THE ROYAL GEOGRAPHICAL SOCIETY HONG KONG presents "Kayaking the Southern Ocean: The Unclaimed Coasts" by
Graham Charles on
Wednesday, 25 July 2007 2/F Olympic House, So Kong Po, Causeway Bay
Drinks Reception 6.30 pm; Lecture 7.30 pm We are delighted to welcome internationally celebrated kayaker and international adventurer Graham Charles to Hong Kong to lecture on some of his extraordinary feats, particularly in South Georgia and the Southern Ocean. Also an accomplished photographer and wellknown speaker, the lecture promises to be a fun account of adventure illustrated by beautiful slides of stunning imagery. In 2001, with two companions, Mr. Charles completed the first ever sea kayak traverse of the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula. The three part adventure involved sailing the legendary Drake Passage with Sir Peter Blake, kayaking hundreds of kilometres in stormy polar waters where noone had previously been before, then sailing back across the Drake in a hideous storm amongst nine metre waves in a fourteen metre yacht. Their next expedition was a world first sea kayak and mountaineering expedition to one of the wildest places on the planet. Never before were the Southern Andes approached and traversed from so far by sea kayak. The team followed Darwin's path down the Beagle Channel to the Pacific Ocean, then followed the footsteps of Shipton to traverse the high mountains of the Darwin range to Ushuaia (Argentina). In 2005, Mr. Charles and his team circumnavigated by kayak the SubAntarctic South Georgia Island the first time this trip was successfully been completed. South Georgia is one of the remotest and wildest islands on the planet, situated in the Southern Ocean, which gives rise to the mariners saying 'in the 40's there is no law, in the 50's there is no god' and is a formidable place to kayak. In 2005, four teams registered with the British Government to be the first to circumnavigate the island by sea kayak. Only one team would claim the prize. The team of Mr. Charles, Mark Jones and Marcus Waters took on the autumnal weather and freezing conditions of October to win the race for the largest uncircumnavigated island in the world. Mr. Charles has also completed numerous other first ascents of rock climbs, ice climbs, first descents of never before visited whitewater gorges on the wild west coast of New Zealand and world first sea kayak journeys. His compelling images and stories from these journeys should make for a fascinating and entertaining lecture. One of New Zealand's most versatile outdoor professionals, Mr. Charles has been teaching, managing and playing in the outdoors for over twenty years. He has climbed, paddled and adventured in over a dozen countries including previous trips to Antarctica, the Grand Canyon, extreme kayaking in the western USA and wall climbing in Yosemite Valley. A former national kayaking representative he is the author of New Zealand's 'bible' of whitewater kayaking. Mr. Charles is now established as one of the country's leading outdoor photographer and writers and his work has been published extensively in NZ and also in the USA, UK and Europe. Mr. Charles has worked in management training as a free lancer and at the Sir Edmund Hillary Outdoor Pursuits Centre for a number of years. A former national representative in whitewater slalom racing he has climbed, paddled and adventured in over a dozen countries and pioneered new rock routes and new ascents in the mountains and rivers of NZ. He is author of two major books, "New Zealand Whitewater" and "The Frozen Coast: Sea Kayaking the Antarctic Peninsula", chronicling the teams' journeys in Antarctica and South Georgia. Members and their guests are most welcome to attend this lecture, which is HK$50 for Members, HK$100 for Members' guests and HK$150 for others.