Canadian Keynote Speakers: Julie and Colin Angus

Canadian Keynote Speakers Colin Angus and Julie Angus.

Canadian Keynote Speakers Colin Angus and Julie Angus. Photo Credit: Transoft Solutions

Are you looking for inspiring Canadian keynote speakers for your next event?  Bestselling authors and National Geographic Adventurers of the Year Julie and Colin Angus specialize in giving keynote presentations that resonate, inspire and motivate.

This husband and wife team who founded Angus Rowboats Ltd. are masters of achieving the impossible; from completing the first entirely human powered circumnavigation of Earth to rowing unsupported across the Atlantic Ocean through two hurricanes.  While adventure, research and exploration is their primary occupation, Julie and Colin are also master storytellers, sharing their exploits through bestselling books, documentaries and, most intimately, on stage.  These Canadian keynote speakers have inspired hundreds of audiences around the world from countless fortune 500 companies to educational institutions.


If your objective is to have your audience entertained through rollicking humor and riveting stories, while learning important life lessons, this is the team for you.  Julie and Colin are Canadian keynote speakers who give motivational presentations together or independently.  Julie offers a refreshing female perspective in the male-dominated world of exploration.  Lexus recently shared some of Julie’s words of inspiration in an interview which you can see here: Lexus with Julie.

To learn more about these Canadian keynote speakers, or to book Julie and Colin for your next event, please visit Canada Keynote Speakers.

Testimonial from Keynote Presentations:

“ I could have never prepared myself for the emotions I felt when you presented your story to the group. I had tears a couple times.” – CAPPA 

“Colin and Julie were simply sensational. They were excellent to deal with prior to the conference, a real pleasure to meet and chat with, and of course they delivered a memorable keynote presentation that our franchisees are still buzzing about. I would highly recommend them.”
– Brett Browne, Magnetsigns

“Your presentation and story was incredible and most certainly one of the highlights of the entire conference.”
– Gina Delle Rose-Ash, St Lawrence Seaway Management Corporation

“I’ve heard all the great testimonials, but words can’t really convey the power of your presentation.”
-Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA)

“Everyone loved your keynote presentation, you are inspiring, courageous, amazing individuals.”
– Jennifer Elliott, Capital Regional District


Clients that Julie and Colin have provided keynote presentations to include:

Shell Canada

Thompson Reuters

Royal LePage

Price Waterhouse Coopers



Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce/ Wood Gundy

Helly Hansen Canada

Rolls Royce

Farm Credit Canada

Imax Corporation

National Geographic

Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC)

Canadian Association of Petroleum Production Accounting (CAPPA)

Association of Public Sector information Professionals Canada

Association of Professional Engineers & Geoscientists of BC (APEGBC) – Vancouver, Fort St. John and Victoria branches

Growing Rural Tourism Alberta

British Columbia Medical Association

Manitoba Municipal Administrators Association

Avanti Software Inc.

Cumis Life Insurance Canada

Northern BC Tourism

Fraser Valley Real Estate Board


Braun/Allison Inc.

Fernie Chamber of Commerce

Cooperators Group Ltd.

Worldstrides: Educational Student Travel

Communitech Technology Leadership Conference

Ivanhoe Cambridge

Government Finance Officers of Western Canada

Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP (FMC)

City of Surrey

A&W Canada

Northgate Chevrolet Buick GMC

Scotia Dealer Advantage

United Egg Farmers

International Symposium on Highway Geometric Design

Canadian Health Libraries Association

City of Richmond

St. Lawrence Seaways Management

Tourism Vancouver Island AGM

Wallace & Carey Inc.

Freestone Capital Management

Wood Buffalo Safety

Every Woman

Mountain Equipment Co-op Canada

Illuminating Engineering Society

BC Marine Trade

Saskatchewan Parks & Recreation

Carma Developers

Travelers Financial Corporation

Hollyburn Properties Ltd.

