In less than a month we head north and the Mainstream Last First expedition begins. I write this with a sense of disbelief, the frenzy of a year of planning and preparation still raw in our minds.

Our boat, The Arctic Joule, is on the water and is moored at the Vancouver Maritime Museum in Kitsilano. We encourage anyone who’s interested to drop down and take a look. We’ll likely be there as we’ve been spending lots of time out on the boat making our final adjustments and tweaks. The Arctic Joule is performing well and moves surprisingly fast considering here bulk and size. We can manage a 4kn pace without much difficulty and are satisfied to know that when we need to we’ll be able to move swiftly and efficiently.

On June 25th we load The Arctic Joule atop a trailer and start driving north. Our road to Inuvik, some 3700kms in distance, would fall just short of Toronto if stretched from Vancouver east.  The journey should be an adventure in itself with the punishing 736km gravel–surfaced Dempster Highway guaranteeing excitement. We’ll make a requisite stop in Dawson City, Yukon just before the Dempster to drink to our luck with an infamous Sour Toe Cocktail, a cocktail which contains an actual alcohol-preserved human toe. As the saying goes: ‘You can drink it fast, you can drink it slow—But the lips have gotta touch the toe.’

If everything goes to plan we’ll be launching The Arctic Joule in Inuvik on Canada Day, July 1st

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