Friday, December 20, 2013

Labrador Passage 2014 Expedition

Just found out about interesting canoe expedition planned for the summer of 2014. Labrador Passage is a documentary film project setting out to retrace Mina Hubbard's historic 1905 canoe journey through Labrador.

In this particular trip, the two paddlers will be using as much traditional, non-synthetic equipment as possible - canvas packs, tin-cloth rain gear, a canvas tent, etc. In addition, one of the sponsors - The Wisconsin Canoe Heritage Museum - is commissioning a specially built Atkinson Traveler cedar canvas canoe from Rollin Thurlow of the Northwoods Canoe Company. The plan is that after the expedition the Traveler will be returned to the WCHM where it will be added to museum collection for display.

Here's a vimeo vid of one of the crew members describing the plans for the journey.

This isn't the first attempt at retracing Mina's 1905 route in a cedar canvas canoe. In 2000, British freelance author Alexandra Pratt attempted this route with a single Innu guide, Jean-Pierre Ashini. Interesting that the canoe then was another Thurlow Northwoods canoe.

Pratt & Ashini setting out from North West River, Labrador

Unfortunately changes to river water levels due to modern hydroelectric projects, forest fires, as well her guide's knee injury during some upstream travel meant the expedition had to be abandoned quite early on and the team evacuated by helicopter. Not sure what happened to the canoe in the was left behind to be picked up in the winter. Her adventure was published in a book entitled Lost lands, forgotten stories : a woman's journey to the heart of Labrador. 

Hope this 2014 expedition has lots of success in tackling a very challenging route with the added "burden" of using historic gear on their trip

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