MLC Group

Associate Veterinary Clinics Canada

Alberta Health Authority

BC Lung Cancer Association

Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP)


Entrepreneurs’ Organization – Vancouver, Canada and Winnipeg, Canada branches

Canadian Institute of Financial Planners


District of Maple Ridge

Capital Regional District

Calgary Zoo

Canadian Association for Earthquake Engineering

Canada West Ski Areas Association

2010 Legacies Now Canada

Trans Canada Trail

Act Now BC

Association of School Business Officials of Alberta

Royal Bank of Canada Wealth Management

Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Institute of Canada

Belleville Sales and Advertising Club

BC Automobile Association

Entrepreneur’s Organization

Home Loans Canada

Westlink Innovation Network

Truestar Health

Women’s Business Network – Comox Valley

Safe Community Wood Buffalo

Recreational Facilities Association of BC

Salt Spring Island Conservancy

Youth G.R.E.E.N. Conference

The Mountaineers

Vancouver Maritime Museum

Annual Cardiovascular Conference Canada

Forestry Innovation Investment Ltd.

Healthy Heart

Active Communities

Alberta Recreation and Parks Association

Rowing Canada

Outdoor Industry Association

School District 71 Support Staff

Bluewater Cruising Association

Clients – Festivals and Exhibitions

Ottawa Outdoor and Adventure Travel Show

City of Canmore: Festival of Eagles

Midwest Mountaineering Outdoor Adventure Expo

TEDx Belgium

Adventures in Travel Expo (New York, Washington, Long Beach, Chicago)

University of Toronto Reading Series


Prince George Outdoor Adventure Trade Show

London Boat Show (London, England)

Adventure Travel Film Festival (Lindsay, ON, Canada)

North Shore Writers Festival

Vancouver International Film Festival (VIMFF)

Vancouver, Canada Boat Show

The eh List Author Series


Canadian International Festival of Authors

Words on the Water Writers Festival

International Explorers Festival

Clients – Educational Institutions

Queens Canadian Leadership Conference, Kingston, ON

North Island College

UBC Alma Mater Society

University of Victoria, Business Workplace Skills Conference

Round Square International

Humber College, Toronto,ON, Canada

Thompson Rivers University, Kamloops, BC

University of Victoria Alumni, Victoria, BC, Canada

Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC

St. Michael’s University School, Victoria, BC, Canada

Rochester School for the Deaf, Rochester, NY

Rockridge Secondary School, Vancouver, BC, Canada

BCIT Student Association, Vancouver, BC

Vancouver Island University, Nanaimo, BC

St. Christopher’s School, London, England

Timberline Secondary School, Campbell River, B.C.

Jasper Place Highschool

Livingstone Elementary School, Vancouver, B.C., Canada

Nightingale Elementary School, Vancouver, B.C.

Carleton Elementary School, Vancouver, B.C.

Highland Secondary School, Comox, B.C.

St. Pius X Catholic School, Toronto, ON

Rockridge Secondary School, Vancouver, B.C.

Summerland Middle School, Summerland, B.C.

KVR Middle School, Penticton, B.C.

McNicoll Park Middle School, Penticton, B.C.

Skaha Lake Middle School, Penticton, B.C.

Trout Creek Elementary School, Summerland, B.C., Canada

Oilfields High School, Black Diamond, AB

Margaret Avenue Senior Public School, Waterloo, ON

Village Park Elementary School, Comox, B.C.

Naramata Elementary School, Naramata, B.C.

To Learn More about Julie and Colin Angus or to book them for Speaking, please visit Keynote Speakers Canada.



Contact Information for Obtaining Travel Permits in Chukotka:

All questions related to agreement procedures regulating entry into the territory of the Chukotka Autonomous Region may be addressed to the Division of International Relations of the Office of the Governor and the Government of the Chukotka Autonomous Region by phone/fax (42722)6-90-16; 6-90-50. (time difference with Moscow +9 hrs)

Questions related to arrivals of the citizens of the Russian Federation shall be addressed to the Border Department of the Russian Federal Security Service in the Chukotka Autonomous region by phone:(42722) 2-53-71.

