It’s November! (t-5.5 months to go)!

WOW!

What an amazing couple months it has been since our last update! We have some updates below, and please read through, because there is some amazing stuff to tell you… These blogs will be more and more frequent as we get closer to our launch date! These posts are an opportunity to learn a little more about the journey that we have delved into.

Lately a couple of people have asked us when we are leaving, and we tell them “May! Less than 6 months now”. To which many people say, wow! heaps of time! Well that is definitely not how it feels to us! We are getting down to fine detail of trip logistics partners, plans and more. A day in our lives does not look like your average, so we thought we would tell you what the average week can include..

Around our day jobs, we have to spend time both training and planning. Mathilde works from about 5.30am – 4pm and Lucy from 9am -7pm. We both do cross training at the gym, which includes weights, core and cardio. On average we will spend 3 – 4 hours in the gym a week. Alongside this we both do yoga and general fitness. Weekends are either 2 days of kayaking, or one day of kayaking and a day of planning. Extra planning is squeezed into the left over hours of the day! As well as this, Mathilde and I are both volunteering for local conservation groups, so it makes for a busy but full-filled time. We were laughing recently as we reflected that paddling 40km each day seemed somewhat simple in comparison to our average day at the moment…

Enough of that! We also want to tell you about some great new developments, if you haven’t already heard, Werner Paddles have agreed to sponsor our journey!! What did they say?

“Werner Paddles has reviewed your proposal for sponsorship of your Inside Passage expedition and more importantly your mission for the conservation efforts. Your descriptive project brief outlining the trip details, your current social media channels as well as your website all make it easy for us to say yes we would like to help support your conservation efforts. Our primary focus on this trip, from our perspective, is your plans for conservation efforts.”

I mean, those words truly meant the world to us! Werner Paddles have a great Healthy Waters program, and now we are are a partner. As you can see from above, it is the conservation element that Werner Paddles was really attracted to, knowing that they too are stewards of our oceans is incredibly important to us. It is humbling to be supported by such a reputable organisation.

We have also done some amazing clean-ups here in Brisbane! 22 volunteers collected 110kgs of debris from the shores of the Brisbane River. No one bothered that we were tramping around in mangrove mud, no one complained of the mosquitoes, and EVERYONE put 100% in. We were truly inspired by the people we met! My favourite quote of the day was this response from a volunteer when asked why they came:

I saw it advertised on Kathmandu’s Facebook page and I thought, ‘that sounds like a good weekend’! So I came down to help and enjoy the sun.

It made us both so happy to know that people truly do enjoy the feeling that comes from doing something important for our environment, our oceans, and a cleaner community.


We are often asked how you organise a project like Passage Adventures. It is safe to say that so much of what we do is reaching out to people, making networks and working hard to build relationships. This whole expedition is a journey of sharing stories and information and changing the world through connecting and inspiring each other. Here are just some of those amazing people we have met along the way…

Heidi Taylor – Managing Director of the Tangaroa Blue Foundation. Heidi works her butt of to ensure that cleanups, conferences, source reduction plans, industry lobbying and more is happening around Australia, everyday!

Karen Wristen – Executive Director of the Living Oceans Society. Karen is doing great work in Canada, organising clean ups, community education and more. She is helping us to coordinate our  clean up at the finish, promote our cause in Canada and provide insight to the local area.

James Bartram – Vice President of Education and Youth at Ocean Wise Conservation Association. James has put us in touch with SO many people over in Canada/Alaska. He has truly been the connection that has built this project in to something amazing! He is someone who has ideas, passion and action to follow it through!

Rachel Schoeler Manager of Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup. Rachel has been invaluable in helping us develop some connections and ideas for our community outreach in Canada/Alaska. She is helping connect us to education centres and communities along our paddles, where we can stop, do talks, clean ups and help engage more people with the ideas and concerns of marine debris and the story of women in adventure. It is truly amazing to work with a woman, who herself is a big adventurer!

Marlies and Becky – these amazing women from Chuffed help us with the work we do promotion crowdfunding. We have lead two workshops in Brisbane now, and have more planned for the future. Marlies and Becky have coached us through the sessions, feedback promotion and are two women who truly believe in social power.

Carol – From Lunette Australia Carol has helped us promote our fundraising and promotion by arranging our sponsorship and promotion! She is easy going and a great person to work with.

