A three-week long journey – from California, through British Columbia and Alaska – delivered us to one of the loneliest and least known spots on Earth (halfway between Russia and Alaska), where the Pacific Ocean and the Bering Sea collide at what the Aleuts called ‘the birthplace of the winds.’ Our goal was to kayak among five volcanic islands rising straight out of the seas, and climb their snowcapped peaks. Weather and tides would dictate our itinerary.
Two 21-foot kayaks carried everything the four of us would need for five weeks: food, fuel, paddling and climbing gear, emergency and first aid kits, and a small mountain of camera equipment. Success was far from assured in a region where it is common for gales to exceed a hundred miles an hour and strong currents, ten-foot standing tidal rips and constant winds churn the channels separating the islands. When I explained our goal to a local back in Dutch Harbor he simply shook his head. ‘You’re gonna have your hands full…’ — Jon Bowermaster
Islands of the Four Mountains
Aleutian Islands (North America)
A FILM BY JON BOWERMASTER
TEAM: Jon Bowermaster, Sean Farrell, Barry Tessman, and Scott McGuire
OCEANS 8 FILMS Presents
“BIRTHPLACE OF THE WINDS: SEA KAYAKING ALASKA”
Edited by JOEL KATZ AND JASON WILLIAMS/ PRESENT FOCUS
Sound Design by JACQUES BOULANGER
Principle Videography by JON BOWERMASTER
Still Photography by BARRY TESSMAN
Produced, Written & Directed by JON BOWERMASTER
Supported by the NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC Expeditions Council
This ongoing project from writer and adventurer Jon Bowermaster includes a series of expeditions to explore the world’s oceans from the seat of a sea kayak. Used as both transportation and as floating ambassadors, sea kayaks allow Jon and his teams – comprised of some of the world’s best photographers, filmmakers, scientists and navigators – to reach corners of the world rarely seen. The goal of each expedition is adventure and education through exploration of local cultures, histories, environmental issues and the future of these varied regions. Supported by the National Geographic Expeditions Council, the expeditions have taken Jon to the heart of the Aleutian Islands, through the Tuamotu Atolls in French Polynesia, across the high plains of Bolivia, Chile and Argentina, up the wild coastline of Gabon in West Africa, along Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast, and around the rugged shores of the Australian island of Tasmania.