TRACKER

Those beady eyed followers of this project out there will see that Olly's tracker went a bit AWOL on Friday morning. In their exhausted state, they forgot to turn it off! No they did not do a bit of extra paddling for the fun of it.

We are working to get this fixed. 

Dance Floor - done!!

As the Olympics kick off a fortnight of sporting excitement we turn our attention to a small beach, thousands of miles away from the bright lights of Rio where another, slightly less glamorous (the boys words, not mine!) sporting feat has just been completed. Just moments ago Olly and George landed on a beach on the north of the Faroe Islands. They have done it, they have paddled across the Devils Dance Floor!! 

No pictures yet. The news is that there was a welcome party of locals who had heard about the boys and the film crew to welcome them in. They are very excited to have completed this and as you can imagine, exhausted.

More news to follow but the main thing, is they are on dry land and we are all very happy!

Over half way!

The boys are dancing well. With little communications from them we assume that they are pushing hard to get across this formidable stretch of sea. Olly said before he left that they were going to go for it as the weather is set to turn bad on Saturday and they want to get this leg under their belt. It is an enormous achievement in itself to paddle from Iceland to the Faroes, but it also means that once they have conquered the dance floor that they are almost on their way home!

Currently their ETA in the Faroe Islands is Thursday pm. They are planning to land, sleep and then push on to the capital city Tórshavn on Friday where they will have a few days of well deserved rest... and a pint!

Keep them in your thoughts, they still have a long way to go and it is far from easy out there. We cannot wait to see them on dry land very soon! 

 

 

 No pictures from the boys today, but if we could guess how they are tackling this challenge, it would look something like this!

No pictures from the boys today, but if we could guess how they are tackling this challenge, it would look something like this!

Making good progress

The little red dot that is Olly and George is moving rapidly across our screens! This is because the wind is in their favour at the moment and is pushing them along at great speed. This isn't going to last for the whole crossing but it is great that they are getting a quick start. They have only been going for 24 hours and have already travelled further than they did in 36 hours on the last attempt. Fingers crossed for continued good fortune, we want our boys back on dry land soon!

 Olly's view right now and for the next few days (without the hint of land though!)

Olly's view right now and for the next few days (without the hint of land though!)

Take two…

Olly and George have, in the last hour, set off from Iceland to The Faroes. This is their second attempt at this 280mile crossing, having been forced to suspend their last attempt due to bad weather.

They are on great form, however they are nervous. They now know what to expect out there, having spent 36 hours on the sea on their previous attempt. The winds are predicted to be behind them on this attempt so they are looking to get the sails up, these will help them speed along. 

The best place to keep an eye on their progress is on their tracking site – they update straight from the boat.

Below is a video update from George and Olly on the water:

Waiting, fishing, waiting then more waiting

With their beards growing by the day and Olly's eyebrows re-defining fluorescent, the boys are patiently waiting for the weather to turn in their favour.

For the last few days, they have been out on the fishing boat, earning their keep, having fun experiencing something new and distracting their minds from the anticipation of the Dance Floor. They have had a great time with the fishermen and this unexpected element has added to the adventure. However, it is a national holiday this weekend so the boat is in the harbour and the men have all gone away to see their families.

Olly and George, who are now alone, are going to use this weekend to study the weather in the most minute of detail and perhaps go for a good bracing walk up a hill to stretch those legs. Other than that, they will also be resting and eating the most enormous monkfish ever - a present from the fishermen.

It is a frustrating time with not much new news, keep thinking of them and hoping that the weather starts to play ball.  

 Weather watching

Weather watching

 More monsters from the North Sea

More monsters from the North Sea

 Making great friends

Making great friends

Gone fishing..

Olly and George were picked up yesterday by a fishing boat and taken back to Iceland, to a town called Stoovarfjorour. The journey back to land was 12 hours. Not ones for sitting down for too long (unless in a kayak) they were put to work below deck, sorting, gutting and packing cod. 

In the rare moments that Olly watches TV his show of choice is usually something along the lines of extreme fishing, so you can only imagine his delight to be able to live out a dream! This helped towards softening the disappointment of having to temporarily suspend his Devils Dance Floor leg attempt. 

With the wait for the next suitable weather window looking like it is going to be several days and that they now have no camping equipment due to the fact it is on it’s way to the Faroes they have a situation....

To solve this predicament they are now earning their keep by doing a few shifts on board the same fishing boat (apparently they took to their new job very well!) - in exchange for their labour, the fisherman are letting them stay in their house, eat their food and wear their clothes. This is a relief as Olly and George only have one drysuit and one set of thermals each!

They will definitely tackle the Devils Dance Floor again. When this is going to happen is still the question. There is a potential window later this week and another at the beginning of next. They are studying it closely before making their decision.

Morale is high and determination to complete this challenge even higher.

 That should feed them for a bit

That should feed them for a bit

 George and his catch!

George and his catch!

 Off they go to pay their way

Off they go to pay their way

Things don't always go to plan

The Devils Dance Floor is named that for a reason, the weather can turn in a moment. This is what Olly and George have just experienced. When they set off on Saturday, they had a clear weather window ahead of them, however late last night they received information about the conditions changing soon, and in a very bad way. 

