After a long journey that started in 2012, the CalypSol crew reached Baton Rouge, Louisiana at 3:25 pm on June 11, completing 1,100 miles to successfully become the first solar powered canoe voyage down the Mississippi. This was the third and longest segment of the trip that took Raymond Christe and Jean-Claude Barras from Memphis, Tennessee to Baton Rouge. A Torqeedo Travel 503 electric outboard helped power their long-distance expedition.
For the last leg, they launched their craft at the Mud Island Marina in Memphis on May 26. On the third day, torrential rains forced the determined navigators to weather out the storms ashore in Helena, Arkansas. They resumed their trip on May 31, braving the turbulent waters of the Mississippi and sleeping on the beautiful sand banks and shoreline wilderness that stretch for hundreds of miles.
“We’re proud to be a supporter of this great voyage and glad our motor contributed to their success,” said Steve Trkla, president of Torqeedo, Inc. “Their green vessel is extremely compatible with our green electric motors. The completion of this journey not only showcases the endurance of the travelers, but the Torqeedo outboard as well.”
With the river level dropping at a rate of one foot per day, once anchored for the night, the CalypSol had to be periodically pushed away from the bank back into the water. This was to prevent the formidable task of pulling and pushing the 450 lb. vessel back into the water in the morning.
A typical day on the trip started at 6:00 am with the crew starting to look for a place to moor for the night around 4:30 pm. Navigation distance varied from 30-50 nautical miles per day. The CalypSol’s Torqeedo outboard motor functioned perfectly and reliably during the entire voyage.
The Torqeedo 503 can do everything a 1.5 hp outboard can, while being environmentally friendlier, quieter, lighter and more convenient. Completely waterproof, its on-board computer with GPS-based calculations determines remaining range. The 503 is solar rechargeable, including when in use. No matter how the Travel is stored, there’s no risk of leakage or smells.
A reception took place at the Swiss Consulate in New Orleans celebrating the 1,100 nautical miles travelled from Chicago to Baton Rouge, on the first solar powered trimaran canoe. The crew returned safely, with CalypSol, to Crystal Lake, Illinois on Sunday June 15.