Story & photos by Jordan Snyder and Martina Sestakova
It was our second day out and we had over six miles of open water traverse ahead of us. We clawed our way directly into oncoming waves, wind, and a flood current as the elements battled to restrain us. Waves washed over our 21’ tandem sea kayak as it crept across the Gulf of Mexico, making no more than two miles per hour of slow and challenging forward progress.
We were paddling from Jewel Key to Pavilion Key in the 10,000 islands area of the Everglades National Park, Florida. This was our first wilderness adventure in the third-largest national park in the lower 48 states.
By: Mike Libecki and Victoria Ortiz
It’s not one of those things your mother warns you about. But Mike Libecki’s mom probably never thought she’d have to say “Be careful paddleboarding with polar bears, honey.”
As part of Mike Libecki’s trip to Greenland last summer to climb two first ascents, he paddleboarded 80 miles through sea ice, around glaciers, and next to some of the largest carnivores on the planet.
Libecki has SUPed with polar bears before and been around more than 80 polar bears in the wild. “It’s an amazingly powerful feeling, almost a spiritual experience to be near these powerful god-like beasts,” says Libecki.
An Interview with Mike Libecki
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