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.
Without losing any time, we were thus able to organise the next phase of this journey to the Far North— Hay River, located on the shore of Great Slave Lake, is the departure point of a barge which moves down the Mackenzie River once the ice melts. It was upon that barge that Icade was finally loaded, after 15 hours of travelling and twists and turns which gave us quite a few scares. Three hours after leaving Calgary, the cradle supporting the Solarboat suddenly collapsed while we were driving on the highway in the middle of the night. And there was Icade with her nose in the air, no longer balanced on the trailer, her 650 kilos threatening to tip over at any moment. I’m pretty sure I aged about ten years in just one second!
Early the next morning, we solved the problem by sliding a few tires under the boat and somehow managed to cover the 1,400 km separating us from Hay River. Upon arrival, everyone was waiting for us and everything was perfectly orchestrated by the team on the ground. There was however one cloud on the horizon—I was told that the barge’s departure was delayed and that we’d have to wait until the end of June to be able to pick the Solarboat up in Tuktoyaktuk. Waiting, waiting and more waiting… It’s not always easy to handle this kind of setback but as things stand I really don’t have a choice so I’ll just have to grin and bear it.
More updates coming soon about Icade’s adventures in the land of reindeer…
Thank you for all your support, messages and encouragement!