It turns out that 3 out of 4 weather reports said that things were turning nasty. With safety being the most important factor to consider, in the last hour, they have made the decision to suspend the expedition. They are now riding, with their kayak on board, on a fishing boat which is heading back to Iceland. 

Both Olly and George are now dry, warm, safe and will be back in Iceland in the next 12 hours. They are paying their way by trying their hands at gutting cod. 

This is not the end of the expedition. They will get back on shore and work out when they can get dancing again. Updates will be posted when information is available.

Here goes!

Today, Olly and George will set off on the longest and most demanding leg of this expedition. They are to tackle The Devils Dance Floor. This is a 280mile stretch of the North Sea between Iceland and the Faroe Islands. 

They are expected to take between 4 - 6 days. They will eat, sleep, paddle and go to the loo all in the kayak - they cannot leave their seat. The boat has been especially designed so they are able to sleep a bit, this involves them shimmying down until they are lying flat, they then bring a tent-like hood over their heads. It is very basic, but with them scheduled to paddle around the clock it will be essential for them to have a bit of a rest when they can. This leg, like the rest of this journey, will be tracked so keep an eye on their progress.

Olly and George have spent the last two days preparing the boat for this ocean leg, they were allowed to use the local kayaking club as their base in exchange for a talk to the town last night. They had a very engaging audience and the local children were thrilled to be allowed to sit in the boat. 

Updates may be slim in the next few days as the comms are not great, however keep watching them move across your screens and we promise to let you know when they have made it to dry land on the other side!

 Careful preparation by Olly and George

Careful preparation by Olly and George

Final preparation before the big dance

After a small glitch with the tracker, which is now fixed (no, they didn't go over land, they really paddled around it, promise!) Olly and George are in Neskauptadur doing the final preparations before the longest and toughest leg of this journey - The Devils Dancefloor.

As if luck would have it, there is a kayaking club in Neskauptadur that has a bit of extra space and a hose. Olly and George have completely emptied the entire kayak out, washed everything, re-waterproofed and are now in the process of re-packing everything. Until now, they have been doing on average 30 - 40mile legs and landing on shore in between, which requires they carry equipment like tents, shovels and sleeping bags. The next leg is an ocean crossing - 6 days and nights at sea, so all land equipment is not needed. By completely re-packing they can make the boat as light as possible to ensure a speedy crossing, they have no desire to be on this treacherous stretch of sea for any longer than is necessary.

Currently, it looks like they will head off to face the music on either Saturday or Sunday. An update will be posted and an email sent when they start - sign up for email updates on the homepage, below the tracker.

 Un packing all of the land gear

Un packing all of the land gear

 Enjoying the scenery - soon it'll just be water.. for days on end.

Enjoying the scenery - soon it'll just be water.. for days on end.

 Olly deep in thought

Olly deep in thought

 Filming of the project continues

Filming of the project continues

 Either this shows that morale is high.. or they are practicing for a spot of Scottish Reeling!

Either this shows that morale is high.. or they are practicing for a spot of Scottish Reeling!

Getting into position to take on the Devils Dancefloor

Having had a few days waiting around for the weather where Olly and George had to share the only English book they could find... they are moving towards their launch position to take on the longest leg of The Greenland to Scotland Challenge.

They will be in their boat for six days and nights. Eating, sleeping and everything else while sat in their kayak, completely open to the elements. When they are at sea, the updates will be less so but when we know news then it will be written here.

Check out the boys enjoying their reading material...

A few days of rest and a fish dinner!

Huge excitement has spread across the Greenland to Scotland Challenge Camp - Olly and George caught not 1 but FIVE fish on the last leg! This is a big deal, to put this into context, during Olly's Atlantic Row he had a line out for all 124 days and caught 1 fish. This was a welcomed distraction from the hard 3 days that they had had before. 

Now in the metropolis of Bakkafjorour (5 houses and 1 shop that opens for 2 hours every other day) they will rest and wait for the weather to turn in their favour again. This could be up to three days, but they are happy as they have lots of delicious cod and pollock to munch on. They will then pull out two more legs, hopping down to Neskaupstadur before heading to the Faroe Islands.

Spirits are high, Iceland is providing them with the most beautiful scenery and wildlife. They are soaking this up before the impending 6 days and nights at sea. 

 Very happy fisherman!

Very happy fisherman!

 Making their way around the coastline of Iceland

Making their way around the coastline of Iceland

 Coming into Bakkafjorour

Coming into Bakkafjorour

 The film crew and their trusty Landrover ready to record their arrival

The film crew and their trusty Landrover ready to record their arrival

 Kayak eye view

Kayak eye view

Pushing hard before the weather turns

In the last two days, Olly and George have made huge progress and they are about to get back into the kayak and push on with another long paddle. The weather is turning on Thursday and from current forecasts it looks like they will be out of the water for two days. Knowing that they have 48 hours of forced rest ahead of them they are working to make as much ground as possible.

The leg they are about to tackle is around the headland in the north east of Iceland. As the crow flies it is 13 miles to their next destination, the town of Bakkafjordur but around the coast it is 34 miles! They did consider carrying the kayak across land but at 200kg fully loaded, that didn't sound like fun!

