the website of Greg Stamer

Lost in Iceland

Posted by Greg on October 13, 2008

My life has been a flurry of actively since the completion of my solo Newfoundland expedition, including teaching at the Qajaq TC Michigan Training Camp, Maine Island Kayak Company’s  New England Intermediate Rough Water Symposium and even returning to Newfoundland to visit again. This week I teach at the Delmarva Retreat (America’s largest Greenland-style event) and following I will be teaching in Sweden at the Escape Kajakcenter from October 23 – November 2.

I still haven’t even settled into home since my Newfoundland trip ended and am still dealing with all the re-acclimation issues that follow a long trip. It seemed to hit me harder this time — but that’s a story for another day…

The October 2008 Issue of Sea Kayaker Magazine contains my article, “Lost in Iceland” — about my record-setting circumnavigation of Iceland in 2007 with German kayaker Freya Hoffmeister.

I find most trip articles (travelogues) difficult to read, so this article was meant to be something very different. It is a very personal account of my struggle to bust out of my safe but confining “cubicle” in the corporate world, to seek a life that I am more passionate about. I found it a very difficult article to write.

I have received some very good feedback from readers about the article. Initially I wasn’t quite sure if people would “get it”, or if it was too personal and too honest to be relevant in a kayaking magazine, but the following short review from  Mark Rainsley in the UK Rivers Guidebook forum eased my mind and made me laugh out loud; (thanks Mark!)

“It’s a Totally Scientific fact that all sea kayaking articles are Incredibly Boring, albeit each in their own distinct way.However, I’ve just read Greg Stamer’s account of that trip (in Sea Kayaker Magazine), and it’s great! Riveting stuff, highly recommended.

I hope that you enjoy the article!

  1. Michael Bradley Said,

    Mark’s right! It was an interesting ‘insider’ read on your trip which I highly enjoyed. I’m happy that SeaKayaker published it showing they too can move in new directions – just as I’d let my subscription lapse…

    Enjoy Delmarva. Incredibly, I’m too strapped to make it this year, of all years, when Maligiaq will return. Please pass on my regards to him from both me and my family!

  2. Jeff Fabiszewski Said,

    Greg, your article is the most unique kayaking article I have read due to its personal nature. Thank you for sharing it. Have fun in Delmarva. And I will see you when you get back in town.

  3. Eiichi Said,

    Hi Greg,
    I read your article. It was a very interesting content. My wife had felt admiration for characters with your hand. I am expecting your next journey.

  4. Bertrand Said,

    Great article. Captivating to read ! If all kayaking trip articles could be like yours I’d be in heaven !

  5. keith Said,


    I just read your article in Sea Kayaker, I don’t have a subscription at the moment, so I ordered the one issue. Great writing, and I really enjoyed your description of events. I admire your willingness to be upfront about your relationships. Sometimes I wonder if we as a society tend to think that by finding someone who shares our interests and passions that everything will work out. But in the end when you come home and the adventure is over you still have to live together and it is still a relationship.

    And BTW I know what you mean about asking for time off to be denied. I’ve been trying to negotiate a summer off for a trip round Superior since last year. Not sure when it will happen, but at some point I may have to just take the risk and do it. Sometimes there is no “later”, or when “when I retire”.

    This was one of the best articles I’ve read in SK in a long time.


  6. Leigh Blazic Said,

    “but that’s a story for another day…”
    Am waiting for that story! Have you settled in or are you planning another trip? Don’t see any events for December or beyond posted to the site.

  7. Greg Said,

    Thanks everyone for the comments! Regarding the relationship stuff, first I feel that you are better off if you don’t depend on anyone else for your own happiness (that is your own responsibility), and two, you have a “keeper” if you find someone who somehow makes you become a better person and makes the day-to-day life a little more fun.

    I’m looking at a few trips — a long crossing from Key West to the Dry Tortugas; possibility a trip across the gulf stream to the Bahamas and to skip from one Caribbean island to the next; and/or maybe a through-hike of the AT.

    I’m currently recovering from knee surgery. If anything, it strikes home to me that you can’t wait forever to begin fulfilling your dreams, as someday you will be too frail to undertake them (but you can always dream another dream). I’d rather live with mistakes (lost fortunes, divorce, etc) than with regrets of not having tried to live fully.

  8. mari Said,

    Thank you for your article Lost in Island. I enjoyed reading a different trip article. How familiar a story: I got divorced 7 years ago, paddled the Inside Passage one year ago with my (after trip ex)boyfriend and left my career as project manager/consultant in IT business 6 months ago to become an entrepreneur. Nowadays I am restoring old wooden windows for my living. I do not regret any of the decisions I have made.

    I am strongly sharing your attitude to ”relationship stuff” and life – to live fully. I wish I had similar boldness to write about our trip but I still cannot.

    I wish you all the best with the brave decicions of your life.

  9. Greg Said,

    Mari, thanks for your comments. I also wish you the best of luck. Major life changes feel like jumping out of an airplane without a parachute. That said, major change requires risk!