Edinburgh adventurer sets two world records by kayaking the Arctic Ocean’s Northwest Passage

How the team achieved the feat

  • A team of four kayakers, including Mark Agnew from Edinburgh, completed the 1600-mile journey through the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean in three months.
  • They became the first to kayak the entire route and the first to do it using only their own power, without sails or engines.
  • They followed the same route taken by Sir John Franklin, whose 1845 expedition ended in disaster with the loss of two ships and all 129 men.

What challenges they faced along the way

  • The team had to deal with waves as high as 15 feet, freezing temperatures, strong winds and unpredictable ice conditions.
  • They also encountered dozens of polar bears, one of which pressed against their tent and refused to leave.
  • They got trapped by ice several times and had to haul their kayaks over ice floes or wait for gaps to open.
  • They had to paddle ultra marathon distances day after day, sometimes up to 18 hours a day, to take advantage of the good weather.

edinburgh adventurer kayaks arctic ocean northwest passage

Why their expedition was possible and significant

  • The team’s expedition was only possible because of the melting of the Arctic ice due to climate change, which opened up more waterways for navigation.
  • Their expedition was significant because it highlighted the effects of global warming on the Arctic environment and wildlife, as well as the potential for new trade and tourism routes.
  • Their expedition also raised ÂŁ7000 for Wilderness Foundation UK, a charity that offers education and therapy programmes for young people and adults through outdoor adventures.

How they felt after completing the journey

  • The team felt a mix of emotions after completing the journey, including relief, joy, gratitude and sadness.
  • Agnew said he burst into tears when they crossed into the Beaufort Sea and completed the Northwest Passage. He said every single day was hard and he could not believe they had done it.
  • The team also felt a sense of accomplishment and pride for setting two world records and making history.

What’s next for the team

  • The team is now back in their respective homes, recovering from their physical and mental exhaustion. They are also planning to write a book and make a documentary about their expedition.
  • They hope that their story will inspire others to pursue their dreams and challenge themselves, as well as raise awareness about the importance of protecting the Arctic environment.
  • They are also considering other possible adventures in the future, such as kayaking across other oceans or exploring other remote regions.
By Ishan Crawford

Prior to the position, Ishan was senior vice president, strategy & development for Cumbernauld-media Company since April 2013. He joined the Company in 2004 and has served in several corporate developments, business development and strategic planning roles for three chief executives. During that time, he helped transform the Company from a traditional U.S. media conglomerate into a global digital subscription service, unified by the journalism and brand of Cumbernauld-media.

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