How to prepare for an 'impossible' trip - Kayaking The Aleutians with Justine Curgenven

Justine Curgenven is an expedition sea kayaker and an inspirational adventure filmmaker. Her latest film Kayaking The Aleutians has won numerous awards at adventure film festivals across the globe.In her most recent expedition with teammate Sarah Outen, the two became the first to kayak the Aleutian Island chain from Adak to Homer Alaska. It was 4 months and 1500 miles of kayaking in a remote landscape with strong winds, fast currents, and rugged coastlines.

“A Lot of people were skeptical. A lot of people said that the long crossings [of the Aleutian Islands] was impossible in a kayak”.- Justine Curgenven

Justine created an award-winning film of the adventure called Kayaking the Aleutians and you can learn more about it at her website In this podcast with Paul Schmid Justine discusses -

  • > What inspired herself and Sarah to undertake this amazing adventure.
  • > What she's most proud of about the trip.
  • > How to stop bears stealing your food, your kayak and generally harassing your camp.
  • > How herself and Sarah went about preparing for this inspiring trip

Click on the image below to listen.

Kayaking the Aleutians and Adventure Filmmaking with Justine Curgenven - TPZ 093 - The Pursuit Zone 2016-07-14 20-47-07.png

Total Listening Time: 34 minutes

The Why Not? Adventure Film Festival is supported by Independent Brewing. They make amazing beer and were one of our main sponsors for WNAFF15. We LOVE their beer. Sometime even too much! They’ve only been in operation 2 years and have already won a heap of awards. And best of all. They’re based on the Wild Atlantic Way in County Galway.

About The Pursuit Zone podcasts.

What do you call the area outside of the comfort zone?  It’s called The Pursuit Zone.  The idea behind The Pursuit Zone is to interview people that dream big, get out of their comfort zones, and accomplish ambitious pursuits. The Pursuit Zone podcasts are brainchild of Paul Schmid. Check out for more podcasts from the world of adventure.

Selected Links from the Episode

Backward Survival School Scotland.
City of Adak, Alaska.
Aleutian Islands, Alaska.
Aleut people.
The kayak roll. An essential skill.

Valley Sea-Kayaks Etain - Justine’s sea kayak of choice.
Rockpool Manni 18 Sea-Kayak. - Sarah’s sea kayak.
The forceful evacuation of the Aleut people during WW2.
The Barren Islands (video) - more than just a clever name.

Electric bear fences. (video).
Nautical mile vs a normal mile - for all ye landlubbers.
Peli Case
Contour Camera
PDF - Personal Floatation Device. Not a file on your computer.

How to courtesy to the Queen of England.
How NOT to courtesy to the Queen of England.(video)

Falkland Islands.
What Justine’s at right now.

Show Notes

On sea-kayaking, world firsts and setting up a bear-proof camp.

01:10 - Justine explains how she got started in adventure filmmaking.

03:50 - First experiences sea-kayaking.

05:00 - How Justine first met Sarah Outen.

08:00 - Talking about organising the expedition.

10:40 - What kind of training goes into a trip of this magnitude. And her biggest worry.

13:30 - The love between a kayaker and their boat.

15:00 - What is was like interacting with the communities of these remote Alaska Islands

15:30 - The decimation of the local Aleut communities as the result of WW2 evacuation.

17:58 - What was the most difficult of the Aleutian Island chain crossings.

19:00 - On avoiding campsite bear invasions!

23:09 - Favourite part of the landscape.

24:05 - Justine talks about what part of the expedition she’s most proud of.

On filming and meeting the Queen of England

26:35 - Chatting about the film equipment that Justine uses.

29:55 - The importance of timing in filming in dynamic environments.

30:30 - On touring her award winning film Kayaking the Aleutians.

31: 49 - Meeting the Queen of England.

33:40 - What’s next?

People Mentioned

Sarah Outen

Sam Davies

Did you enjoy the podcast? We’ll be sharing more podcasts from The Pursuit Zone in coming months. Got someone you’d like  interviewed? Let us know by getting in contact with Paul at The Pursuit Zone or in the comment section below.


Last modified onFriday, 15 July 2016 19:33

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