As of 2016, requirements for entering Chukotka have been updated.  Information and procedures for those visiting Chukotka, including those arriving by crossing the Bering Strait can be found on this page.



Posted in Blog | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Navionics – The New Way to Navigate in Small Boats

Navionics running on Iphone.

Navionics running on Iphone.

There is an array of electronic devices that can be used in small boats for navigation.  Until recently, the handheld GPS has been our primary choice.  While a plotter GPS is a great tool, it is typically not practical in small human powered boats due to its weight and electrical requirements.

In the last few years a new option has arisen using a smart phone along with the variety of navigation aps available.  Modern smart phones have an internal GPS that allow them to work in conjunction with externally sourced software.  At first I was skeptical of using a phone, instead preferring the simplicity and water resistance of a handheld GPS.  Prior to entering the 1200 km Race to Alaska, however, I began experimenting with the Navionics app partnered with my IPhone, and it wasn’t long before I was fully sold.

Standard handheld GPS’s simply don’t have the user-friendly interface of a smart phone or tablet, nor does the software come anywhere close to what is available for smartphones.  Additionally, smart device screens are much larger than handheld GPS’s, making it much easier to decipher the charts.  Navionics in particular is a program that offers unparalleled functionality for navigation.  Routes can be plotted in seconds, the vector-based charts can be zoomed in and out instantly to give micro and macro perspectives, and tidal and current information is also displayed.  You don’t need phone reception – the charts and tide information can be downloaded, so it works off the grid.  Total cost for the app, which includes being able to download charts, is only $14.99 – worth every penny.  You will also need to get a waterproof case for your device.

After a few days of using Navionics on my Iphone, there was no going back to my unwieldy handheld GPS.  The functionality and capability of this combination is simply unrivalled. There are a few disadvantages to using a smartphone, however, that need to be overcome.  Below we list some of the challenges faced, and how to deal with them.

Power Consumption

An IPhone with the screen on permanently and its internal GPS chip being used consumes a lot of power.  An Iphone being used as a GPS will typically run out of power after about three hours of continuous use.  A handheld GPS, on the other hand, will work continuously for 12+ hours, at which point the disposable batteries can easily be replaced.  A smartphone requires recharging, which can be a challenging process in a boat.  Additionally, even with a waterproof case the charging terminal is vulnerable to water penetration, as there is (at this point) no waterproof case that provides waterproof integrity while being charged.

The simplest way to increase the phone’s power supply is to use a waterproof case with a built in battery that augments the phone’s battery such as the Juice Pack .  This typically doubles the phone’s run time, and the phone doesn’t need to come out of the case to utilize the external battery.

For longer voyaging, it may be necessary to charge the phone using an external charging battery.  There are many options for doing this including the Poseidon Pack.   One thing to keep in mind while charging with an external charger is the charging terminal is vulnerable to water and the phone needs to be kept in a dry location.


A lot of heat is generated by full-time use of the GPS chip and constant screen time.  When the unit is sitting in the sun it is prone to overheating (as my Iphone would do), and the screen will shut down to prevent damage from overheating.  To prevent this from happening, keep the unit in the shade, or angle it so the sun isn’t shining directly on the screen.

Touch Screen Functionality Compromised When Wet

When the screen (of the waterproof casing) is wet from rain or spray touch functionality becomes compromised.  It still works, however, it can be quite frustrating trying to operate your smartphone.  Try to keep the phone in a dry location, and have dry rags or paper towel on hand if precise functionality is required in rough/wet conditions.


While there are some challenges to deal with when using a smart device for navigation, it is still worth it.  Safe navigation relies on having a continual feed of information including location, currents, tides, etc., and a smart device with appropriate software is arguably the most effective way of remaining updated.  The primary navigation device for Mad Dog Racing, the fastest boat in this year’s Race to Alaska was a tablet running Navionics.  When sailing at 25 knots at night through BC’s constricted current-addled rocky passages it’s essential to have the best navigation equipment at your fingertips.

Navionics can be downloaded from Itunes here.

