Here on the east Coast of Vancouver Island temperatures have been rather un-spring-like, meaning the foliage and flowers are behind schedule. Perhaps the cooler wet days have been a benefit for us, as a lot of people have been ducking out of the rain and adventuring vicariously through our recent Amazon River presentations. Our tour began in Vancouver with a hefty crowd at the beautiful Hollywood Theatre (sadly the family-owned Hollywood has been sold, and this was likely the last time we’ll be presenting there). Nanaimo was sold out, and we had a packed house in Victoria despite competing with the Vancouver Canucks. We’ve got two more showings next week in Parksville and the Comox Valley. Julie and I would like to give a big thank you to all those who attended. Proceeds from this tour will be helping with our upcoming expeditions this summer.
Speaking of our adventures, we’ll be spending this Easter weekend in a 27’ sailboat navigating our way through the Gulf Islands honing our sailing skills. We’ll be bringing little Leif along, so it will be a great way to familiarize ourselves with small boats and a bouncy baby prior to the big voyage this summer (Olive Odyssey). Julie thinks Leif will do better working the galley (kitchen) while I imagine he’ll be more inclined to enjoying the 2:00 am to 6:00 am watches. So far, he’s only showing an aptitude to being a fog horn. We’d like to thank the kind folks at Atlantis Kayaks (they make some of the highest quality boats around) for lending out their sailboat for our training. We’ll post some pics after the trip.
Plans are also coming along well for my planned rowing circumnavigation of Vancouver Island. I’ll be starting the 1150 km journey June 24th (weather pending), and we’ll be posting live progress online using a tracking beacon. Training is comprised of pedaling down to the Comox marina (boat in tow) and then hopping behind the oars. It’s great cross-training, although I still get a lot of double takes with the big Expedition boat lumbering behind my bicycle. Through May and June, I’ll be getting a little more scientific in my training schedule, and will be testing various nutrition and hydration systems on the longer days. Some may remember that I postponed the circumnavigation from last year due to neck issues. The neck is better (still not quite what it was), and we’re keeping our fingers crossed. So far, I’ve clocked more than 24,000 km behind the oars over the years, so just another thousand or so shouldn’t be too bad, I’m hoping.
Ten days after (hopefully) girdling the island, I’ll be attempting to break the human powered 24 hour distance record in a boat. Hopefully, the gruelling journey around the island will serve well in preparing me for the 24 hour quest (as opposed to breaking me). The record has traditionally been set by surf-skis (sit-on-top kayaks designed for speed in open water), with the greatest distance paddled being 241.8 km set by Carter Johnson of California. Greg Kolodziejzyk from Calgary currently holds the record, propelling himself an incredible 245 km in 24 hours using a custom-designed pedal powered vessel. It’ll be an incredibly tough record to break, but I’ll be attempting it in a rowing shell.
So, with a lot of things to prepare for this summer, we’re really going to enjoy our relaxing three days bobbing around in a sailboat. We hope all of you are having a wonderful Easter as well.