Perched on the remote southwestern edge of Chile is the Parque Nacional Kawésqar, just around the corner from the horn of South America and the Drake Passage, some of the most challenging navigable waters on Earth. This area is renowned for its distant majesty and primeval beauty.
Patagonia is no joke! It is in this supremely challenging paddler's paradise that TRAK Pilot Rodolfo Vivanco and José Luis Ojeda of Kayak Sin Fronteras call home, in the town of Puerto Natales. Recently, these intrepid guides were able to paddle together off of Vancouver Island where they covered an impressive distance, in conditions, in amazing time.
Photos: KsF Adventures
This summer TRAK was fortunate enough to have José at our HQ to visit, and to experience the TRAK 2.0 for himself. Nolin Veillard was on hand to walk José Luis through the set up and features of the boat earlier in the day. Later, he teamed up with Rodolfo - who has been in residence with us this summer - and the Chileans packed up two TRAKs and took the water taxi to nearby Gabriola Island to begin their paddle.
Despite some moderate cross winds, the pair were able to complete their 28km passage in just over 4 hours! Definitely a skilled pace. The conditions also provided for an opportunity to test the weather cocking capabilities of the boat. José Luis was surprised how well the kayak tracked with an extra pump or two of the hydraulics on one side of the vessel. Definitely a must have in the windy conditions of Patagonia.
As our summer here on Vancouver Island came to an end, the season is just beginning in Chile. We're hoping that this is the year José is able to achieve his dream of guiding international paddlers through the world class challenges of the waters that Chile has to offer, in one of the most remote places on Earth. With a little luck, he'll even catch sight of a few whales along the way. Want to be among the first paddlers José Luis is able to take to spy whales in Parque Nacional Kawésqar? He's got you covered through his guiding business Kayak Sin Fronteras!
The Chile-TRAK connection is strong! As one of the first places we originally tested the TRAK 2.0 on its launch, and home to several TRAK Pilots and guides, we're always happy to see TRAK-tivity in Patagonia.
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