Preparations for the North West Passage – One week to go!

26th July 2023


Reading time: 5 Minutes

Diagrammatic Route for the North West Passage

The adventure seems to be attracting a fair bit of press. The Telegraph had this write up and PBO had this.

Stirling and Son’s Facebook page has this amazing video of what I should expect and, although I have sailed on Integrity before, this looks like pretty tough sailing.

With just a week to go, it is time to start packing and to sort out any loose ends. I’ll be away for around six weeks and conditions could be pretty rough. I’ve been doing some gentle training and trying to avoid any injuries but it is Sod’s Law that now my right knee is playing up! I’ll book in to see a physio but it’s nothing major and it only plays up when I run so hopefully not too much running will be required.

Last week I visited the Dentist for a check up and to get some emergency pills in case something flares up, which it wont. Sadly the NHS don’t really do Dentists anymore. The last time I had toothache the NHS quoted six weeks for an appointment whereas my Private Dentist asked whether four o clock would be convenient!

The Posh Dentist!
I also visited my Not-So-Posh-Barber who may even get another visit just before I leave
Specsavers! Glasses have a habit of getting ripped off my head by flailing ropes and ending up overboard.

I’ve ordered a spare pair of varifocals. I can happily see bergs and growlers without glasses, but I would struggle to read “Integrity’s” compass, especially in poor light. As we are sailing quite late in the season, there will be a few hours of darkness to negotiate. Will Stirling, the Skipper, likes to navigate traditionally, so hand steering with a massive tiller (assisted with block and tackle) and an eye on the compass is the way we do it. No Garmin screens or auto pilots!

Today I will start to pack. There will be just enough time to whizz into town to buy anything that I am missing.

My list so far is:

Take List



 Sea wear   
1 PairSea Boots Helly Henson with GaitersBoat A
1Guy Cotton Bib and BraceBoat A
1Guy Cotton JacketBoat A
1Single Point TetherBoat A
1SouwesterStore B
1Crewsaver LifejacketBoat EITHER
1Spinlok Light LifejacketStore OR
4 PairsSeaboot SocksBuy some more B
1Towel Neck ScarfBoat C
1Merino BeanieBoat A
1Lowe Alpine HatStore A
1 PairDevold Wool MittsStore A
1 PairDouble Thumb MittsStore  
1 PairGortex Over GlovesStore B
1 PairBlue Thermo Fishermans GlovesHome  
1 PairClimbing MittsStore A
1Mid Layer dungareesBoat A
1AGM Rugged PhoneMe A
1Charging Cable for aboveBoat A
1SkeletoolBoat B
1Head TorchBoat A
1Charging Cable for aboveBoat A
1In ReachBoat A
1Charging Cable for aboveBoat A
1Instruction sheet for InreachDownload  
1TZ CameraBoat A
1Charging Cable for aboveBoat A
1Go Pro with housing and bracketBoat C
1Charging Cable for aboveBoat C
1Waterproof notebookBoat A
1Garmin Fenix WatchHome A
1New strap for aboveEn route? A
1Charger for aboveHome A
1Mini power packBuy C
1Space penBoat A
1Bear AlarmHome B
1Screach WhistleBlue Bag B
1Sunglasses VarifocalBoat A
1Ordinary Glasses VarifocalBoat A
1Spare VarifocalBoat B
1Reading GlassesBoat A
1Ordinary GlassesBoat A
5Lanyards for aboveBuy  
 General Wear   
4Merino UnderwearOrdered B
3Merino LeggingsHome A
2Cotton underwearHome B
3Merino topsHome A
2Merino Zip TopsHome A
3Walking SocksBuy More A
1 PairScarpasBuy or take old ones A
1Boat slippersHome C
2 pairsTechnical TrousersBuy one pair A
1Rab Generator JacketHome B
1Mosie NetYellow Bag A
1Arteryx Waist Coat  B
1Wool pulloverBuy or heavily darn A
3SnoodsHome A
1Devold Merino TrousersHome B
 General Gear   
1Sleeping BagBoat A
1Bivvy BagHome A
1Pillow CaseHome A
1Sheet for mattressHome A
1Wash BagHome A
2ToothbrushesHome A
1CombHome A
1Nail scissorsHome A
2RazorsHome C
1Plastic beakerHome B
1Book to read?Home C
1Yellow Ortlieb 85 L DuffleHome A
1Ortlieb Atrack 25 L Rucksack?Home A
7Roll top waterproof lightweight bagsHome A
1Spinlok belt bagHome A
 PassportHome A
 eTA NumberHome A
 Air Line TicketsHome A
Hopefully this will all be within my weight limit on the six flights it takes to get to Resolute Bay

Please shout if you think I am missing anything. I’ve asked Will if there is anything he would like me to bring out and he suggested a couple of jars of Horlicks. I am still deliberating whether this is his sense of humour or whether they are actually enjoying a warming nostalgic bedtime drink. What do you think?

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