the website of Greg Stamer


Posted by Greg on March 28, 2008

“Lost in Iceland 2007” Iceland Circumnavigation

Greg Stamer / Freya Hoffmeister

Trip Stats:Iceland 2007, nightly stops

  • June 9th – July 11th 2007
  • 33 days total trip
  • 25 paddling days
  • 1007 miles (1620 km) total distance
  • 40.4 miles (65 km) daily average
  • 68 miles (110 km) longest daily distance
  • 56 miles (90 km) longest open crossing
  • Clockwise circumnavigation
  • 24 hrs of sunlight !

The blog entries of our trip are available on Freya Hoffmeister’s website.

Please see my Sea Kayaker Magazine article, “Lost in Iceland”, for a different kind of article that attempts to describe the mental, physical and emotional challenges that I faced on this journey.  View the article online.

Photo Album:  “Lost in Iceland” .

A big thanks to Nigel Dennis and Sea Kayaking UK for the use of an Explorer for the expedition, and also thanks to Þorsteinn Sigurlaugsson (Steini ) of Sea Kayak Iceland for working with Sea Kayaking UK to allow me to use a kayak from his stock, and also for logistics and hospitality after the trip was over. The Icelandic lamb that we had at Steini’s house was one of the best meals of my life!

Also thanks to Karel Vissel for providing weather forecasts daily. There are no English weather reports in Iceland and Karel’s forecasts were both accurate and timely.

Press Release:

Greg Stamer, Qajaq USA president, and Freya Hoffmeister made plans to circumnavigate Iceland in June/July 2007 on short notice after teaching at the inspiring Anglesey Sea Kayak symposium in Wales. They had only 2 days of planning in Germany, then went to Newfoundland to teach at another symposium and to tour the coast for 8 days in cold stormy conditions, a “dry run” for their planned trip. Following Newfoundland the team had another week to prepare at home before departing on the expedition to circumnavigate Iceland.

Hoffmeister and Stamer set out at 10:30 am, June 9th 2007. They started with a 90 km crossing of Faxafloi Bay on the first day, followed by another 100 km day with a 65 km crossing and 22 hrs of overall water time the second day due to some early arriving headwinds. Going from headland to headland directed the trip, with some quiet weather on the West and North coast, but challenging conditions on the East and on the infamous remote black sand South Coast. Although this was not a race, the team completed the circumnavigation in record time, including two long open-water crossings that were never before done by kayak. “The trip was a great experience and we enjoyed pushing our limits in some very challenging conditions”, said Stamer.

They encountered great numbers of whales, dolphins and large seals on the trip, saw skies darkened by blizzards of seabirds, and were humbled by mountains, glaciers, waterfalls and cliffs of massive scale. Hoffmeister and Stamer completed the 1620 km circumnavigation in 33 days using 25 paddling days and averaging 65 km per day. They are available to present an inspiring slideshow about this Iceland trip. For more information please visit gregstamer.com and qajaqunderground.com