Tuesday, April 24, 2007

It's getting closer...

Thanks to everyone who sent good wishes my way. And to those of you who think this is the dumbest thing you've ever heard of, well...we'll see.

I finally got all my gear packed up yesterday, and, amazingly, it all fit in the boat! I had to stuff the tent in the cockpit in front of my feet, but that'll work. My gear weighs 130+ lbs. Including the 4 gallons of water I'll be carrying some of the time, I guessing around 165 lbs. I took the rig down to Cochiti Reservoir for a test run in the evening. It's sluggish, but it still floats. It's kind of like paddling with another person strapped on the boat. But I can roll it so I guess it's different than having a person strapped on. Not that I expect I'll have to roll on my trip, but it's a nice boost to my confidence knowing I can roll it if I have to.

So now I feel like I'm ready to go, and I've still got a couple days before driving out.

It's hard to imagine what this trip is going to be like because I've been so focused on the details of gear and packing and logistics, I haven't had time to think about things like that. Now I can allow myself the time. But I still have very little idea what it will be like. Will I be spending all my time dealing with rain, finding suitable camping, staying warm, and worrying about what the ocean conditions are going to become? I don't think so, but certainly some of my energy will be spent there. And what will it be like to spend so much time alone? How many days straight have I ever spent alone? 2? 3? Marc Sani will be joining me for the first 2 weeks or so, and I'll bet I appreciate not having to go directly to a solo experience right off the shore at Anacortes. But what kind of company am I going to be to myself? It will be interesting to find out. Will my excitement for the journey last? Will I get bored with the monotony of the same coastline day after day? Will I reach a point where I've had enough of the experience and I just want to make a beeline for Skagway? Or to the nearest ferry stop?

I originally thought there would be 2 things of most concern for me: weather and bears. That part of the world isn't known for its warm, sunny climate, and the sto

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Packing food

I'm taking a lot of precautions sending my food to my food drops in Canada. I haven't heard first-hand accounts from anyone who's done it, and some folks don't feel it's worth the risk of having a Canadian customs official decide my home-made granola looks suspicious so he's returning the whole package to sender.
I've talked to 2 customs officers in Vancouver and a lady at Health Canada, and I think I'm going to be okay. But as they all warn me, There's no guarantee...
Today I shipped my first food to Nanaimo. I expect to get there around May 8-9. Before I start paddling on the 4th, I'll send the next parcel to Port Hardy. A few days later, my wife, Carlie, will send the next parcel to Bella Bella.
Hopefully the food will arrive safely, and I won't have to rely on white bread and spam, or whatever else I can find.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Maps of my paddle route

Here are maps that show where I'll be paddling. My route isn't on them cause I'm not sure yet what my route will be. If you click on a map, it will blow up to a more readable version. The red dotted lines show ferry routes.

Admiralty Island to Skagway

Ketchikan to Admiralty Island

Grenville Channel to Ketchikan

Bella Bella to Grenville Channel

Port Neville to Bella Bella

Nanaimo to Port Neville

Seattle to Nanaimo

Friday, April 13, 2007

mid-April in Santa Fe

36 degrees F. on Cochiti this morning. The dry suit was the ticket today.