We hope spring is treating you all well. Here we’re busy preparing for Race to Alaska, and keeping our fingers crossed that Julie’s Syrian family will be arriving in the not-too-distant future.
We’ve had a few people asking about the status of Julie’s family. As many of you know, Julie’s Syrian relatives are refugees, and our constituency group fundraised last year to bring them out to Canada. Many of you kindly contributed to our campaign, and we ended up raising enough to bring a second Syrian refugee family here through the private sponsorship program.
The wheels of bureaucracy, however, have been moving very slowly, and neither family is yet in Victoria. A few months ago, Julie’s family was interviewed by the Canadian authorities in Turkey and went through their medical examinations, however, there has been no word since then. We feel fairly confident that they will eventually be admitted, but it is just a matter of being patient.
We have also been in close communication with the second family – two young men along with their sister and her children. She is a chemistry teacher, and her brothers are computer engineers who speak fluent English. Their applications are even further behind in the cue, but we are continuing to do everything possible to get things moving.
In other news, we were recently visited by renowned English kayaker and filmmaker, Justine Curgensen. She is on her way home from a long paddling expedition in Indonesia, and thought it would be fun to do a quick circumnavigation around the 1100 km perimeter of Vancouver Island. We caught up with her at the end of her 25- day voyage as she passed Victoria. Justine has done all sorts of paddling adventures, which you can learn about here. This seems to be a popular year for circling Vancouver Island by kayak; over the next few weeks there will be three other circumnavigation attempts. We also had a chance to catch up with David Horkan and Joe Leach from England who will be launching within a few days to try breaking the speed record currently held by Russell Henry. Dave currently holds the kayaking speed record for circumnavigating Britain. You can follow their voyage on their SPOT tracker page. West Hansen from the USA will also be commencing on his own Van Isle cirque in a few weeks.
My own training efforts for Race to Alaska are going well. You can check out a little video of one of my training runs here. We’ve also just written a blog update detailing the smaller boats in the race that we will be competing with.
Of course, whether you’re paddling around Vancouver Island or battling the winds in Race to Alaska perseverance is a large part of the equation for success. I’ve recently written an article about grit, and how to increase your fortitude for Explore magazine.
And finally, for those that would like to follow along on our Race to Alaska attempt, we will be posting regular updates on our Angus Rowboats Facebook page. To receive regular updates in your Facebook page, please click the Like button.