Sunday, July 7, 2013

Unfortunately, A change in plans

Shortly after paddling the inside passage I told my wife I was done with expeditions. I was still getting over the flu. I was exhausted. My brain was done. She looked at me and said 'we'll see.' She was right It was a little over six months before I started planning again, and honestly I came up with the idea about a month after I was back from Alaska.

The idea formulated like this:

I didn't want to do as long of a drive, so maybe there was something on the east coast I could do. Looking at a map, the Northern tip of Labrador looks inviting, and it is a brand new Canadian National park. Unfortunately there is no way to get a kayak up to the park. But further south is a little town called Happy valley - goose bay. And there is a ferry that leaves Happy Valley and heads north to Nain, about 400 miles. Perfect. I started the planning in a communication black out. I didn't post where I was planning on going on any social media. I reached out to a handful of paddlers - including my two biggest mentors - for information. I started planning. Charts went up on the wall, a route was decided on, and I worked on it for over a year. It is a stretch of coast that very few people have paddled.

Unfortunately the planning ended last week. An insurmountable hurdle. I am not going to get into the detail that killed the trip here - as it is written about in detail in the book I am working on - But it is a big enough problem that it can't be overcome, unless I were able to do this sort of adventuring full time. (if you are interested in sponsoring me full time, let me know!)

I love the planning aspects of expeditions. I have been doing it since I was 18 and I have gotten quite good at it. Part of it comes from planning trips, but a big part of it comes from working in the film and photography industry. Working in film, you have to think about goals, all the gear required to make the goals happen. The crews to operate the gear. Then you have to get all the gear to and from where ever you are shooting.

In 1995 I worked on this advertisement for a perfume. This was shot in St. Barthelemy in Patrick Demarchelier's swimming pool. St. Barths airport is too small to fly in all the gear needed for the shoot so gear came by boat, while crews came by plane from three continents. I was part of the production team that got all the gear and people where they needed to be, on time, through customs. Then we had to get it all out. I personally carried 30 or so cans of motion picture film on a small plane to Miami where I cleared customs. Film cans can't be opened - except in a dark room - and can't be x-rayed. Think about how much fun it is to get something like that through customs. 

What this work taught me is that just about anything can be accomplished given enough time and money, and that has translated well to expedition planning. 

Unfortunately what killed the Labrador trip wasn't money, it was time. The charts are rolled and in a closet. The trip isn't dead, it is just sleeping, until the right moment arrives, and the time hurdle can be leaped. It took me less than a week to not only come up with a new idea - I vowed to a couple of people that were interested in the Labrador trip that I was - without fail - doing a trip during the summer of 2014 - but to sell the idea to a couple of other paddlers. It isn't as 'epic' as Labrador. People paddle there pretty frequently. But we are going with a mission. A task to perform. 

What are the task, and that mission? You will have to stick around to find out.... When I went to Toronto I promised on Facebook that I had "big news, medium sized news and couple of things no one will really care about." It should just be a couple of days more. 

1 comment:

  1. I'm sure you'll figure how to make the trip become a reality and glad that it is only in hibernation. Paddle on my friend!!