Northwest Passage Complete, Arctic Cowboys Head Home

After rounding Cape Bathurst on October 8 to complete their single-season paddle of the Northwest Passage, West Hansen, Jeff Wueste, Mark Agnew, and Eileen Visser still needed to reach an extraction point.

To get out, the four kayakers first needed to paddle another 75km to the shore of Nicholson Island. From there, they considered a few options.

“It was deemed too unsafe for a boat to come to pick them up,” their home team explained in a recent post. “The route to Tuktoyaktuk was open…but waves and winds were picking up and the team could not determine how many extra days it would take them to get there. The team was very tired after their massive effort and just needed to get off the water.”

The Arctic Cowboys fly out from Nicholson Island.

The team, who style themselves as the Arctic Cowboys, fly out from Nicholson Island. Photo: The Arctic Cowboys


The solution was Aklak Air and an off-strip landing on a beach. The Twin Otter plane picked up the team, their gear, and both kayaks on the afternoon of Oct. 11.

The team flew to Inuvik, where they will take a few days off before flying home.

Martin Walsh

Martin Walsh is a writer and editor for ExplorersWeb.

Martin has been writing about adventure travel and exploration for over five years.

Martin spent most of the last 15 years backpacking the world on a shoestring budget. Whether it was hitchhiking through Syria, getting strangled in Kyrgyzstan, touring Cambodia’s medical facilities with an exceedingly painful giant venomous centipede bite, chewing khat in Ethiopia, or narrowly avoiding various toilet-related accidents in rural China, so far, Martin has just about survived his decision making.

Based in Da Lat, Vietnam, Martin can be found out in the jungle trying to avoid leeches while chasing monkeys.