Posted in Blog, Navigation, R2AK, RowCruiser | Leave a comment

Rowboat Auto Pilot Installation in Sailing RowCruiser

A rowboat auto pilot is something I had not previously considered, but during my solo voyage participating in the Race to Alaska the Raymarine ST1000 auto pilot helped significantly.  With the sailing RowCruiser weighing only a little more than a Laser dinghy, incorporating a self-steering system posed several challenges.  Many have asked about details on installation, power consumption and performance, so I have decided to write an article on the subject.


RowCruiser with rowboat auto pilot, self steering system installed.

Installing a rowboat auto pilot in our 200 lb sailing/rowing vessel wasn’t a straightforward process.

When preparing for the race I felt that some type of rowboat auto pilot /self-steering system would be hugely beneficial.  While sailing, a self steering unit would allow me to rest, eat, change clothing, etc. without needing to have a hand continually on the tiller.  The most accurate self steering systems are mechanical wind vane units and electronic tiller pilots.  Wind guided systems such as an Aries or Monitor, however, are much too heavy for a 200 lb boat, so the only realistic option for me was a small electronic tiller pilot.

There are only two brands of tiller pilot; Raymarine and Simrad.  From my research, it seems they are both quite similar in performance and reliability.   I have used a Raymarine ST 1000 on a sailing voyage in the Mediterranean and found it to function well, however, longevity was not so good.  On our Mediterranean voyage we needed to purchase a second unit after the first packed it in after several weeks of use.  From talking to other people and conducting online research it seems this is pretty typical – they do seem to suffer from a high failure rate after moderate use.  The small motor is heavily worked, and the units typically let in a bit of water if they are exposed to wet conditions.

Because of my concern of the unit failing, I decided to carry a backup for the race.  This turned out to be a smart choice, as the first unit failed after five days of racing. The initial unit seemed flawed from the start, randomly turning on and off, and running very loud.  The second TS1000 unit was quieter, and seemed overall a better machine to use as a rowboat auto pilot.

Power System

On standby, the ST1000 draws 0.2 amps, and while the motor is running it draws 2 amps.  The motor only runs in short spurts to correct the boat’s course.  Average draw varies on how balanced the boat is, and how tightly you set the steering parameters (I just left mine on the default settings).  Overall, you can expect average draw to be between 0.5 and 1.5 amps while in use.

To power my unit, I used a 100 watt solar panel and an 18 amp-hour battery so energy could be stored through the night.  A regulator kept the battery from being over charged or overly discharged, and it also provided an LCD display providing information on battery voltage, draw, solar panel input, etc.  Two USB ports in the regulator allowed convenient charging for additional electronics such as my Iphone and stereo.  I calculated/hoped that my power system would be sufficient for the rowboat auto pilot to self-steer the boat at least 20 hours per day.

Overall weight was one of my primary concerns.  My entire boat only weighed 200 lbs, so I didn’t want the steering unit, including the power system, to add substantial mass. To keep weight down I used a lithium ion battery, and the lightest solar panel I could find. Total weight for the battery, solar panel, regulator and TS1000 was about 14 lbs.  The tiller pilot is 4 lbs, the solar panel is 4 lbs, the battery is 3.5 lbs and then the wiring and solar panel frame weight 2.5 lbs.  Overall, the electrical system worked flawlessly, and provided more than enough electricity for my needs.  Even on cloudy rainy days the voltage remained in the high level.  It should be noted, however, that there were a lot of calm periods when I was rowing instead of sailing, so the tiller pilot was not in constant use.

The regulator that I used was a Patec LCD 20A PWM Solar Panel Regulator, which cost about $25.

The lithium ion battery was a UPGI Phantom APP18A1-BS12 ($164)

The solar panel was a Windy Nation 100 Watt Flexible Solar Panel ($158)

Rowboat Auto Pilot Installation

View of the TS1000 tiller pilot mounted in horizontal alignment to the tiller push rod.

View of the TS1000 tiller pilot mounted in horizontal alignment to the tiller push rod.

