THE EXPEDITION

Adventurers 2009

Why Norway? Because it's a cool feeling to be able to paddle around the coast of an entire country instead of having to paddle one third of France!


Norway can offer a coast which for us is exotic and exciting, without us being afraid to meet sharks or crocodiles. Norway's nature is one of the world's most beautiful. It will be a big challenge with large black waters and steep mountains.











Time for some concrete where, when, how questions. The project, The Norwegian Coast 2009, means that we will paddle around the whole coast of Norway for about three months in the summer of 2009. Beginning in early June at the Russian border, Grense Jakobselv, and finnish at the Swedish border at Strömstad. It is difficult to give an exact timetable when we are so dependent on weather conditions. Norway's geographical position means that the coast is exposed to sea on a very different way than the coast of Sweden. The Atlantic and the Arctic Ocean will roll in with all their force. Some routes will be more protected, such as between Nesna and Lofoten, which have a fabulous beautiful archipelago. Some passages are known as extra tough and demanding as Stattlandet and also Tanafiord in northern Norway. Something we have great respect for is when the currents meet the tide. Also currents in combination with wind from the ocean will offer us a real challenge. You can prepare and take these factors into account to a certain limit, but as someone has said: "If you try to combine all the elements you will never come forward."


We will be limited by the rough weather far more frequently than when we paddled the coast of Sweden, but our goal is to keep a medium pace of 32 miles per day. Some of the targets along the way will be to paddle past the northernmost mainland point Nordkinn and to cross the northern Arctic Circle.













Why choose to spend so much time in a kayak? To freeze, be scared and wet in about 1864 miles, is there any sense in that? Why expose yourself to anything like this voluntarily? The answer is complex and highly personal, but for us it is absolutely worth it!

Many adventurers focus on doing something fastest, hardest and toughest. We don’t. We have enough self-awareness to understand that we will not beat any speed records. We are two girls who really are quite normal. We are simply good at many things, but not really the best at something.










What characterizes an adventurer? A somewhat restless person, pretty snowed in on his thing, which gladly spends much of his free time to wander around in various outdoor shops and keep track of the latest range. In many cases a hairy man or a tough woman with serious forearms and you will recognize the person at a party when the person has on a wind-, rain-, storm proof and hurricane safe (with extra reinforced seams) jacket. They can also be seen on a beach with sunglasses that have all new and cool features as built-in GPS and anemometer. Are we like those people? Well, sometimes maybe, but certainly not always. It depends on whom you compare with. Most of our friends think that we are much like most. We like to sit alone at sea, but also on a terrace and share a drink with good friends. We just know that there is enough time for both.











What makes us adventurers and distinguishes us from other people? We dare to believe in our dreams, and actually achieve them. There will always be people who will think we are weird people, who see problems instead of all the fantastic opportunities. You can always do so much more than you think. To fail is to not dare. This may sound a bit nonchalant, but if you listen to too many no-sayers, then you will never get going. You can read about others' adventures and experiences and learn everything in theory, but sooner or later you have to just throw yourself in to it and put yourself on the test!

What do we want to achieve with all this paddling? It is a question we also have asked ourselves many times, especially, we will ask ourselves that at four a clock every morning or when it has rained in two weeks and everything is wet. The goal is really to do something that makes us feel happy. Just live in the present and have the opportunity to see our lives with different eyes. Many people ask us why, which we can understand. But on the other hand, who question why anyone puts four days a week to train a team.


Sometimes it's the small things that actually make life. To just wash your hands under running warm water can be amazing. Obviously, you don’t have to paddle around Norway to learn to appreciate the little things, but many times you forget to appreciate things.


There will be times when we just want to give up and turn back home, but all the planning, all the time, all paddling and all the pain can not have been in vain. Once we have started it will take a lot for us to give up. You just do it for yourself and not for anyone else. It is only yourself that has to look in the mirror and be able to feel satisfied with your performance. The only thing that can make that dream impossible is the fear of failure.

 
 

PLANNING

EQUIPMENT


The expedition Norwegian Coast 2009 starts of long before we start paddling in June. There is much to be prepared and thought through. This expedition will require more preparation than paddling around the coast of Sweden did. Although this time we see ourselves as more experienced paddlers. Firstly, we don’t have a lot of experience of the currents and tides, and second, the Norwegian coast, is not as familiar to us. We have taken the help of other sea paddlers and adventurers and tried to take advantage of their experience. After a while you become real good at using your contacts and taking advantage of others' knowledge and advice. Since we both are studying full time it takes al lot of discipline and efficiency. The expedition has high physical demands, and therefore we need to prepare ourselves with training. It consists mostly of swimming, weight training, running and especially canoeing. Our experience tells us that the first few days along the coast will be tough, but it becomes easier after a few days. The body will protest at times, but it is only to give it all you’ve got. A large part of the planning is also about financing the adventure with the help of sponsors. That means many hours of phone calls and mailing before this has been rowed ashore.

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