Rob Mercer – What a legend! Rob from the Balanced Boater gave us 2 days of training down in Sydney. He gave us more time than we asked, his “contribution to our project”, he says! Rob is so calm, skilled and kind. The time we spent with him honed our skills and our spirits.

Sandy Robson – Most of you know will know Sandy, what a legend! She kayaked from Germany to Australia over 5 years!. Sandy was kind enough to sit down with us for a couple of hours. She shared her experiences, knowledge and networks with us. It was truly humbling to be mentored by such an inspirational woman!

That is just 8 of the many people we are talking to This project is not possible without the combined efforts of people all over the globe! We are humbled and inspired by everyone who has put a moment of time into our project, thank you!

Lucy and Mathilde

4 Epic Wins!

Yeoooww! What an amazing last few weeks it has been… We have locked in our first sponsor, been part of a record-breaking beach cleanup, run our own workshop, and reached our August goal of $5,000!
Check it out…

Our first sponsor is….

Lunette Australia!!

For the Month of September any donations will go in the running to win their own menstrual cup! Even for the guys this can make a thoughtful present. Show your female friends/family that you know whats what in the lady world 😉

Why they are awesome!

1. EASY & WORRY-FREE

Lunette menstrual cups are easy to use. Simply fold the Lunette and insert. Done! Plus you’ll experience up to 12 HOURS of worry-free use.

2. HYGIENIC & SAFE

Lunette menstrual cups are made of soft medical grade silicone and are BPA free. This means no yeast, bacteria or odor. Just cleanliness and comfort.

3. SUSTAINABLE & VEGAN

Lunette menstrual cups are designed, developed and packaged with the environment at heart. It’s also the best alternative to disposable period products which pollute our planet.

https://lunette.com.au

We reached our August goal of $5,000!!!

We reached $5,000 on our crowdfunding page, thanks to a total of 71 incredible supporters so far! We cannot begin to express our gratitude. Every donation fills us with inspiration for the paddle, and all our donors should know they are a very special part of this journey

Super Successful Chuffed Workshop

We ran our first workshop as Chuffed ambassadors in Brisbane this week. The workshop gave tips for crowdfunding and attracted an awesome group of 12 people, all attending for a variety of reasons. All of the money that attendees paid for tickets goes to our cause, which is amazing! We received really positive feedback from the event and hope to do more in the future.

A record-breaking Cleanup!

Mathilde spent a week cleaning up Chilli Beach up Cape York, Australia with the Tangaroa Blue Foundation. 40 people across several volunteer/local council groups cleaned up 6.7km of beach and picked up 7 TONNE of rubbish, which is the record for any Tangaroa cleaning event.

 

Some of the data counted from 831.5 bags filled of marine debris on this clean up included:

  • 1009 cigarette lighters
  • 2279 toothbrushes/combs/razors
  • 3204 bleach bottles
  • 3325 plastic drink bottles
  • 5547 thongs

Over 60 % of debris removed was plastic fragments. This is becoming quite alarming as we are leaving a legacy for future generations. Although over 90% of the debris do not come from Australia but from our Asia Pacific neighbours. We share a global ocean and it is everyone’s responsibility to keep our oceans clean.

For more information on how you can be an ocean warrior contact Tangaroa Blue on www.tangaroablue.org

 

 

 

Times Are A Changin’

Woolworths & Coles to Phase out single-use bags

When announcements like this are made, Bob Dylan’s song ‘Times are a Changing’ pops into my head. People all around Australia have been lobbying for a plastic bag ban for years, and moves like this, by big corporations, creates a shift that move mountains.

Last week, Woolworths, quickly followed by Coles announced that they are going to phase out ‘single use’ plastic bags over the next year. That is MASSIVE.  While it can be easily critisced, as they will be offering ‘durable’ plastic bags for 15cents, and some may ask, why can’t it just stop next month?, it is important to acknowledge and celebrate this decision, because it really is HUGE;

3.2 Billion Bags/Year from Woolworths Alone

The above Woolworths brands will all ban the bag

That is a massive change, and will reduce our landfill and plastic pollution in amazing ways. Coles is yet to detail its commitment but Coles Chief Customer Officer Simon McDowell stated;

“We’ve been working towards this announcement for some time now as part of our ongoing program to improve environmental outcomes throughout our business,”

Coles and Woolworths have strengthened the case for the QLD government to commit to a state wide plastic bag ban. In the past, the corporations have not always supported the legislation, and it is encouraging to know that they are setting a precedent for our government. This is people power in action!!