Since my rudder is situated a fair distance from the cockpit, a push-pull tiller is utilized instead of a standard tiller.  Raymarine tiller pilots are designed to be used with a conventional tiller system, so installation in my boat posed some challenges and unanswered questions.

Normally, the tiller pilot is oriented at a 90-degree angle to the tiller, but with a push pull system tiller it needs to be aligned horizontally with the tiller.  This means that from the tiller pilot’s perspective (as it steers to a magnetic heading) it would seem to be moving at a 90 degree angle off of what it really is.  I wondered if this would cause unforeseen problems.  An online search revealed few answers – one fellow tried it and his boat went in circles, another seemed to have succeeded but gave no information on the installation.

After spending time pondering the process, it seemed to me that the unit would need to be installed on the port side of the boat connected to a push-pull rod affixed to the port side of the rudder.  Installation on the other side would result in the steering unit pushing the rudder the opposite way required to correct course.

I created a secure bracket to support the steering unit, wired it in to the electrical system, and connected it with an easy-release system to the push-pull rod.

Trialing and Use

Winds were blowing a stiff 20 knots when I launched for the initial test.  I was very relieved when the boat steered perfectly on all points of sail.  Later, I found the tiller pilot also worked well as a tiller clutch when I was rowing and sailing in light winds.  When rowing, I wouldn’t use have the tiller pilot for self steering as it seemed to wrestle with my own subconscious steering efforts.  The tiller pilot, however, when in standby mode, allows you to adjust the position of the rudder with the push of a button.  If the boat was pulling to one side or the other as I rowed, the rudder could be adjusted very easily to create perfect balance.

Apart from the sketchy reliability of the TS1000 unit itself, the overall system has worked flawlessly, and made a huge difference to the ease and overall enjoyment during my Race to Alaska.  There was nothing more pleasant than relaxing on the padded hiking board and sipping a hot coffee while enjoying the passing scenery. So while a rowboat auto pilot isn’t something most people would consider, in this case it was an amazing addition.



Posted in Blog, R2AK, RowCruiser | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

R2AK – The Finish Line

Colin ringing the bell in Ketchikan (photo credit: Janice from Team Sistership)

Colin ringing the bell in Ketchikan (photo credit: Janice from Team Sistership)

13 days 1 hour and 59 minutes.  That’s how long it took Colin to row and sail from Victoria to Ketchikan in the RowCruiser.  Today at 12:59 AKDT he rowed up to the finish line in Ketchikan.  It was a fantastic moment that Race to Alaska streamed live on their FB page.  He was greeted by a number of the racers from boats that had already arrived, as well as customs folks and a case of beer. Colin was exhausted and elated and rang the bell with well-deserved gusto.

The last 32 hours have been challenging.  Yesterday he rowed for 15.5 hours straight, the longest he’s ever rowed for continuously.  Then the anchorage he was about to pull into turned out to be inappropriate so he had to continue through the night.  Once morning arrived, the sea returned to dead calm following by headwinds, and he was so exhausted that he was falling asleep between oar strokes.  Then, as if mother nature was watching, she devised a way to wake Colin up.  A killer whale charged his boat.  It raced towards Colin and leapt out of the water.  It was huge he said, like a submarine.  A couple inches before reaching his boat, it gracefully plunged back into the ocean. Wow.

Colin is staying in Ketchikan until Wednesday when he’ll catch the ferry to Bellingham and roll his boat onto the ferry with him.  That’s the beauty of having such a small boat; it gets treated like a kayak and the boat can travel with him for a nominal fee.  So far Ketchikan is treating him amazingly. It’s beautiful, the people are exceedingly friendly and he can almost walk without stumbling.  After being on his boat for over 13 days, he’s got sea legs and even though the only beer he had was upon arrival, he’s stumbling around like he’s had a few too many.  Nothing a good night sleep and some rest can’t cure.

Posted in Blog, R2AK, RowCruiser | 8 Comments

R2AK Day 13 – Alaska in Sight,  Going Through the Night

Behind the lighthouse is Alaska!! Colin's getting very close to completing the R2AK.

