First of all « Cap Vers le Nord » represents 2 childhood friends who decided to go on an adventure. The idea was born a day of April 2017, the goal was to paddle along the norwegian coast from Bergen to the North Cape, without any experience in kayak (we live near the Rhine, in the east of France, so for us the sea is only for holidays).
In the 18 months of preparation the priority was to choose the perfect equipment and of course to learn as much things as possible on the sea environment. Fortunately we were lucky to share some days of kayaking in the west of France with great kayak guides.
During our preparation we were looking for big and resistant boats. Luckily, after a few emails to the Prijon team, they told us that they were just producing a new model for long expeditions, the Prijon GRIZZLY.
6 months later we were in Rosenheim to pack up these two yellow kayaks.
On the 3rd of March we started our route to Bergen. Weather was already snowy and so cold ! After 3 days on the road we arrived near a little beach, a perfect starting point ! It was raining all the week, and we couldn’t see anything on the water, weather conditions were quite dangereous because a lot of boats were navigating there.
We had a lot of questions at that moment : will we manage to reach the north cape ? What is waiting for us on our way ?
At the end of march we were in the tent because of the wind and when we saw on social networks a norwegian ferryboat in trouble ! We quickly understood that we were near that place ! We had to pass there in the next days ! We waited for 8 days in the tent, the end of the storm… We had strong winds, snowstorms, … That was a good memory for both, because it was the first time we felt so small in the strong nature.
On the 8 of March we managed to paddle in Norway ! During the first day on the sea we saw the 4 seasons : snow, wind, rain, sun. We were just hoping that the weather will change in the next weeks !
At the beginning it was difficult to improve our organisation, we had low tempereatures (-15°C), we took more than 3h to pack up the camp and to load the boats (up to 4h the coldest days). We were not really at ease in windy conditions and we were a few times in trouble. In this first month we learned to be humble face to the nature and the sea. Actually, we felt the lack of experience ! Day after day we became more and more confident in our capacities and that was a great lesson for us !
The adventure was full of meetings : local people were just like parents for us, each time we spoke to someone he wanted to help us with food, a night in a house, a little visit, …
In addition to that, we were in a quite preserved nature, and we didn’t count how many days we were paddling with dolphins, whales, seals, or eagles.
The key to succeed was certainly our good mood. We were laughing for 200 days, without exception, from the morning to the night. For example, each time we were in the snow storm on the sea we were laughing, because we knew that if you don’t accept all the difficulties you will never succeed in that kind of trip, and perhaps that is the same story in our lifes.
We couldn’t paddle everyday because the major winds come from the north. So we did a lot of walks, we fished, and of course we had to do picture and videos. Thanks to our Prijon GRIZZLY we had more than 80kg of gear per kayak ! The big hatch from the back can store all our cameras, telephoto lenses, tripods, drone, computer.
We had also discover glaciers, typical harbours, and other amazing places.
On the 24 of August we passed the north cape around midday, after 6 months of expedition, 80 days on water, and more than 2500km. 2 years of preparation were ending there, we were so happy, full of emotions, but so sad at the same time… We did a little walk to the globe, and people there were fascinated by our project. We said that it was the end of our first expedition but the beginning of the others, because we discovered something unbelievable : FEELING FREE.