April 11 – May 2, 2012 — OAR Northwest Completed a Circumnavigation of Canada’s Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island and Circumnavigation Route

The ocean rowing crew of the James Robert Hanssen voyaged through the Pacific Northwest’s unpredictable Salish Sea and into the unforgiving Pacific Ocean.  The five-person expedition team (Jordan, Greg, Adam, Richard and Markus) spent 20-days in circumnavigating Vancouver Island in a counter-clockwise direction to strategically take full advantage of primary currents and shifting seasonal weather patterns, visiting locals and First Nation peoples along the route.

Track & Explore the Expedition Route

The expedition team encountered a fury of sea foam, giant waves, bone-chilling temperatures, and dense fog.  Additionally, coastal navigation demanded vigilance in the face of sleep deprivation.  Most dangerous were potential encounters with larger vessels under motor or sail.  A collision easily could have sliced OAR Northwest’s row boat in half. Shipboard issues kept the team sleeping with one eye open.  Crew dynamics in ultra-cramped quarters, equipment failure, and inability to meet one’s caloric needs added to the pressure-cooker environment that is an ocean rowboat.

Continue to explore the CWF Salish Sea Expedition by using these OAR Northwest resources:

Expedition Video

Video by Vaun S. Raymond

Video by Markus Pukonen, Christopher Yapp

Classroom Connections

Classrooms messaged the Expedition Crew!  Students went to sea with the crew, virtually, by connecting with the rowers through the OAR Northwest website. Students, families, teachers and entire school populations were invited to join the CWF Salish Sea Expedition.

Access and download the education Exploration Guide: WILD WATERS!

OAR Northwest creates distinctly age-appropriate education programs to engage students with in-person school visits with the boat, incredible media, and four dynamic, articulate storytellers.  Visit the Education tab to learn more and enroll your school or group.

Sponsors and Partners

OAR Northwest ocean rowers and staff would like to graciously thank the many organizations and people supporting our programs and expeditions. The flow of support has been incredible over the years.  Sponsors, including our title sponsor, the Canadian Wildlife Federation, provided extraordinary support.

The CWF Salish Sea Expedition was a great opportunity for North Americans to get to know their marine wildlife along with the rowing team.  Between April 7 and July 16, American and Canadian youth were encouraged to get outdoors and celebrate their natural world.  By submitting original works of art like writing, photography, video and music inspired by their wild neighbors to the CWF Get to Know Contest, many lucky youth won some fantastic prizes!