When the Whales Outweigh the Wet

The past 2 weeks have involved kayak repair work and some very cold, very wet weather for the Passage Adventures duo. They’ve had to bunker down for a couple of days (twice!) to avoid battling 24mph winds and rain. Of course the highs have been equally memorable, with many more close wildlife encounters.

Let’s start with that Steller sea lion footage I promised in the last blog, en route to Auke Bay:

Curious Steller Sea Lions

 

Their time in Auke Bay was used to repair their kayaks, which had both had the rudder foot pedals break off the sides of the kayaks. It wasn’t long until the boats were up and running (swimming?) again.

Wonderful photographers/videographers Mikko Wilson & Sarah Moore took some footage of the girls departing Juneau (for the second time). Check out Facebook for the full drone video: Passage Adventures departs Juneau

 

 

 

 

The girls were excited for a new mode of transport at their next stop: a tram portage! Initially it was a hard to find, but once they did, they unloaded their kayaks and made use of the old tram track to take them to a warm cabin with a fire!

 

The next week brought both sunny skies with glassy waters, as well as wind, rain and challenging tides. Humpback, orca and sea lion sightings did not waver though, and they kept the girls spirits high, even on the dampest of days.

Marine debris has been recorded and charted. Even in these pristine, virtually untouched parts of the world, rubbish is still so common.

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Lucy & Mathilde are over one quarter into their 2000km+ adventure now and recently celebrated with a stop over in the beautiful town of Petersburg, Alaska. They have dried out, rested and reset for the next leg of their journey, getting closer to the milestone US/Canada border.

Are they boats on the horizon? Nope, icebergs!

Next week the girls are hosting a Webinar from the Ocean! From 6am – 8am Thursday June 7th AEDT, Passage Adventures will be online to give an update on their journey – from marine debris, how they are tracking without single-use plastics, and the amazing wildlife encounters. Get more info and tickets here: Webinar from the Ocean June 7th

You can keep tracking their daily progress here:

https://aus-share.inreach.garmin.com/PassageAdventures

Stay in the loop..

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/passageadventures/

On Instagram: @passageadventures

The Adventure Officially Begins

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They’re now 11 days into the trip they planned for so long, and Lucy & Mathilde have been in contact and reported alive and well. Despite all the planning, the hiccups started early in their trip and they are currently 3 days behind schedule. But don’t worry – they havent run out of food and turned on each other due to being ‘hangry’ just yet. Read on to see how the launch and first 11 days of Passage Adventures panned out.

Juneau brought the sunshine for the official launch day on May 7th which saw the girls buzzing with excitement and anticipation. Hear from them yourself here:

 

 

Day 1 involved some improvisation and route changes due to a certain ferry not running that day. They took it in their stride and found a helpful Alaskan man by the name of John to hitch a ride from Gustavas to Bartlett Cove. They even managed to find the humour in the situation:

 

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Mathilde & Lucy with John, the generous Alaskan who gave them and their kayaks a ride

So launch they eventually did and were happy to be out on the water. The first 4 days involved paddling North from Bartlett Cove to Beardslee Islands, then up into Adam’s inlet. They reported many dolphin and whale sightings along the way. Traveling back down South towards Bartlett Cove again, they encountered some problems. Unfortunately mother nature can’t be planned or tamed, and they were battling both strong tides and windy weather. This meant they had to stop, camp and wait out the unfavourable weather.

But time wasn’t wasted as they ended up doing an impromtu talk at Sunnyside Market & Cafe in Gustavus. Lucy & Mathilde had met these inspirational women a week earlier and this time the women were intrested in hearing more about Passage Adventures’ cause and how they can minimise their impact.

Eventually flat, calm water made it possible for a 41km haul towards Couverden Island. Tail winds allowed them to use their Wind Paddle Sails for the second time and they were even followed by some curious Stellar sea lions, a threathened species in the Northern Pacific.

But another difficult section awaited them – the crossing of Lynn Canal to Point Louisa, Auke Bay. Stay tuned for how they got on, and footage of the seals that followed them, in the next blog!

You can still follow their location (2 recorded per day) here: https://aus-share.inreach.garmin.com/PassageAdventures

Stay in the loop..

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/passageadventures/

On Instagram: @passageadventures