Behind the lighthouse is Alaska!! Colin’s getting very close to completing the R2AK.

Colin is 60 km from Ketchikan.  He can see Alaska!

It’s been another long day for Colin.  The morning started off windless, then came modest headwinds, which persisted for most of the day, except for a brief respite of gentle tailwinds.  He’s been rowing pretty much all day and is thrilled to finally be approaching Ketchikan.  He’s back in cell phone reach and it’s nice to hear his voice and get the occasional update.

Today he’s had several big crossings, from his anchorage on Porcher Island across to the Dundas Island group and then to the mainland.  He’s tired but I think the sight of Alaska is keeping him at the oars. I say this because it’s dark already and he’s still going.  I don’t know how long he’s planning on going for but the thought of a hot coffee, cold beer and no more rowing must be keeping him motivated.

Just as I finished typing this, Colin called.  He tried to go into an anchorage that looked promising on his map, but it turned out just to be a river gushing out.  Now it’s too late to find another anchorage as it’s dangerous to go close to shore in the dark.  So Colin has no choice but to continue throughout the night.  He said not to worry, that he’s warm in his drysuit and will just sail or drift.  After rowing for 15.5 hours today, he’s done rowing.  Let’s hope the night goes well and that tomorrow he can relax in Ketchikan.

Posted in Blog, R2AK, RowCruiser | 1 Comment

R2AK Day 12 – Soggy Slog

Colin approaching his anchorage on Porcher Island (Photo credit: Colin Angus)

Colin approaching his anchorage on Porcher Island (Photo credit: Colin Angus)

Colin finally got out of the Grenville Channel.  Yesterday he had 20 knot winds against him so he had to pull into an anchorage early and this morning the current and winds were still against him.  Finally, when the current slackened in the late morning he left his shelter and continued rowing north through the channel.

It’s been another soggy slog of a day and he rowed for the entire day except for half an hour when the wind puffed. All day, he’s had light head winds and weather that alternates between drizzle and downpour.  He described as monsoon rains but without the warmth.

Colin passed the mouth of the Skeena River without any issue, voyaged along the west side of Kennedy Island and crossed over to Porcher Island, where he is now anchored.  He’s about 180 km from Ketchikan and he’d like to reach the end within 2 days. If not, he’ll run out of food and have to start fishing.

Posted in Blog, R2AK, RowCruiser | 1 Comment

R2AK Day 11 – Inside Passage’s Spectacular Greville Channel

Colin Angus near Ivory Island, Seaforth Channel on July 4 (Photo Credit: Bob & Lois Stevenson on SV Passages, 42' Jeanneau)

Colin Angus near Ivory Island, Seaforth Channel on July 4
(Photo Credit: Bob & Lois Stevenson on SV Passages, 42′ Jeanneau)

Colin is currently anchored in Klewnuggit, just outside the marine provincial park.  He’s about 40 kilometers south of where the Skeena River flows into the Pacific. Dale McKinnon, who is very familiar with these waters, describes the confluence of the Skeena and tidal waters as notorious in a flood tide and even challenging in an ebb tide.  Tomorrow he’ll be travelling these waters, so fingers crossed that all goes well.

Today he left his anchorage at about 5 am, crossed over to Gribbell Island and hugged the southern coast of it before making a 10 km crossing of Wright Sound.  Wright Sound is where in 2006, BC Ferry’s Queen of the North disastrously ran aground and sunk, killing 2 people. Colin then entered the Grenville Channel, a 70 km long channel that is described as the most spectacular channel along the Inside Passage. It is sandwiched by towering mountains and narrows to a mere 1400 ft in some areas.

According to the weather report it’s been a grey rainy day with light winds in that area.  However, the high mountains and narrow inlet can create a funnelling effect for both winds and currents.  Colin pulled into his current anchorage around 4:30 pm, which is early for him, so I suspect conditions were not ideal.

Update:  Colin called Small Craft Advisor and left an update .  Here it is, courtesy of their FB page.

