Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Greenland to Scotland Challenge: Kayakers Make Second Attempt on "Devil's Dance Floor"

Back in June I told you about the Greenland to Scotland Challenge, and attempt by British adventurers Olly Hicks and George Bullard to kayak from the coast of Greenland to the upper regions of Scotland, with some pretty hairy open water sections to contend with along the way. The duo got underway back on July 1 and have working to complete the expedition ever since. The early stages of the paddle went about as they expected, with the two men traveling from Greenland to Iceland with few problems, then slowing making their way around the Icelandic coast. But the most harrowing stage of the journey – dubbed the "Devil's Dance Floor" – is a sea crossing from Iceland to the Faroe Islands off the coast of Scotland that they had hoped to have finished by now. Now, after one aborted attempt, they're getting ready to try again.

Olly and George first tried to paddle across the Dance Floor a few weeks back. They set out from the coast of Iceland on July 23 on what they knew was the toughest leg of their entire journey. But after spending 36 hours on the open sea they received word that bad weather was heading their way. The coast guard advised that they turn back as conditions did not look good.

Fortunately, they were able to hitch a ride on a passing fishing boat and made it back to shore safe and sound. Since then, they've been working on that same fishing boat, earning their keep while they waited for the weather to improve. At long last they've gotten toe okay to proceed, and the forecast looks promising. So, yesterday they returned to the water have has started to cross this treacherous stretch of open water once again.

The boys now face 12 days of living in their kayak as they make their way to the Faroe Islands. During that time they will eat, sleep, and paddle in their boat, completely focused on making progress towards their goal. They have now entered the most crucial stage of this journey, and the next week and a half could be incredibly difficult and dangerous.

As of today, the weather seems to have turned in their favor. The wind is at their back and they are making good progress. In fact, according to their dispatches they have already covered more ground in 24 hours than they did in the first 36 hours out on the Dance Floor. They won't be able to maintain that speed of course, but it is helping to put them back on track. Hopefully the good luck will continue and they'll complete the crossing safely.

Good luck to Olly and George. Follow their progress here.

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