Winds briefly ground Spirit of the Canoe journey

Less than two weeks into a three-month expedition to Alaska, foul weather has caused some dramatic challenges and even a few days delay for the Spirit of the Coast Canoe Journey team.

The 1,300-kilometre education and awareness expedition, which includes Kwantlen First Nation artist Brandon Gabriel among the core group of paddlers, has been a difficult one thus far. The latest update from Sliammon late Wednesday showed the crew jovial but anxious to rest.

“…We are all feeling tired, but excited, and inspired by the challenges that lay before us,” Gabriel shared.

“The team has very high spirits and is tired but will be fine soon,” added skipper Chris Cooper, who explained they’d rest for a few days before heading out Friday for Lund and Cortez Island.

So far the team – now about 100 kilometres into the journey – has faced swift waters on the Fraser River including waves from passing tugs that threatened to sink them. They also faced high and even gale-force winds on the Pacific Ocean that forced them ashore and caused a number of delays.

The team has already stopped off at a few First Nation territories along the way, and Gabriel said he was moved by the warm reception received.

As we move forth on this journey we have been met with open arms, support, awe, and well wishes in every community we have visited,” he said.

‘“The sheer number of people who come shake our hands or give us hugs, or shelter, or just want to share or become a small part of our journey have been tremendous… The word is out that we are making our way to Alaska.”

Click HERE for Spirit of the Canoe video.

More video HERE.

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