We are less than three weeks away from the R2AK start, and Team Sockeye Voyages is deep in the preparations for the race: compiling and checking all safety, navigation, communications, and first aid gear; finalizing modifications to our trusty trimaran schooner Mongoose; and gathering and organizing all our food for what we expect to be two to three weeks of travel north to Alaska.
The excited energy and anticipation is palpable as the starting line feels within reach. Over the last week Olivia “Captain Oz” Lord has been spearheading food planning, provisioning, and organizing—supported generously by the kitchen and pantry of Sockeye and Elizabeth’s off-grid home on San Juan Island. Numerous factors including nutrition, calories, weight, and pack-ability are all taken into account and crucial to a good food pack out. All the pre-preparation of meals now will save time and energy on the water, when the rain is pouring down over our tarp cover as we hastily secure our anchor and work to get a hot meal on the stove before catching some much needed and well-deserved sleep.
What we’re really excited about when it comes to our food pack-out is the employment of Lichen Bags, made by a fellow Outward Bound Instructor and adventurer, Beth Jackson. Lichen Bags are washable, reusable, waterproof food bags for expeditions and an effective tool for minimizing waste and single-use plastic. Impressively, Beth and three of her friends and co-adventurers, used these bags on a 46-day, 970km canoe trip traversing the Ungava Peninsula in Canada in 2018. Beth hand-made all 200 bags they used from her own original design. Her long-term hope is to create a product that can replace single use plastic bags for food packing in the outdoor programming industry. Using Beth's Lichen bags on our Race to Alaska, we'll be able to field test the bags in a greater variety of conditions and hopefully help Beth to evolve and improve the design.
Part of our mission in partaking in this race is to become better stewards of our global and ocean environment. Our hope is to continue to learn to live lightly. We will do so in part by storing approximately 200lbs of our food for breakfasts, snacks, and dinners in 120 of Beth’s Lichen Bags. As a result, we will reduce our waste to near zero when stepping off of Mongoose and onto the docks at Ketchikan.
We hope to encourage you too, to be conscious in your adventures of what it means to lighten your impact. And perhaps, get some of your own Lichen bags to use and re-use on future adventures!
We are deeply grateful for all those who have supported Team Sockeye Voyages and our race thus far. Lookout for information soon on how best to tune in to our updates and track our progress north!
Love and Light from San Juan Island, WA,
Team Sockeye Voyages
Check out @ohlord247's instagram post for more lichen bag photos!