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Expedition follows fabled crossing from Greenland to Scotland in Kokatat gear

Oceans Poles

This summer, British explorers Olly Hicks and George Bullard will attempt the first documented crossing from Greenland to Scotland by kayak. The In the Wake of the Finnmen expedition follows a course likely traveled by Inuit tribes-people centuries ago.

This summer, British explorers Olly Hicks and George Bullard will attempt the first documented crossing from Greenland to Scotland by kayak. The In the Wake of the Finnmen expedition follows a course likely traveled by Inuit tribes-people centuries ago.

In the late seventeenth century there were a number of mysterious sightings of strange vessels under sail and oar off the coast of Scotland. One account reported a man who spoke in an unintelligible language paddling to shore, only to perish three days later.

To this day, nobody knows for certain who or where these mariners came from. Various theories abound, from fishermen from Finland to indigenous prisoners who escaped from ships returning from the New World. Or as artifacts in Scottish museums point to and Hicks and Bullard believe, that they were Inuit tribes-people from over 1,000 miles away who crossed some of the world’s most dangerous waters.

“It is amazing to think that these early explorers could cover such a distance, over such inhospitable waters, in such primitive craft,” said Hicks. “While we have centuries of technology and learning on our side, this expedition brings with it lots of challenges that are certain to make for an interesting journey.”

Wearing Kokatat dry suits and PFD’s, Hicks and Bullard will set out this June for Iceland from Greenland in a slightly modified Inuk Duo 6.8m sea kayak. The kayak, made of carbon fiber reinforced with Kevlar for ice protection, is equipped with a special cockpit design that can be sealed allowing the paddlers to squeeze inside and safely rest and sleep while at sea.

After three days of crossing the Denmark Strait to Iceland, the duo will hop along the Icelandic coast before taking on the six-day crossing to the Faroe Islands across the formidable stretch of ocean known as “the devil’s dancefloor”. Once safely ashore in the Faroe Islands they will rest and recover while touring down the islands before setting out for the tiny island of North Rona. From there they will make the final push of 50 miles to their ultimate destination of Cape Wrath, Scotland.

For more information on the expedition and its history visit www.ollyhicks.com.

To learn more about this and other expeditions that rely on Kokatat gear visit www.kokatat.com/expeditions.

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