« You can accomplish anything in life if you have the courage to dream it, the intelligence to make it a realistic project, and the will to see the project fulfilled. »
Ireland, 7:30 pm, a €1.99 pack of muffins in hands, a torrential rain since 20 days ago. My mind escapes through the small window of my van that overlooks the wide areas of Connemara. On this day of March 2017 I realize that being locked in 3m2 permanently, makes you think.
At this moment a genius idea comes to me! I think to myself, "Here! Why not call Adrien?"”
-Hello Adrien? Hi! Guess what I'm doing here! I'm in my sleeping bag, Ireland is freezing, everything's wet outside, and I only eat muffins because I don't have any money for real meals, and you, what are you doing?
-Oh yeah, a good shit life, great road trip! I'm quietly settled in the warmth of my room! When you come back, we're going to set up a little expedition, I feel it.
-Totally agree! What do we do?
A little trip of 8-months in kayaks? Have you ever been in a sea kayaking ?
-No, I don't think so.
-Well, that's perfect, me too, we can go on there!
-Where are we going?
-Are you interested in Norway?
-Come on, let's go!
-We just have to set up a concrete project, because technically I'm still at school.
The project of a trip to the North Cape was born.
As soon as Pierre-Louis was back, we started to discuss the project more seriously. It took us a long time to get organized but from the beginning we knew where we wanted to go.
As time passed, the project became concrete, we were trained in all of the fields in relation to this adventure. But the main part of the project, is knowing how to live in nature, how to manage with the minimum of things, and we had this in mind. This is what initiated our adventure and also what allowed us to stay focused on our objectives.
" the North Cape" has become an almost daily obsession. This has marked our lives for 18 months now.
As novices in the sea kayaking, it was necessary to start with solid training in this field in order to limit the risks. We therefore contacted a guide in the calanques of Marseille for a first introduction in sea kayaking. Unfortunately the conditions were idyllic, compared to Norwegian conditions. In addition, we discovered wonderful people with whom we kept in touch.
Then we left for Bretagne with the same guide and two others, a Breton and a Grenoble native. Thanks to Jeremy, Vincent and Jerome.
At the same time, we have multiplied bivouacs and "survival" experiences. In addition to kayaking, we need to prepare for the extreme conditions and at the life on the camp! Our main playground was the Vosges, ideal in winter for testing temperatures with, for the nights -15°C and the terrible winds of the ridges. There's nothing like a good night's sleep in the cold, it invigorates you!
In order to control our project from A to Z we developed our knowledge in different specialties such as communication: website, social networks, press, television,... We had to promote our project to sponsors, so marketing was important in the search for partnerships. Taking pictures helped us in these procedures, we even had to learn making videos, a field that was unknown to both of us.
The preparation lasted a year and a half but it was as enriching as the adventure is going to be.
On March 3rd, the start of our adventure will take place. We will leave in the morning from our native Alsace to Norway. On March 5th we hope to arrive in the city of Bergen where our adventure will begin. On March 6 we will definitely board on our kayak for long months of navigation.
The itinerary will be simple, it consists of following the Norwegian coasts to the North Cape, which represents about 3000km. We have estimated the duration at a maximum of 8 months, in order to not paddle in too complicated climatic conditions.
The target will be to be as autonomous as possible, in energy or in supply.
On these 3000km we have 11 cities stops in which we will go to supply ourselves.
Every evening we will study the next day's itinerary in function of the climatic conditions and tides.
About 70kg of equipment will be charged on each kayak, with a few food supplements for 2 weeks in autonomy.
This Scandinavian country of 5 million inhabitants, marked by landscapes of glacial origin, is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the west. These waters are warmed by the North Atlantic drift, a current from the Gulfstream, which softens the coasts. It's thanks to this that the climatic conditions are relatively mild for the latitude.
The north waters are rich in nutrients, so the fishes are attracted such as cod and herring that reproduce in deep fjords. Predators such as humpback whales or orca follow them in winter, close to the coast. We will be in contact with dolphins almost daily.
We will also cross the Arctic Circle at 66° North latitude. Past this circle there is at least one polar day and night in the year. This implies for us a very luminous summer with 24 hours of sunshine, as well as a sharp drop in the duration of the day in winter.
Temperatures can fluctuate completely during the same day, with the 4 seasons combined.
First of all, we want to travel for ourselves, and to the rhythm of nature, without the frenzy of modern life. It is a journey back to the simple things in life, eating, sleeping, taking the time to live and enjoying the life.
During our preparation we found a second goal for this expedition. Transmit and share our philosophy of life: make people aware of the environment and the simplicity of life. To take distance with a certain materialistic opulence, while being happy.
This is why we have mediatized our project, because when we are back we will be able to organize conferences and projections, especially with school children, with who we have already started an exchange.