Public Talk: Kayaking the SE Coast of Greenland

The University of Queensland canoe club is very lucky to present a talk by renowned New Zealand Kayaker (and UQ alumni) Paul Caffyn, ONZM.

Paul completed two journeys along the southwest (1000 km) and west (1100 km) coasts of Greenland in the late 1990s, followed in the late 2000’s by a further two trips along the east (700 km) and southeast (1100 km) coasts of Greenland. This last trip is the main subject of his talk – which includes some history and a selection of video clips of the paddling along the Coast of Greenland. These are just some of his many impressive kayaking achievements (see below) which include the circumnavigation of a number countries, including being the first person to complete a solo paddle around Australia.

Paul went to school in Brisbane, learned to paddle at the Indooroopilly canoe club, and graduated with a Science degree (Geology and Botany) from the University of Queensland before moving to New Zealand. Consequently the talk includes a little about his early paddling experiences on the Brisbane river, whitewater paddling in New Zealand, and a brief reminisce about rockclimbing in the Glasshouse mountains, Mt Barney, and Frog Buttress.

Venue: Room 03-309 of the Steele Building (UQ map), The University of Queensland
The Great Court entrance is on level 2 of the Steele building (satellite map). This room is on level 3.

Date: Thursday 9th May, 2013
Time: 6:45PM (talk starts at 7PM)
Duration: approx. 60 minutes

Additional talk – Sandgate VMR – Friday 10th May – 7:30 PM – cost $10.

Paul Caffyn is giving an additional presentation at the Sandgate VMR, 95 Allpass Parade, Shorncliffe, courtesy of Brian White (South East Queensland Sea Kayakers Newsletter – read about it here) and the Sandgate canoe club.
Meet at 7:30 PM, talk starts at 7:45 PM.

After the presentations there will be time for questions and the purchase signed copies of the two of his books that are still in print, Obscured by Waves: South Island Kayak and Odyssey and The Dreamtime Voyage: Around Australia Kayak Odyssey.

217-East Greenland 2007 - Conrad Edwards and Paul Caffyn - PC CE E Gr 07_reduced.jpg
Paddling Southeast Greenland

218-East Greenland 2007 - Paul passing a massive berg - PC berg EG 8.7 .jpg
A big iceberg in Southeast Greenland
A Brief Summary of Sea Kayaking Milestones by Paul Caffyn
  • 1977 -78 – First solo kayak circumnavigation of South Island, New Zealand. 1,550 miles, 21 December 1977 – 23 April 1978, 75 days;
    subject of the book: Obscured by Waves, by Paul Caffyn
  • 1978-79 – First solo kayak circumnavigation of North Island, New Zealand; 1,700 miles, followed by a solo crossing of Cook Strait, 24 December 1978 – 19 March 1979, 86 days.
    Subject of the book: Cresting the Restless Waves by Paul Caffyn – out of print
  • August 1979 – first kayak crossing of Foveaux Strait and circumnavigation of Stewart Island, 140 miles with Max Reynolds.
    Subject of the book: Dark Side of the Wave by P. Caffyn – out of print
  • 1980 – first kayak circumnavigation of Britain; 2,200 miles, with Nigel Denis, 85 days.
    England, Scotland and Wales.
  • 1982 – first solo kayak circumnavigation of Australia; 9,420 miles, 360 days
    Subject of the book: The Dreamtime Voyage back in print as a 25th anniversary edition.
  • 1985 – first solo kayak circumnavigation of Japan, 4,021 miles, 112 days.
  • 1987 & 1989 – two attempts to kayak across the Tasman Sea from Tasmania to New Zealand – thwarted by the authorities and bad weather.
  • 1989 – 1991 – first solo tidewater circumnavigation of Alaska; 4,729 miles. 179 days:
    From Prince Rupert, in British Columbia, to Inuvik in the North-West Territories.
  • 1996 – Prince William Sound, Alaska; glacier tiki tour with Conrad Edwards
  • 1997 – 550 miles first kayak circumnavigation of New Caledonia, with Conrad Edwards.
  • 1998 – 690 mile trip along south-west coast of Greenland, from Kangerlussuaq to Narssarssuaq with Conrad Edwards
  • 1999 – 700 mile paddle along the west coast of Greenland from Kangamiut to Upernarvik, with Conrad Edwards.
  • 2001 -2002: 610 mile trip from Kuala Lumpur, Malaya, to and around the island of Phuket, in Thailand; with Conrad Edwards.
  • 2007 – kayaking in the Angmagssalik region of East Greenland, from Isortoq to Lake Fiord; with Conrad Edwards; 429 miles
  • 2008: 691 mile paddle from Isortoq down the SE coast of Greenland, to Prins Christian Sund, then westwards to Narsaq; with Conrad Edwards.

See Paul Caffyn’s Wikipedia entry, seakayaker magazine article, and a Canoe & Kayak writeup here

Books will be available for purchase on the night

214-1968 - the Warana Festival with Paul paddling a K1 kayak. - PC Brisbane R K1 1968.jpg
Early paddling in the Brisbane River. The Warana Festival in 1968 (now Brisbane Festival).

The Kayaks
Paul’s kayak Isadora, used for the New Zealand circumnavigation, is on permanent display at the Auckland National Maritime Museum, while Lalaguli (the round Aussie kayak) is on permanent display at the Queenscliffe Maritime Museum in Victoria.


Great Court entrance to the Steele building

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