It has been a crazy few months getting the RIB and engines
sorted - Mercury V300s and Shockwave Seats have been amazing over
in Canada sorting this.
Having Dave Smith's expertise has been priceless and he is
overseeing the RIB's final fitout, including the long range fuel
tanks, new engines, seating and storage configurations and where we
are going to sleep! (Current idea is to wedge a waterproof mattress
between the seats- basic but practical as it will wrap around our
The navigation equipment, helmets, comms, water-boilers etc are
all coming together, and the delivery and exfil team are
coordinating logistics, including fuelling plans.
The delivery team will consist of John Coffey, expedition
manager, Dave Smith from Shockwave Seats and two of his most
adventurous staff, and Ben Mobley from Sunseeker.
We will bring the RIB by sea, north, up the whole length of
Eastern Canada - no mean feat in itself!
Musto our clothing sponsor and Craghoppers have delivered all the
latest team kit, as have Simrad who have supplied us with the most
advanced electronic navigation equipment including Broadband radar
and AIS RAB sleeping systems will keep us warm and dry, God
We still need a practical anti-polar bear solution, beyond just
flare guns. We are looking into this. Some sort of simple perimeter
wire would work well if we are forced to camp on the ice or shelter
in a storm.
Predicted ice conditions will be a constant feature for us to
monitor over the next few months. The concern is that shrinking ice
caps means the ice tends to fragment, which in turn has in the past
choked up key straits for us on the North West Passage route. But
who knows? We might well, alternatively, encounter a pretty
We have great air support from our pilot Charlie Thompson, in
two planes. These will fly the main team into Pond Inlet and
extract the delivery team.
Likewise the plane will pick us up at the end of the expedition
in Tuk. (And be on stand-by in case of any emergencies. Thanks to
Dave Segel for this cover.)
The team is flying in from all over the world next week for our
first sea trials together, including capsize drills down at the
RNLI HQ in Poole. Should be a fun time! (I hope Poole doesn't bring
back too many bad memories of physical beatings for Dave Pearce,
our Royal marines helmsman!)