Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 10/5/2009 (4188 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A reporter who grew up on a turkey farm in the Interlake has quit his job and invested his life savings in a journey through the Northwest Passage to draw attention to climate change.
On June 6, Cameron Dueck and his four-member crew will set sail from Victoria, B.C. for the 7,000-nautical-mile expedition to Halifax through Canada's warming north, documenting the changes of the lives of the people whose homes are along the way.
"I put all my life savings into it and more," the 35-year-old said from Hong Kong where he now lives. "I borrowed money from my family and the bank ... The boat is financed. And I quit my job in the middle of the recession."
Politicians, scientists and experts talking about climate change "has made some people's eyes glaze over a little bit," said Dueck, who grew up near Riverton, Man.
He's hoping that the voyage's spirit of adventure will draw people who can follow their journey aboard the 40-foot yacht Silent Sound through the expedition web site's photos and words.
"The best-case scenario is we are successful in telling the story of climate change through the eyes of people living there, and that telling that story captures the imagination of people who have become a little bit blasé."
A documentary film maker will be on board to help tell the story, said Dueck.
"We really want all the material to strike people in a fresh way."
While the trip aims to be carbon neutral, Dueck is no environmental zealot.
The sail boat will use its motor on calm days when needed. And the reporter who's covered finance in Singapore and Hong Kong believes the entrepreneurial spirit will be key to mitigating the impact of climate change.
"I can sort of see how business is going to be a crucial part of the equation... We've got to find ways to do things that are financially sustainable."
Dueck, who grew up a stone's throw from Lake Winnipeg, didn't get his sea legs until he moved to Chicago at the age of 21. The Red River College Creative Communications grad took a job writing for the Chicago Board of Trade. He took up sailing on Lake Michigan and there was no turning back.
He moved on to Singapore but the financial reporter quit in 2004 to "boat-hop" his way across the ocean and get his sea legs.
He went to work in Hong Kong till the ocean beckoned once more, and Dueck got the idea to sail the Northwest Passage and to make a mission of it.
The youngest of six kids said his 80-year-old dad, Leonard in Riverton, Man., is planning to join him in Victoria for the launch of the four-month voyage. Dueck said his mother, Linda, passed away late last year but knew about his plan and supported him.
"I wish she could've seen me do it."
The rest of his family of Manitoba landlubbers wish him well, said his nephew Eric Dueck in Riverton.
"I think it's pretty ambitious," who admires his uncle's spirit of adventure. "That's exactly something he would do."
Cameron Dueck likely inherited his daring from their dad, said his brother Terry on the family farm. Their father, Leonard, left the safe, secure haven of the family farm in Rosenort in southern Manitoba decades ago for the wilds of Riverton in the Interlake. There, he cleared all his own land and established the turkey farm that thrives today.
"He was looked on by his friends as a bit of a nut," said his son Terry Dueck "...but he had that sense of adventure."
for more information, see www.openpassageexpedition.com
After 20 years of reporting on the growing diversity of people calling Manitoba home, Carol moved to the legislature bureau in early 2020.
The Winnipeg Free Press invites you to share your opinion on this story in a letter to the editor. A selection of letters to the editor are published daily.
Letters must include the writer’s full name, address, and a daytime phone number. Letters are edited for length and clarity.