Quest for the Bay, episode 1

‘Quest for the Bay’ was the second in the Canadian ‘Quest series’, aired in 2002 it showed a team of eight volunteers trying to recreate the journey made by fur traders in the 1840s.
Travelling from Winnipeg to Hudson bay (over 1200 kilometres) in a replica of a so called York Boat and using the clothes, food and equipment of the era.

The show starts with the preparations, I love this.
Not enough shows start the picking of the participants, the making of the clothes, the finding of the tools, etc.
This is interesting stuff.

Besides sailing, these people will also have to carry very heavy weights over difficult terrain.
Just to be sure, they will get police checks and have to sign a contract promising to live the 1840s way.

Only one of the crew of eight is a woman, not as a special exception, women did do this job, even in the 1840s.
Thanks for letting us know, wouldn’t mind some more historical background on that.

But they are already talking about feeling uncomfortable about one person being in charge and about talking and discussing things till they come to a consensus…
Somehow that all sounds a bit modern to me.
Don’t they just have a skipper or someone who was in charge?

The York boat looks great but no shelter, it really is jut a big rowing boat.
First bit of test rowing already shows this is going to be one hell of a trip.
I think they are underestimating what await them.
Which means we’ll be entertained!

Time to pack.
The team has been given their costumes (and right away they look a lot better, of course) but they are also given one blanket each and a pipe!
I hope they will be using that a lot.
The boat is already leaking…

I wonder if the female sailors back then would have dressed like men, besides that the costumes look great.

Nice to see how enthusiastic their goodbyes are, the Canadians sure like these shows!

Day 1, the boat is leaking like a sieve, day 2 they have to get the boat back on shore to fix it.

I love their encampments, wonderful tents, camp-fires, potato soup and the pipes are being smoked!

The old traditional toe tapping music fits wonderfully with the show.

The first disappointment; very modern life jackets.
I don’t know if the participants and production company are forced to use them by health & safety laws in Canada or if this is a choice.
They wear them under their coats, which means they don’t stand out right away but when a jacket opens, there it is.
I probably would have asked the costume department to just glue some neutral grey ish old fabric on them, just so they stood out a little less.
Not everyone seems to be wearing one though, as a participant I would have chosen not to wear them.
And I’ve sailed on an old boat in a hurricane, without a life jacket.

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The narrator explains that the production team provided the crew with life jackets, but don’t mention if these are compulsory.
Looks like they aren’t because not everyone is wearing them.

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 07.27.59.png

I know safety is important but well, it does make everything look awfully modern.

The show ends on a cliffhanger, unable to find land, in the middle of the night… still sailing after 18 hours…

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