Mathilde and I are still working furiously in the background and there are many plans in the work. We have recently started up conversations with a great group called OceanWise. It looks like we are going to do some really cool stuff with them.

 

Mathilde will be heading up to Cape York to help in Tangaroa Blue’s efforts cleaning remote beaches. The annual clean up is a huge part of the work of the Tangaroa Blue Foundation dealing with both domestic and international waste that ends up on our shores.

We have also started some conversations with Chuffed. our crowd funding platform and have some exciting news to share very soon!

Please keep reading, leave us a comment, question or even just some encouragement to keep writing!

Lastly, we want to get to $5000 raised by August! Can you share this with a friend who can donate? Spare $50 from your tax return? Let us help you change the world!

 

 

Together for a Moment

It has been an awesome week in Brisbane! Mathilde stopped by for a week in between her current travels. Lucy is heading to the United States on Sunday for 2 weeks and Mathilde will fly to France for a month. With both of us abroad for a short amount of time it was a great chance to catch up, review plans, train together and meet new connections.

We couldn’t have asked for a better week! We are both gratefully exhausted as we have made the most of it and have pushed our bodies and our creative minds. Training together is always more motivating, and we are both sore muscled after our circuit training, running, climbing and kayaking this week. We have both taken big leaps in our Eskimo roles, Mathilde learning from scratch and Lucy remembering an unpracticed skill. It was great to have our friend Denis out rolling with us and sharing in the laughs. We also met some other great people this week, adding to the list of great connections that are going to make this expedition a reality.

We spent an hour on the phone with James, a great guy who works with Ocean Wise at the Vancouver Aquarium. We are excited by the opportunities that James has suggested and we are now in the process of establishing some really great collaborations! At the moment we can’t tell you more than that, because we can’t tell you more than we know, but stay tuned for some future news in this space. Our favourite words from James were: Recreation is a gateway to conservation.

Next we visited Larissa Zimmerman, Your Money Mistress. We came across Larissa through our conservation work. She is a financial planner with a social and environmental conscious. She offered us a discount for the cause, which was incredibly kind and we were excited to see what advice we could get. Mathilde and I are generally pretty good with our finances, but we both agreed that Larissa gave us a perspective and advice we had never had before. We looked at our relationship with money, how we value it and our attitudes towards it, rather than crunching numbers and adding values. It was great to speak a financial language that was already familiar and we are already more excited about the potential to put more money aside for this expedition. We have estimated that this expedition will cost us a minimum of $10 000 each. All of our fundraising goes directly to our chosen conservation programs, leaving us to self fund the entire trip.

Our last meeting was with the team at chuffed.org. We really can’t say enough about this team. They are truly inspirational. The organisation provides the fundraising platform for free. They are able to fund the organisation by asking for donations to their cause, rather than just taking their cut from donations made like some other organisations. Not only that, they offer free mentoring sessions, which we decided to take up. Marlies called us from London and we had a 30min consult which gave us a lot of creative and fun ideas for fundraising. We are really looking forward to putting some into practice. Marlies also mentioned a really exciting opportunity for fundraising to us, but as it is not yet 100% we can’t discuss it, all I can say is STAY TUNED!

However, we both agree that the best thing about this week was spending time together. We have been living in different cities for the last 6 months, which makes training and communicating a challenge. It was absolutely fantastic to have the time to hang out, discuss ideas, train and catch up! This week has left us more determined, focused and excited for our trip to the Inside Passage and we are stepping closer every day.

 

Picking Up!

Everything is starting to pick up and we are excited! On the 22nd of May we launched our website and fundraising and we are so stoked to see how it has kicked off! 13 days after starting we have managed to raise AU$1,650!! What is really great about our funds raised so far, is that so much comes from our friends and family. You are the people who help make us who we are and inspire us to do what we do, so thank you!

Special thanks to all our donors so far:

Denis Stojanovic, Bree McC, Narelle Lamb, Shakira Pickup, Lachlan Parsons, Teresa  Carrette, Zelda Grimshaw, Lola Visschers, Amalia Anindia, Lydia Popham, David Clarke, Kylie Lamb, Stephanie Walton, Lou Gordon, Grace Keyworth, Helen Beardall, Mikhaila Jacoby, Mandy and Neil Breeze, Solitaire  Irwin, Laurence Smith, Rosemary Hill, John Hill, Sarah Graham and Denise Donald.

