It had to come hurtling down in just the most exposed spot, where the barren, rocky coast is the most unwelcoming, to turn the adventure into disaster. In this Arctic region where there is absolutely no place to take shelter, the 47 knots of a frenzied northwesterly wind coupled with heaving seas swept everything away in their path, including Icade. I had even taken the trouble to firmly tie her down, knowing that the weather conditions were going to be brutal, but it didn’t make any difference. My little boat, which had performed like a real champ for almost a month, took several violent uppercuts over a 24-hour period and was thrown like a rag doll on top of a pebble beach. She is still in one piece but no longer in good enough condition to allow us to continue on our way.
The journey ends here for this year. The announcement is a bit brutal but there is no use beating around the bush and imagining some kind of backup plan because there isn’t one. I came out of it unscathed but I still can’t get over the incredible luck I had when I ran into a small team of scientists who picked me along their way before the expedition had a chance to end in tragedy. Eliane, Darrin, Adam and James, I don’t know what miracle put you close to me on July 31, but without you, I don’t know where I would be today… or maybe I know it all too well! Our meeting couldn’t have been imagined, your immense generosity and above all else your solidarity enabled me to overcome the rather violent and unexpected end of this story. I would have so much liked to continue this experimental journey to be able to describe to you this Arctic region that we have so much to learn about.
I would like to thank everyone who supported me throughout this solar-powered polar adventure… I haven’t wasted any time in informing you, but I still have a great deal of things to organise despite the fatigue accumulated over the past few days and above all tthe huge disappointment in ending this amazing 2018 arctic expedition.
I should be able to get quickly on track and work on the next 2019 Arctic Solar by Icade journey.
Stay tuned !