A SCOTS adventurer is trying a record-breaking Arctic voyage to kayak the two,000-mile Northwest Passage.
On July 1, Mark Agnew and a workforce of three others will set off from Bylot Island, Nunavut, Canada, and hope to complete 90 days later at Tuktoyaktuk, an Inuit hamlet in Canada, as they observe the historic Arctic route that hyperlinks the Atlantic and the Pacific.
Their quest will break a number of world information, by being the primary time all the route has ever been kayaked or powered by human energy alone in a single summer time.
The expedition has lately been made extra attainable by way of arctic ice soften on account of world warming, which has opened up the passage and diminished hazard.
Mark, additionally a motivational speaker and freelance journalist, who’s from Edinburgh and lives in London, has been getting ready for his expedition by kayaking on the Thames with the Putney Bridge Canoe Membership.
By coaching with knowledgeable polar area expedition paddler, Jeff Allen, Mark has constructed up his stamina and improved his kayaking abilities at sea.
Mark says that yoga has been a vital side of coaching and helps stop accidents.
He had two unsuccessful journeys when making an attempt to set the world file for rowing throughout the Atlantic twice, and was rescued two days into his first expedition in 2016.
Mark later suffered a psychological well being spiral, with the devastation of failure making him really feel nugatory and unmotivated.
After a 12 month psychological well being break, Mark researched resilience and realised that it may be discovered, so he started to set himself challenges and progressively his skilled his thoughts.
Mark hopes to boost over £25,000 for Wilderness Basis UK, a charity providing schooling and remedy programmes for younger individuals and adults.
Mark, who believes that kayaking has improved his personal psychological well being, selected this charity because it helps reconnect younger individuals to society and to themselves, by way of out of doors facilitation adventures, remedy and mentoring.
The route that Mark and his workforce will observe is identical route sought by the British Arctic exploration voyage led by Sir John Franklin in 1845 aboard two ships, the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror.
The expedition met with catastrophe as each ships grew to become icebound and the crew of 129 males was misplaced – Mark’s workforce could even cross instantly over the wreck of HMS Terror.
Now, 178 years later, the Arctic’s ice circumstances have modified with the area on the forefront of worldwide warming, making this world first solely attainable because of melting sea ice.
Mark will likely be joined on the expedition by three Individuals – expedition chief West Hansen, Jeff Wueste and Eileen Visser.
The workforce will every gas up on 4,000 to six,000 energy per day and re-supply midway in Cambridge Bay.
Every night time they may camp on shore, establishing a tripwire to let off a bang if they’re approached by polar bears whereas sleeping.
Mark frequently trains in Scotland for his expeditions, together with often kayaking round Bass Rock in East Lothian and alongside the West Coast.
His ardour for the outside and sense of journey was impressed by his father, an explorer who mapped components of Greenland and Patagonia and his mom who travelled Australia for 5 years within the Seventies.
Mark defined: “After failing to row the Atlantic twice, I felt completely nugatory. I used to be overcome with emotions of humiliation and failure.
“It started to seep into each side of my life, and I grew to become torpid. I wasn’t clinically depressed however the feeling of being pathetic grew to become overwhelming.
“Finally, I made a decision I wanted to tug myself out of my gap by happening adventures once more.
“I realised I needed to give attention to the expertise and never the end result. I started to give attention to camaraderie, discovery of lovely landscapes and being at one with nature and never simply on the side of profitable or of gaining the world file.
“That stated, I’m nonetheless motivated by the world first. Within the Northwest Passage, pushing ourselves as a workforce for the widespread objective of the world first is necessary to facilitate our camaraderie and expertise.
“These intrinsic targets are much more fulfilling than specializing in a single final result.”
Mark continued: “Getting out into nature and exercising was elementary to re-finding my self-worth.
“I’ve been fortunate my entire life to have the ability to get into nature.
“Wilderness Basis UK helps numerous individuals, notably individuals from backgrounds that may not sometimes have quick access to the outside, re-connect to nature and really feel empowered by way of their expertise.”
Mark added: “That is actually the ‘voyage that shouldn’t occur’. 100 years in the past the Northwest Passage would have been frozen nearly all year-round, however now we’re going to have the ability to kayak the 2000 miles in a single season.
“A relatively devastating instance of how a lot local weather change has affected the planet.”
Wilderness Basis UK’s CEO Jo Roberts, additionally added: “Wilderness Basis UK has a historical past of patrons who’ve been iconic explorers and adventurers.
“Mark isn’t any totally different to them within the challenges and hardships they endured and survived. His ardour to problem himself and the ocean hyperlinks him to the greats of this world.
“By taking over the Northwest Passage, paddling into an unknown each inside himself and the setting, he will likely be inspiring others to face their fears and embrace their inside strengths.
“As a charity we work with kids, teenagers and adults whose fears maintain them again from making an attempt, failing and succeeding – they usually get caught.
“Mark will likely be setting them an instance of what it seems to be like to present life ‘a go’ and we will likely be following his paddle strokes and braveness as he braves probably the most difficult and luxurious passages.”