As funds picked up, so did Lucy, heading up to Noosa for the monthly beach clean up. The 430am start was worth it. The sun was shining (after it got its lazy self up over the horizon), the people were merry, as old friends came together. The regular clean up means that not a lot of rubbish accumulates, however we still picked up more than 70Kg of marine debris from the beaches. The debris were counted and the data will go to the Tangaroa Blue Foundation who use the information to create source reduction schemes, and other great preventative measures. As their motto says, “if all we ever do is clean up, that is all we will ever do”

After a morning of cleaning Lucy headed out to the Noosa headland with her beach cleaning buddy, to enjoy the power of the ocean from the sea cliffs!

We’re ready to rumble!

Today marks the day that we launch our project into the public realm. We have finished our website, created a Facebook and Instagram page and started a crowdfunding site (we have already raised $230 thanks to many wonderful donations!) ALL donations will go towards the Tangaroa Blue Foundation in Australia and the Living Oceans in Canada, two amazing organisations that work on combating marine debris and finding solutions through source reduction plans. Check them out on our ‘the cause’ page. We have also sent out a media release and the ball is rolling! On the trip planning and training side, we have now fully mapped out our route and made plans for camping and water collection sites. Lucy has bought a kayak, been on several training paddles in the Brisbane area and practiced Eskimo rolls. Mathilde has done some paddles through the tropical oceans around Cairns and is now traveling through New Zealand, sussing out the islands for some day trips. Our excitement levels are through the roof! This time next year we will be pushing our kayaks off the shores of Alaska. We would love it if you followed us on our journey, share our pages and tell your friends and family. Until next time! Lucy and Mathilde Xx

Feeling the love!

Hello again!

In between adventures, family time, work and the rest of life, we have learnt how to create a website! Lots of other things have been happening behind the scenes as well, and the excitement is constantly building… Here is a snapshot of the last couple of weeks.

1. We contacted the Tangaroa Blue Foundation, which has been running a program called the Australian Marine Debris Initiative (AMDI) for the last 12 years. This program aims to not only tackle the extensive task of removing man-made debris from our coastlines, but strives to target the source of this rubbish and prevent it getting into our marine environment in the first place. Both of us have done a bunch of clean-ups with this organisation in FNQ, in beautiful places such as Cape Kimberley, Snapper Island, 4 Mile beach and Orpheus Island. We love the work that they do and  want to support them in any way we can. They were super happy to partner with us and share the message of our journey. The money we raise for them will go towards funding their annual Cape York clean-ups. Tangaroa Blue has been visiting the pristine beaches up this coastline for the past 5 years, and they have already seen a reduction in the amount of rubbish found every time. Most importantly, they have been able to log really important data about the source of the debris washing up, and partner with stakeholders to solve these issues. We hope to help the project continue into the next year!

tangaroa-complete

Mathilde’s parents and grandparents reppin the Tangaroa Blue shirts! So far they are some of our biggest fans (even though they all think we are a little crazy…)

2. We are in the process of sourcing some maps of the passage we will be traveling, to start planning the stages of our trip in more detail. This will involve doing lots of research on what others have done in the past, as we figure out the similarities and differences we want for our trip.

3. The search for a marine conservation group in Alaska/Canada to be our second receiver of fundraised money has begun. This week will involve contacting a few of them and establishing partnerships across the globe!

4. We are brainstorming ways that people can help support us on our journey, other than reading up on our progress (thank you for watching this space, we love it!). This ranges from pledging to limit single-use plastic consumption, to in-kind or monetary donations

5. We will also be joining the world of Instagram and YouTube and posting pictures/videos of our planning and training over the next few months (prepare to both get excited with us, and laugh at our failures…)

Ciao!

 

We Started!!

Here it is! The first evidence of our very real commitment to making this epic journey a reality. We have been discussing, scheming, researching and so much more for months now. But this is now available in the public eye, and we are here telling you that we are going to paddle the length of the Inside Passage, from Alaska to Canada!

reap

Introducing Mathilde and Lucy! We are a happy dynamic duo!

120606_mapmyfitness-logo

Training has begun and will continue to become more strategised as the year goes on. We have both downloaded the Mapmyfitness app. As we are currently living in different cities, our training motivation for each other must come through the cyber space. It is proving to effectively tap in to our competitive nature and keep our fitness levels up!

We are very excited to keep everyone updated! So please keep an eye on this space as we continue to research, edit and improve over the next year.