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It ́s not easy to talk about a failure. But can you call it a failure when you having fun with things you love at a place you enjoy with friends?


Philipp Cartier

How do you tell of an adventure that ended not like you intended it to? Do you recognize your mistake? Or do you leave everything to the external conditions?

It ́s not easy to talk about a failure. But can you call it a failure when you having fun with things you love at a place you enjoy with friends? Even when you didn ́t got where you wanted. Making big plans is always fun. The moment when you stop being realistic and start being a dreamer is the moment where big adventures are born (a quote of one of these famous adventurers you never can remember the name of).

But there is one more step to a big adventure, and it ́s probably the hardest und most important: the implementation. So, my plan was to kayak around iceland. yep, kayak. That ́s something I ́m not the first person who is thinking of and of course I ́m kayaking for many years.

There already is a small amount of people who done this journey. And I wanted to be one of them. It took one year of planing and researching to get to iceland with everything I needed. Just 2 months before I left a good kayak friend of mine decided to follow me for 2 weeks.

I had planned one week in Reykjavik for some more stuff to plan on site, like a meeting with the Icelandic Search and Rescue team. I was absolutely motivated. It took me so long and so much effort to get here. After the first week my friend Jan came to Reykjavik and two days later we started our kayak trip. We left the car in Reykjavik and just went on in our fully packed kayaks.

The first days where absolutely insane. The landscape, the ocean, everything was so peaceful extraordinary. We found some awesome places to put up our tent and just enjoy where we are.

But really fast we realized that the weather is not really with us. Normally you would be happy about „the hottest summer since weather recording“. But on the water rain and cold are not the main enemies. It ́s wind. And hot weather at a place where it ́s normally not, means high pressure, what means a lot of wind. But we kept on and enjoyed the loneliness. One day we had to paddle 50 km around a big peninsula and waited for good conditions.

We knew it ́s going to be hard. But facing 4-5 meter waves on a almost calm day makes you think about your plans. Although we had a lot of fun in the waves, I decided I will not continue as planned after Jan is leaving. So we had 2 absolutely awesome weeks and Jan left back home.

I decided to go more north and kept on paddling for some days in the Fjords of Iceland. After 2 more weeks the wind became so strong that I was thinking about breaking up totaly. And also I realized some pain in my left foot after some hours in the kayak every day. Just 2 weeks before I started my trip in Iceland I had a outer ligament. And I noticed that it didn ́t healed as fast as I wanted it to.

My girlfriend decided to come by for a week after I decided not to go on with kayaking and we went south to see the glaciers, waterfalls and the ice lagoons. Of course I went back into my kayak a couple of times….

So…. Have I been successful?

Well, I paddled over 500km on the atlantic ocean at the icelandic cost. I spent more than 4 weeks at lonely beaches in my tent, two of them with one of my best friends. There was a giant wale sleeping about 3 meters next to my kayak. Huge, blue and turquoise icebergs passed me siting in my kayak.

We found a broken tractor on an island wich is not recorded in any maps. And Hot pools waited for me and my tent after a 13 hours paddling day ...for some people a strategy of making tremendous plans to achieve big goals might be not the worst.

*** DISCLAIMER: Our tents are not supposed to be set up in the ocean or any other water hazards. ***


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