 Paddling the boat is easier than carrying it!

Paddling the boat is easier than carrying it!

 Spirits are still high

Spirits are still high

two days of rest and now onward

After 24 hours camping out in a hut waiting for the weather to turn, Olly and George made it to Husavick where they have enjoyed two nights of R&R.

The boat needed some repairs on the skeg having had some close run-ins with some rocks while carrying out tricky landings – controlling a 200kg kayak is pretty hard!

Reports from Olly and George say that life in the kayak is pretty uncomfortable. There is hardly any room and it isn’t very stable. The over night sessions are not too much fun so anticipation is growing for ‘The Devils Dance floor’ crossing from Iceland to the Faroe islands where they will need to spend 6 nights at sea.

They are continuing to make progress. Tonight they will redeem their nocturnal habits and continue on to the North Eastern corner of Iceland before a nasty weather front comes in on Thursday.

They wanted to thank you all for your kind messages of support on social media, it is hard for them to answer while on expedition, but they can occasionally read them. There is a lot of sea in front of them so please continue to follow their epic efforts.

Olly and George have an awesome film crew following their expedition, as much as the terrain of Iceland allows, in order to share this adventure with the world. 

 Important boat repairs being carried out

Important boat repairs being carried out

 Updating the film crew on their latest leg

Updating the film crew on their latest leg

 Making sure everything is in order

Making sure everything is in order

 The kayak in Husavick

The kayak in Husavick

 They crew continue film everything they can

They crew continue film everything they can

 Capturing drone footage

Capturing drone footage

Day and night don't exist, just good and bad weather

With 24 hour daylight in Northern Iceland it is all about the weather - you go when it is good. Olly and George had a very hard crossing on Wednesday night thanks to strong winds and big swell. They found refuge on the beach, pitched the tent and then waited for some better conditions which came late last night. The boat sustained a bit of damage on some rocks but they have managed to fix it.

In bad conditions, not only does Olly's face become 'The Wave Catcher' but they are unable to eat because all concentration goes into paddling. It is very hard in the confined space of a kayak to do much eating in anything other than calm seas. Because of this, they had a glut of Snickers, nuts, jelly babies and flapjacks when they landed. These uneaten rations were soon gobbled up though!!

Another disadvantage of bad conditions is that they cannot hear much - whether that is each other or their favourite thing... their waterproof speaker playing endless Desert Island Discs podcasts!

They are seeing whales almost every day, the pod of Orca whales were the highlight. Both George and Olly's beards are coming on nicely and Olly's eyebrows are reaching a new level of fluorescent - in preparation for when they get further south and need to light their boat at night...

Currently they are pushing hard to Husavik where they will have a bit of a rest, maybe even for a couple of days - however if the weather turns for the better then they'll probably kick on. 

 After a very hard crossing

After a very hard crossing

 Happy after some rest and food

Happy after some rest and food

 Repairing the boat and drying out after a hard crossing

Repairing the boat and drying out after a hard crossing

 Planning the next few legs

Planning the next few legs

 Finding refuge in a pretty spectacular spot

Finding refuge in a pretty spectacular spot

Onward - taking advantage of the good weather

Olly and George are tired but keen to conquer as much of Iceland as possible while the weather is favourable. If it turns then they will have no choice but rest so it is important for them to paddle on when they can.

Last night they crossed Huanafloi - a wide expanse between peninsulas. It was a hard crossing with a very unwelcoming, rocky landing. After having paddled through the night they then had to lug their kayak across the rocks to find a safe place to store her over night and camp to get some much needed (and deserved) sleep.

After a day of resting and eating as well as a brief meeting with the film/support crew they are now taking on another stretch of the North Icelandic coast. A brief call back to the UK informs us that they are well and happy but finding this tough. Hopefully the weather and wind will be in their favour so they manage to get a few easy days under their paddles.

 Olly - focused on getting things done...

Olly - focused on getting things done...

 George - concentrating on the task ahead... 

George - concentrating on the task ahead... 

 The North Icelandic Coast - Harsh but incredibly beautiful

The North Icelandic Coast - Harsh but incredibly beautiful

 Film and Support Crew Camping

Film and Support Crew Camping

Rest day and then on around Iceland

Olly and George enjoyed just over 24 hours rest on the Hornstrandir Nature reserve where they were joined by Aurora Arktika and the film crew. 

They have now set off on leg 2, paddling the northern coastline of Iceland. Comms from them are limited at the moment but we did manage to get some photos of them looking happy and well.

Keep tracking their progress - they have taken to mainly paddling at night. With 24 hour sunlight it doesn't effect them too much, however it is a little warmer during the day time so they are moving during the night hours to keep warm.

 

 

 Coming into Hornstrandir

Coming into Hornstrandir

 George happy to be reunited with the crew

George happy to be reunited with the crew

 Olly sunbathing!

Olly sunbathing!

 George cooking up a gourmet feast

George cooking up a gourmet feast

 Olly getting ready to set off on the next leg!

Olly getting ready to set off on the next leg!