The Expedition

A team attempting the impossible by rowing from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans through the Northwest Passage in 2021
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The History

The search for the Northwest Passage began in the 15th century, as Europeans sought a route to Asia for trade.

Over the next centuries, some of the western world’s best explorers attempted the route: Sir Francis Drake, Martin Frobisher, Captain Cook, Sir John Franklin and John Ross. 

But every one of them was foiled by the brutal conditions and the enveloping ice. The area was eventually mapped by the likes of the Hudson Bay Company and the North West Company, and the existence of a route began to fall into doubt after so many failed attempts to locate it. 

Then, in the 1860s, the Orcadian John Rae, hiking overland, finally found a sea route from the Atlantic to the Pacific in the 1860s. It was fitting that Rae would find it, as so many employees and explorers of the Hudson Bay Company also hailed from his home islands.

It was not until Roald Amundsen set out in 1903 that the route was finally navigated from the Atlantic to the Pacific. It ultimately took three years to complete the route, as the sea froze around him time and again.

Distilled in Orkney as a homage to Rae and his fellow Orcadians, we take water from the same source that Cook and Franklin used to stock their ships.

Our Story

In 2021 a team of rowers will embark from Baffin Island to row the Northwest Passage.

Navigating the Northwest Passage by human power alone is considered the Last Great First on earth. But it is only possible because the sea ice is retreating for longer each year, opening the route from July to September. 

In July 2021, a team of experienced ocean rowers will traverse the Arctic route and draw attention to the drastically changing environment that facilitates such an expedition. They will back up their simple message with meaningful data collection for climate scientists at the Big Blue Ocean Cleanup. 

To complete this journey they will face the harshest conditions on earth completely unsupported, left to battle the elements.

Our Mission

The team will carry all their food and make drinking water with a desalinator. They will row in continuous shifts – two hours on, two hours off – for approximately two months in perpetual crepuscular light.  

To fund this expedition we have decided to launch a product that brings this region and this journey into focus. All profits from every bottle sold will go towards provisioning the boats and covering the logistics. Support this expedition by buying a bottle. 

When you like it, tell your friends.

Our Adventurers

Meet a few of our team who are not just brave and courageous adventurers and explorers, but also budding entrepreneurs!

Leven Brown

Leven Brown

Expedition Leader

Allan Huntly

Allan Huntly

Ocean Rower

Davie Flett

Davie Flett

Ocean Rower

Claire Hughes

Claire Hughes

Ocean Rower

Jack Hopkins

Jack Hopkins

Ocean Rower

Philip Kite

Philip Kite

Ocean Rower

Over Ice

Making History

Botanicals from the shores of Orkney and the Hudson Bay.

Water from the same spring that supplied the ships of Captain Cook and Sir John Franklin.

Distilled at The Orkney Distillery.

The Legacy

All proceeds from each bottle sold of this one-of-a-kind spirit will also be used to fund the 3700km maritime navigation of the Northwest Passage by human power, known as ‘The Last Great First’.

Contact

Enquiries

+44 7549 949 362
enquire@nwpexpeditiongin.com

Distilled by

Orkney Distillery
Ayre Road, Kirkwall

Photo & Video Credits

Michael Pitts
Ollie Pitts
Penny Bird
George Hopkins
Unsplash