Going all out to get ready, I have tried to stay focused in this final phase of preparation while staying calm—on the outside at least. My stress level, which I thought had reached its peak in recent weeks, went up a notch over the last few days—on the inside I am chomping at the bit and raring to go. In short, I am more than ready to get started. I haven’t been getting a lot of sleep as I’ve very often been kept awake by the many questions rolling around in my mind—it goes without saying that I don’t know exactly what tomorrow will bring.
There are still a number of details that have to be worked out before leaving, many to-do lists that have to be completed and just as many unforeseen events which pop up every day. All of this makes me feel like I have more than one brain which are all in overdrive at the same time. This feeling is both thrilling and exhausting.
In any event, the die has been cast. There are only a few more days before I travel across France, with Solarboat Icade right behind me, being towed in a trailer to be more specific, bound for Luxembourg. There, Cargolux, the expedition’s partner, will be responsible for transporting Icade to Calgary in Canada. Once unloaded there, our journey is far from over. After going through customs and obtaining official authorisation allowing Icade to enter Canada, it will have to once again be loaded on a trailer and attached to a car and driven the 3,600 km which separate us from the hamlet of Tuktoyaktuk on the coast of the Beaufort Sea.
The Arctic is something you have to work for and getting there is not easy! Calgary, Red Deer, Fox Creek, Grande Prairie, Whitehorse, Gold Bottom, Eagle Plains… So many places haunted by the memory of Jack London that we will travel through filled with the feelings of respect I have for this great man. How could I have ever imagined when reading Call of the Wild that one day it would be my turn to venture into these regions, with a solar-powered boat in tow! Life sometimes has out-of-the-ordinary experiences in store for us and I wouldn’t have wanted to miss this one for anything in the world.
But if truth be told, the logistics for such an expedition more closely resembles a ball of yarn which has to be untangled one day at a time with not only care and thoroughness but also with patience, which unfortunately has not always been my strong suit. I know that it serves no purpose to tilt at windmills, but over the course of my travels, I also learned that you have to persevere when you know what you want and you want it with all your heart.
I’ll provide updates in the coming weeks about the next stages of this solar-powered polar voyage which will soon be setting sail. Feel free to subscribe to the newsletter to keep up with the latest news or visit the Facebook page dedicated to the expedition: www.facebook.com/expeditionarcticsolar.