In recent years there have been several notable expeditions that have traversed the Northwest Passage over several seasons. We’ve taken great inspiration from them.
In 1990, the legendary Canadian adventurer Don Starkell sought to trace the Northwest Passage by kayak. He journeyed from Churchill, Manitoba, north and then west to Tuktoyaktuk, NWT. The journey lasted three seasons and had to be terminated just thirty miles short of its planned completion point at Tuktoyaktuk, due to the onset of winter and frostbite. Starkell lost the tops of his fingers and some of his toes.
Victoria Jason is the first woman to paddle solo through the Northwest Passage. Victoria, a grandmother from Transcona, Winnipeg, spent four years in the Northwest Territories on a touring kayak trip through the Northwest Passage. Her journey would see her traverse all sections of the route between Churchill, Manitoba and Tuktoyaktuk, NWT.
Jonathan Waterman undertook a three-year crossing of the Northwest Passage. Waterman began his trek in 1997, kayaking the Arctic coast west from the Mackenzie delta to Prudhoe Bay, AK, and after two more arduous trips he finished his journey on the Boothia Peninsula in 1999.
In 100 days, over three summers (1986-88), Canadians Jeff MacInnis (son of legendary explorer Joe MacInnis who helped find the Titanic) and Mike Beedell accomplished the first wind-powered crossing of the Northwest Passage. Their west-to-east journey took them from Inuvik in the Northwest Territories to Pond Inlet on Baffin Island.