My Solarboat Icade should arrive tomorrow, Wednesday, June 27, in Tuktoyaktuk… Finally! I have so often dreamt of this moment, I have been so eager for it to happen these past few days that I can hardly believe it. So its never-ending journey down the Mackenzie River aboard the barge which left from Hay River in mid-June should soon come to an end. Read more “The land of the midnight sun”
Every adventure has its share of surprises, and this one, even before getting underway, seems to be no exception. Even though everything has been carefully planned, prepared and reserved for months, nothing is going as scheduled and I can’t do anything about the delays which have been piling up. ‘Patience and flexibility’ has been my motto since arriving in Canada. Read more “The Arctic is fast approaching!”
A brief update from Canada where Icade and I have been for the past week. Seven days during which my friend Alain, who came to lend a hand, and I have not stopped working.
To start, Canadian customs were extremely efficient—on the very next day following her arrival, the Solarboat cut through all the red tape and was officially authorised to be on Canadian soil. I was a little bit worried about this part as I have had experience in the past with less accommodating authorities, but this time there was no problem, everything went like clockwork. Read more “The adventure begins!”
I set off from Brittany last week and have arrived in Luxembourg with Icade right behind me, safely hitched to its trailer. Together we have covered a lot of ground—even though by heading east across France we have distanced ourselves from the Canadian Far North, we have in fact been quickly getting closer. Read more “En route to the Far North”
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. Read more “The adventure will soon begin!”
It wouldn’t have taken much for me to spend day and nights on the Solarboat Icade over the past weeks. There were so many details to handle before the great day, the « Christening of the Divine child ». It’s close to incredible that such a small prototype (barely six meters!) requires so much attention and thoughtfulness. On board, nothing matches the standard so, we have to know how to use our brains and find new ideas to work out problems as they come up. Demanding, Icade left us no respite and no tolerance on our part lately. Read more “The christening of the Divine child!”
With just over 60 days left until my departure for the Arctic, the pressure increases and stress rises although it has become quite familiar those past months. I do not make to much out of it anymore. Whatever I do, wherever I go, here it is, ready to pounce on the least little error that I try to correct at any point. Small, but forever unpleasant. Regardless, hitches occur every day, whether they be important or not, they are always unpleasant. Read more “The countdown is on!”
Fresh and beautiful…Here is the new version of the Website which has been regenerated as it needed a deluxe facelift». A big”thank you” to the whole digital crew of ICADE who worked hard for months. I am aware the job was much more difficult than initially planned, but after screening the pages, I’m convinced it was well worth the effort!
I had been looking for it for weeks and finally It showed up! A favorable weather window, quite short but so enjoyable which made it possible to go back to sea and navigate on board the Solarboat Icade. The main reason for this navigation was to validate the latest modifications made on the prototype and make sure solar panels were working properly. What a pleasure to be rewarded for our efforts! The sun was missing, but despite this, the 4 Torqeedo batteries (fully charged the day before) did a great job and I enjoyed myself beyond imagination. The following pictures provide evidence. Read more “On the water…again”
The Year 2018 launched with a « Bang ». In the first few days of January the shores of Brittany were swept by storms Carmen and Eleanor with such force that it was impossible to navigate on board the Solarboat Icade as planned. Winds of over 120 km/h teamed with heavy swell have completely changed our program. Nature doesn’t really care about our state of minds and since she always has the last word, we stayed on land.
This forced rest allowed us to finish the lettering on the Solar boat which now wears its party dress. Such a time was ideal to work on the logistics of the expedition as well. Sending the boat to Tuktoyaktuk is no easy task. Administrative requirements or « Red Tape » isn’t easy and truly, the route to the Arctic is an adventure of its own. Nothing can be left to chance! Each detail has its importance.
But this isn’t my first expedition and it should be easier to plan this complex phase. That being said, we’re hoping for better weather conditions to find our way on the water quickly. Not long now before departure for the Far North. The deadline is looming each passing day and I am impatient to take the Solarboat Icade in hand. It is my priority from now on.
No more paddle or kite to control, only solar panels and electrical equipment, I must well mastered before next May. It will be less demanding physically but, tactically speaking, error isn’t allowed if I want to maintain a steady pace throughout the Northwest Passage. To produce, at least, as much energy as I use will be my only obsession.
As you wait for the next news, accompanied with a few photographs of our next outing, I wish you all a Happy New Year, to the image of Eleanor the storm, right below : powerful, spellbinding and stimulating!