10 weeks until we launch!! It feels crazy just writing that down on this blog. As we get closer and closer, we are finalising every last detail, training hard and focusing every effort we have to ensuring that this trip is as prepared as it can possible be!
We reflected that one of the key draws of the expedition is being away from the busy-ness of everyday life. To have three months dedicated to the sole task of getting from A to B. Note we did not say easy, while we have no doubt it will be hard, it will be without distractions, without the complexities of juggling normal life. However, in a perverse way, the planning of this trip has made our lives busier than ever before, so in chasing our escape we have intensified the experience that we were trying to escape. One of those catch-22 scenarios, but something that will only make this journey all the more satisfying!
Our charts have recently arrived here in Australia, along with our drybags. Each adding to the excitement of our planning. We have already taken our new drybags on more than one test run. Now we have the charts in our hands we are excited to take them to a big room, then spread them out and mark out our route. Meanwhile in Canada our Kokatat gear – PFDs, dry tops, apparel and such have arrived safely in the hands of a friend in Canada. The final arrangements are being made for our Kayaks to make the long journey from Vancouver to Juneau. From where we will paddle them back again. Every little bit making this more real, making it more possible.
We are still waiting in anticipation to find out if anyone, or even us, has been awarded the Australian Geographic Nancy-Bird Walton Scholarship. The scholarship could mean having some extra security with additional gear and extra cash for our logistical needs.
In training world we have been working hard. On the water every week we are getting the kms under our belt. We are making sure we have proficiency in our rescues, roles and paddling skills. Here is a little about our Moreton Island trip over the weekend!
Originally we had 3 days planned, but weather made us shorten to 2 days. Saturday proved to be an adventure, as we paddled from the mainland across to Stradbroke and then to Moreton Island. The winds were kind, and the tides came with us, but the rain was heavy and unrelenting. With reduced visibility we paddled close together and on a compass bearing. All sense of direction is lost when you have no visual land references to guide you and we were pleased to find that our compass work had us bang on course. Thankfully the rain lessened as we crossed to the sometimes harsh crossing from Stradbroke to Moreton Island.
Sunday was sunny and bright. We got on the water earlier than needed to explore nearby seagrass beds, to look for dugongs. We unfortunately didn’t find any of these majestic creatures, but did pleasure in countless turtles and dolphins. Before long we were enjoying taking the tide to our finish point with calm seas. In the last hour of our paddle the wind picked up and whitecaps appeared. Thankfully with only 4 or so kilometers to go, we enjoyed the last challenge as the wind bounced us to our destination.
There will be some videos to come of the rainstorms! They were really the best part.
We hope that you keep reading and enjoying our journey with us. We will have are more detailed blog soon.
Lucy and Mathilde.