Standing in the midst of the hipster hiking adventure store, I felt like a total fraud. Not exactly adverse to shopping – as friends will attest – purchasing serious rainproof gear was novel for me. But it was necessary as I was prepping to depart on an Arctic adventure with the Royal Canadian Navy as part of the ‘Canadian Leaders at Sea’ (CLaS) program.
I am not by nature a thrill-seeker. I have huge respect for my friends who train for marathons or hike the Camino de Santiago but my idea of adventure runs more to wearing Fluevog shoes. Yet I found myself in August 2019 signed up to sail from Iqaluit on Baffin Island (known in Inuktitut as ᕿᑭᖅᑖᓗᒃ/Qikiqtaalukto) to St John’s, Newfoundland aboard Canadian frigate HMCS Ville de Québec. My shipmates for the five days would include 200+ sailors and officers plus 14 fellow ClaSmates who had been selected for this innovative experiential learning program. [Read more…]