Week 14 and, overall, morale is excellent. The weather is beautiful and very warm. These temperatures are most likely related to the major heatwave currently raging across Canada. The snow is melting fast!
The men are amazed by the beautiful weather and the breathtaking landscapes. The men still have not witnessed any vegetation, but the wildlife is awe-inspiring, especially the caribou.
As you know from last week's update, they decided to bypass the Back River by the west because they were too unsure of the state of the river in flood.
Our expedition team currently has very varied days, crisscrossing the territory through chains of lakes and minor rivers. So far, progress is good. They plan to return to the Back River soon. However, a rather severe problem will require a lot of adaptation for the canoe section. It is an equipment problem.
The guys have noticed lately that one of their canoes has started to delaminate. Each day, the canoe continues crumbling from the inside, and cracks appear on the hull.
By now, there are large pieces of plastic that have come off. The guy's attribute (hypothetically) this brittleness to rough handling of the canoes up north, but mainly to the freezing temperature they were exposed to for several months.
Due to this breakage, the guys have to treat their canoes with the same care they would treat a bark canoe, i.e. avoiding rubbing them against rocks or hard objects, especially since the second canoe is showing signs of the same problem.
It is important to know that our friends are trained in canoe repair. They have a repair kit (rather basic) which they use as best they can to mitigate the damage. That's why they had to take almost 3 days off to let their repairs dry.
So far, they are holding up well. Still, the canoes' fragility remains a serious issue that will surely follow them throughout the canoe trip, even past Baker Lake, their next refuelling station.
It will be logistically impossible to send them more canoes at this time and probably for the entire canoe trip. But other solutions are emerging, including the purchase of Kevlar fiber canoes (more fragile than plastic canoes, but lighter) from individuals in Baker Lake. Some decisions have yet to be made in this regard.
Delays are expected, but the guys don't seem to be discouraged by this new challenge. Their perseverance is truly remarkable: as always, they show self-control, judgment and professionalism.
In a way, this incident comes with its own set of interests. It forces them to cross the territory a bit more "old school" without relying on super strong plastic canoes.
All in all, our dear adventurers are in the best hands to face the situation: their own!
Make sure to follow along on our social media accounts, @naakbars to stay up to date with any breaking news and photos from Expedition AKOR. Be sure to read more about the team on our previous Blog Posts.