The Seal River which drains into Hudson Bay, Northern Manitoba, Canada is a formidable open boat expedition. The South Seal has rarely been paddled and if ever, by a British group.
A team of British canoe coaches, who all work on UCLan (University of Central Lancashire) outdoor courses, are leaving for their month-long attempt on this ‘Jewel of the Canadian Wilderness’. The team, supported by canoe equipment manufacturers Wenonah and Palm Equipment, will be setting out upstream from South Indian Lake. Then, by a mixture of paddling against the current and portaging, will cross the watershed into the Seal proper. Days are then expected to be a persistent trial of bugs and headwinds, as progress is made into the lower reaches where Grade 5 rapids await!
Not only that, but the Seal is so named because seals have been found up to 100 miles from the estuary. As is well known, seals are the staple diet for polar bears and the team has taken a shotgun and tripwires to prevent themselves joining the menu! A boat pick-up across Hudson Bay has been arranged to escape the onset of the northern winter, to finish the expedition in Churchill, polar bear capital of Canada.
The team members are Andy Hall, Loel Collins, Chris Eastabrook, Ali Inkster, Simon Allfree and Karl Midlane whom will be using the versatile Spirit 11 from Wenonah and bouyancy aids and Gravity boots from Palm Equipment.
Main photo above: Training trip in suitable conditions on the Spey!
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