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Sandy Robson’s Epic 31,000 Mile Kayak Adventure



Usually, when we hear about a journey of substantial proportions, we never ask, “how did this person afford such an amazing trip?” Maybe we should, because it’s the best way to actually go on your own epic adventure instead of just talking about them. Sandy Robson follows through on her adventures and she doesn’t mind telling the world how she affords to take them. She usually spends 6 months working and 6 months doing things like the grand kayak adventure she’s currently in the midst of: retracing the behemoth kayak adventure of Oskar Speck, a German canoeist who traveled from Germany to Australia by canoe; it took him 7 years (1932-1939).

Right now, Sandy Robson is in the middle of traveling some 31,069 miles by kayak to re-imagine Speck’s quest. She left Germany in May of 2011 and, after the turn of the year, she’s currently paddled into Karwar, along the western edge of the Indian subcontinent.

She set off to circumnavigate India on the Dec. 2, after earlier traveling through Austria, Slovakia, Hungry, Serbia, Macedonia, Cyprus and Turkey. She got into Karwar in mid-January, but still has a lot of sea to cover before she reaches her goal of Sri Lanka by May. Once there, she’ll bunker down for a longer stay to replenish supplies (like money) and wait out the spring monsoon season.

Sandy avoided the West African countries earlier in her endeavor for reasons of safety, and she usually paddles 8-10 hours during the day covering anywhere from 27-31 miles in that span. At night, she heads in to a port along her route. If she doesn’t encounter any people in the port, she spends the night alone, in a tent of her own making. She carries that tent with her in the canoe, along with safety ropes, a mobile phone, a first-aid kit and beacon lights to help her navigate and to warn oncoming boats. She’s said that fisherman have helped her along the way despite the differences in language.

Sandy’s goal means she’ll have traversed more of the sea by kayak than any woman ever has. She’s got quite the undertaking ahead of her, but for someone smart enough to divide their year evenly between work and play, we aren’t putting it past her; she’s already made it this far.

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