Now that we´ve had a few days to relax, recoup, and recharge, it is time to place some credit where credit is due.
While there are plenty of expeditions out there that claim to be "unsupported" or "independent" or operating "without assistance" we are certainly not one of them. We never would have been able to pull-off this expedition without the help of many, many people. Below are a few of them:
Karel at http://www.kayakweather.com/
We consider Karel "one of the team" and indeed he was with us each morning and evening with accurate and timely forecasts via satellite phone. The forecasts were integral to our decision making each day and played a significant role in minimizing our risk, especially in the Golfo de Penas.
Inspiration, Information, and Encouragement
Reg at http://www.brewmug.com/
From a chance incounter on Ross Lake in North Cascades National Park to stories, advice, charts, and route assistance shared over brews at the Chuckanut. Reg knows more about paddling this part of Patagonia than just about anyone else, truly legendary. See what Canoe & Kayak has to say here.
Marcus at http://www.marcusdemuth.com/
Google is a fabulous tool and that´s how we found Marcus. After his help with info on the permitting process, logistical advice, and route beta we checked out his website. Amazing accomplishments! We had no idea that the friendly, helpful guy on the other end of the e-mails was such a badass! If you´re on the east coast don´t miss his talks this spring!
Yosale at http://seakayakingpatagonia.blogspot.com/
Yosale and two of his buddies did the same trip in 2008-09. We took 100 days, these guys did it in 65! Nuff said! Yos walked us through the Armada´s permitting process and helped with route questions.
Rob and Karen at http://www.mountainminded.com/
Way back in 2004 when Becky and I were just picking out this route on a world map, Rob and Karen dedicated 6 months to paddle the route to Puerto Natales and then continued to Puerto Toro (spitting distance from Cape Horn)! Rob and Karen showed us that the route was possible and helped with charts and books. Truly inspirational!
Kayaking Skills and Coaching
Shawna and Leon at http://www.bodyboatblade.com/
When Becky and I first got serious about sea kayaking and set our sights on the Inside Passage we turned to Body, Boat Blade for technique and rescue skills. Since then Shawna and Leon have continued to encourage and inspire us. They are world-class coaches and paddlers.
Spanish Language Skills
Sarah at http://www.saludspanish.com/
Sarah made room in her schedule for a two-week crash course for us with a special emphasis on distress calls and nautical terms. Without the basics that she taught us, I doubt we would have gotten our permit in Puerto Montt. Three Cheers!
Perla and Thomas at http://www.casaperla.com/ in Puerto Montt
Talk about feeling at home! A warm cozy house, plenty of room to pack and organize, spanish lessons, and awesome paddling advice.
Alejandro and Andrea at http://www.hostaldoslagunas.com/ in Puerto Natales
The best coffee in Chile and a breakfast that just keeps coming. Friendly family atmosphere and great conversation. Just the place we needed to lay-low at the end of the trip.
Last but not Least...
Thank you to all our family, friends, and loved ones who posted encouragement here, on e-mail, and via sat phone. This expedition was, at times, Really Hard, and your well wishes kept us focused, determined, and supported.
Special mention goes to Nick´s mom, Cathy, for keeping better track of our progress than even the Chilean Armada. She sent us a tsunami warning two days before the Navy! Thanks Mom!