When we were up on Vancouver Island for our last release party of Stay Wild's spring issue we witnessed something very cool. We were shooting sling shots at hand painted targets inside Sitka when a crew of dudes showed up with fancy back packs in tow. They had just stepped of a sail boat they raced in record time from Astoria Oregon to Vancouver Island. One of the crew members was Luke Mathers from Truce designs a backpack company that Sitka wanted to carry in their store. So instead of just mailing the backpacks Luke turned the shipping process into a real adventure on a sail boat. See the video and read the interview below for more details:
What happens if someone falls off the boat?
We have a man overboard procedure and a few pieces of equipment to deal with that possibility... but It's definitely one of the worst things that could happen. Without a drysuit, the chances of survival off the PNW coast would go down very quickly. The main piece of equipment is a harness and tether that always stays clipped in to a 'jackline,' in this case a length of thick Kevlar webbing running down the length of the boat. Everyone also has PFDs, high-visibility hoods and strobe lights that would help us stay afloat and visible for a short time. One person on the boat would be assigned to keep an eye on the man overboard, while the rest quickly drop the sails and start the engine. It'd be a lot easier to reach the person overboard being able to head in any direction and slow down quickly to fish them out. Although as the swell increases, your heading options decrease - a wave could swamp the boat if it's not taken well.
You guys lost a sail in the race. Is that pretty common?
We tore our spinnaker in the first few hours of the race, it's not uncommon in heavy wind conditions when people are really pushing their boats. Unfortunately we weren't the only boat to lose a sail, it's good for the sail lofts who get to repair them though - and hopefully for Truce as well! Once a sail is beyond repair, we recycle the material to make new bags.
How did the crew come together?
The guys who own the boat are good at keeping a solid crew going, for this race is was mostly about who was into it and didn't mind being wet for a couple days! I met them originally through my friend and fellow sail loft employee, she's a great sailor and the guys who own the boat love having her and her friends aboard. There's lots of sailing and racing on the Columbia river in summer, and there are usually boats looking for dedicated crew members.
Are your bags designed to hold up to the rainy Northwest climate exclusively or would they work well in tropical paradise too?
Truce packs were designed for the Northwest, but work well in any weather. With our seam sealed liner, they can keep gear dry in any downpour while also being great travel bags. We always love getting feedback and photos from customers to see where they've taken their packs!
Why didn't you just ship the bags there. Wait, never mind, that's exactly what you did.
Haha yep, it was our most carbon neutral (and fun!) product delivery to date! Now if only we could use the same technique to deliver some packs to Japan or New Zealand...
Got any photos of the bags you took to Sitka?
See more of what Truce does HERE>>>