A few weeks ago I came across details of an expedition with one of the most intriguing concepts I’ve see in a while. American couple Caroline Van Hemert and Patrick Farrell are travelling by human power entirely off road from Bellingham, Washington 5000 km to the Arctic Ocean. It is the route they have chosen that makes their expedition so unique.
The couple has rowed almost 1800 km up the Inside Passage to Haines, Alaska. From here they are traversing the coastal mountain range by ski over the glaciers and linking up with the headwaters of the Yukon River. They will then voyage by Packraft down the Yukon past Whitehorse and on to Dawson City. Near Dawson another mountain traverse will bring the team to a tributary leading into the Mackenzie River which will take them all the way to the Arctic Ocean. The expedition doesn’t end here, but will continue along the coast and into Alaska.
At this point Caroline and Pat have completed their row up the Inside Passage and are currently on their glacier traverse near the Canadian/American border. Within a few days they will be launching their Packrafts into the headwaters of the Yukon River.
Julie and I noticed, as we looked through their website that the couple used two Expedition Rowboats (the boats we designed and sell plans for on our website www.angusrowboats.com) for their leg up the Inside Passage, and felt proud that these boats were such a fundamental part of this remarkable journey.
You can follow Pat and Caroline’s Journey here.
In other expedition news, Sarah Outen has launched her rowboat from Japan and has rowed about 500 km towards her destination of Vancouver Island as she continues her journey around the word (www.sarahouten.com). Circumnavigator Dimitri Keifer is also continuing on his journey, picking up where he left on in Siberia and heading westwards. You can follow his journey here. Unfortunately, Ocean Rower Roz Savage and her expedition partner Andrew Morris have had to postpone their plans to row across the North Atlantic starting from Newfoundland due to an unusually high concentration of sea ice (www.rozsavage.com)
Our own adventures this summer won’t be as spectacular as the ones above, but we do plan on spending a lot of time lapping up the beautiful BC landscapes, paddling, hiking and cycling in some of the local areas.
I will also be doing a three day non-stop rowing session in early July with Steve Price (world record holder for 24 hour stationary rowing and 24 hour pull-ups) to see what kind of speed we can average together. If our speed is sufficient we will be entering what is labeled by Richard Branson as the world’s most grueling race, a non-stop unsupported row 3000 km around Great Britain. The current record is just under 27 days, and the largest purse in rowing history (for both flat water and open water)of 100,000 pounds has been offered for any team that can break this record. If things go well on our trial row, we will be attempting the race in June 2013.
Julie and I will also be doing a couple of public events – one in Lindsay Ontario as part of the Adventure Travel Film Festival (details at www.adventuretravelfestival.com) and the other will be in Camrose Alberta hosted by Magnet Signs (tickets available at Camrose Kodiaks office at the Edgeworth Centre.
Have a great summer!