Colin (Team Angus Rowboats) checked in from a nice anchorage near Klewnuggit Inlet. He says he made good progress today courtesy of strong tailwinds and a tremendous favorable current that had him doing a long stretch at 8 knots.

He’d planned to push on further tonight but came around a turn in the narrow channel route he’s chosen to find a 20-knot headwind stacking up against the current, so he decided to aim for the nearby inlet and anchorage.

Colin say the steep mountains come right down to rocky shores and there are far fewer anchorages and almost no beaches to be found. In fact he says it was a bit disconcerting at his anchorage last night when the wind clocked around onshore blowing over lots of fetch at the craggy shoreline. And I’m guessing it probably didn’t help that he’d seen his first bear on that same strip of land earlier in the evening . Fortunately the winds never really came up.

He and the boat are doing great, although his auto-pilot, which had been making funny noises and which he’s come to rely on, finally quit entirely. He installed his backup unit and says it’s performing great. Who says you can’t carry everything you need on an 18-foot rowboat?

Posted in Blog, R2AK, RowCruiser | Tagged , | Leave a comment

R2AK Day 10 – Tailwinds and currents

IMG_6867Colin’s spent the day weaving his way through a maze of islands and inlets.  He was up with the sun once again and is just anchoring now.  He’s had moderate tailwinds and a reasonable current, allowing him to make steady progress.

Although Colin’s out of cell phone reception right now, thanks to Small Craft Advisor Magazine, he has a satellite phone to provide them with updates.  Colin told the magazine that last night was not as restful as he had anticipated.  The gate on a carabineer he uses in his anchoring system opened and his boat became freed from the anchor line.  Instead of lying comfortably at anchor, he had to row to shore and secure his boat in a less optimal way.  Fortunately, in the morning light he was able to find his floating anchor rode and retrieve his anchor.  Let’s hope that’s the last time his boat tries to run away.

Posted in Blog, R2AK, RowCruiser | Leave a comment

R2AK Day 9 – Voyaging BC’s Fjords

Photo credit: Team Sistership

Colin in Bella Bella (Photo credit: Team Sistership)

Much of the open water crossings are behind Colin.  He is now travelling northern BC’s majestic fjords.  These narrow inlets bordered by steep mountains provide a labyrinth of more protected waterways.  It’s a remote wilderness and he hasn’t seen a single other boat in the fjords.

This morning Colin passed through the check point at Bella Bella.  There he stopped for a coffee break with fellow racers Sistership and watched to his horror as his boat came untied and sailed across the harbour.  He sprinted to the boat and managed to slow it, but his ama still sustained damage.  Fortunately, he was able to repair it with the epoxy he brought along and was on his way in 15 minutes.  He faced stiff 20 knot headwinds and 4-foot waves leaving Bella Bella, but calmer conditions and slight tail winds followed later in the day.

This is only his second time off the boat since the race started.  Colin sleeps on the boat every night and only comes to shore to refill his water containers and empty his trash. Now he’s anchored off Susan Island in the provincial park of Jackson Narrows and settling in for a solid night’s sleep.

Posted in Blog, R2AK, RowCruiser | Tagged | 1 Comment

R2AK Day 8 – At the halfway mark

Screen shot of Colin. He's in the top left corner (Angus Rowboats)

Screen shot of Colin. He’s in the top left corner (Angus Rowboats)

Colin has reached the halfway point to Ketchikan. He’s now anchored in a cove on Denny Island just a few miles south of the check in point at Bella Bella.

He’s had a good couple of days and has really been able to separate himself from the nearest small boat with a 100-mile lead. Plus, he’s gone through some of the most dangerous sections, including crossing from Vancouver Island to the mainland.  He still has 350 miles to travel but he’s getting there.

There are still 19 boats racing to Alaska and all but one of these is behind Colin.  So far he’s the first boat small boat and well as the first boat with 2 or fewer people.  Let’s hope that Colin and the boat stay safe and he can maintain this pace.

Posted in Blog, R2AK, RowCruiser | Tagged , | Leave a comment