, 1-2 degrees Celsius in the middle of summer.

  • The paddle in total would be 500km. The aim was just to attempt the paddle - they were never certain that they would complete the circumnavigation because it was so unknown.

  • Every day of the paddle Chris felt outside of his comfort zone.

  • There was so much wildlife they encountered on their trip, 650,000 king penguins on one beach. This was one of the most confronting things for Chris.

  • Chris biggest learning, after seeing so much thriving wildlife was the impact that we are having on the planet.

  • This trip has changed Chris’ psyche and realised how hard it is to create change in society. The trip gave him a passion to inspire people who have similar interests to him.

  • Chris inspires others by showing them the opportunity and questioning them about how they would start something that they really want to do.

  • Chris wants to inspire people who have the tiniest inkling for an adventure. He suggests finding out what it is that you are best at.

  • Going away on a trip gives you a chance to think.

  • Chris believes that we should always care about what other people think, in a sense that we should be respectful and consider the impact we are having.

  • Chris would love to paddle the north west passage as he wants to see the REAL impact that humans are having on the planet as it is very evident. This has never been done all at once.

  • Chris has now started up World Paddle to help others train, prepare and go on similar adventures or compete in adventure paddling races.

Why Chris continue to seek out travel and adventure? Its just part of his nature and the curiosity of seeing the world.

We went down there with a goal to paddle around the island, but to me, the most confronting thing was to see how, left to their own devices, (to a certain degree), animals could thrive.
— Chris Porter


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