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2015 Polar Bear Blat


Guest Terry

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We have prepared a slightly refined itinerary for the 2015 Polar Bear Blat, and a link to corrected maps (see attached).

 

The total road mileage will be 3805 miles. In addition, there will be options for four separate out-and-back trips (two of them to hot springs), totaling 233 miles of optional out-and-back trips.

 

Fixing a definite start date will not be possible until the 2015 Alaska Marine Highway System’s summer 2015 ferry schedules are published. This will not occur until October or November of 2014.

 

The determining date for the start of PBB 2015 in Vancouver, BC will need to be made by counting backward from the departure date for the last ferry in August from Whittier, AK to Bellingham, WA.

 

(Example: If the PBB were being scheduled for 2014 instead of for 2015, the last departure date from Whittier in August 2014 is August 25 (Day 17 of the Blat). This would mean that Day 1 of the Blat, in Vancouver, BC, would have to be August 9, 2014. Day 21 of the Blat, at the end of the ocean cruise from Whittier, AK to Bellingham, WA, would therefore be August 29, 2014).

 

This should give potential travelers some idea of the time frame for this 2015 Blat. I expect that the 2015 ferry schedule from Whittier, AK will be generally similar to the 2014 schedule, but I have no way of confirming this assumption at the present time.

PBB 2015 Route Maps.pdf

PBB 2015 tentative itinerary No. 2.pdf

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This 21-day blat was the shortest trip that could be laid out, while allowing some time to drive the scenic paved roads in Alaska after reaching the state.

 

The "shorter" trip is still a day longer than one option in the original itinerary; the original 4564 mile driving mile total in that itinerary was a miscalculation.

 

A shorter variant could possibly be laid out for those who have less time. It could be as few as 11 or 12 days, driving straight to Anchorage from Tok Jct. AK, and then driving from Anchorage to Whittier AK to catch the ferry back to Bellingham, WA. But the problem would still be the limited August departure days of the ferry from Whittier.

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I tried to figure out how to do this but including the travel from/to Vancouver, pick up from transport etc. it will be almost 4 weeks.

 

Unless I retire by that time which is unlikely I am not going to make it.

 

Oh well. There are other destinations.

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The "shorter" trip is still a day longer than one option in the original itinerary; the original 4564 mile driving mile total in that itinerary was a miscalculation.

 

I guess I didnt notice that last 2 days on the original itinerary were a rest day and the drive back to BC which wont apply to me.

 

 

A shorter variant could possibly be laid out for those who have less time. It could be as few as 11 or 12 days, driving straight to Anchorage from Tok Jct. AK, and then driving from Anchorage to Whittier AK to catch the ferry back to Bellingham, WA. But the problem would still be the limited August departure days of the ferry from Whittier.

 

A shorter option would make it even more attractive to me personally though I like the idea of doing a full 3 weeks. Thanks for keeping this thread updated.

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Slomov,

 

You could always ship your car to Vancouver, then fly up just before the Blat; and then do the reverse after the trip was over.

 

Or you could take less vacation this year (if you can persuade Rosie!) and the take more next year.

 

Plenty of time to plan ahead.... We'd love to have you along.

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Polar Bear Blat Update: 

Registration now opens 1st April 2014.

Most of the approximate pricing is done, and is shown on the proposed Hotel List. The Route Maps and the Booking Information and Form are prepared. Material for the Road Book is being prepared.

 

Final conformation on hotels and costing will be available later in 2014 (around October), when we have firmed up the dates, which all depend on the 2015 Alaska State Ferry schedule. Our best guess at present is a Start Date of 8th August 2015. 


 

For the Hotel List, the Itinerary and Route Maps, and the Booking Information, go to: http://www.7cars.ca/polar-bear-blat.htm

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Is there any hurry to register now if the schedule will not be confirmed till Oct? I assume folks will not be making any bookings till then either. Are entries limited?

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rnr --

 

No hurry to actually register now. Firm registration and reservations will become important after October 2014, when we get the 2015 Alaska Ferry schedule and can set precise dates.

 

However, we would certainly like to receive some fairly definite expressions of interest now, and up through mid-2014, so we have some idea of the possible size of the PBB 2015.

 

Terry and I have been discussing setting a possible upper level of participants, perhaps 20 or 22 cars. The physical limiting factor will be the number of car spaces available on the ferries. Of course, if more than 20 or 22 participants register soon after we have the 2015 ferry schedules, the likelihood that all could be accommodated on the ferries would go up.

 

We have no way of knowing the level of interest that this blat may generate, both in North America and in UK. The 2015 PBB will not be inexpensive, and it will be 3 weeks long. But we think it will be an epic blat -- and literally the "trip of a lifetime" that we hope will be well worth it ,for all who can join us.

 

The long lead-time that we now have will allow the necessary pieces to fall into place without a lot of stress or trauma, we hope (fingers crossed).

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  • 2 weeks later...

Registration for the 2015 Polar Bear Blat opened on 1 April 2014, and will close on 31 December 2014.

 

The exact dates for the 21-day Blat will be fixed as soon as the 2015 Alaska State Ferry summer schedules are announced (anticipated in late October 2014), but the PBB is expected to start from Vancouver, BC Canada in the first week of August 2015.

 

In the near future, we would like to get a fairly firm expression of your interest in participating in PBB 2015. We are anticipating being able to accommodate an upper limit of about 20 to 22 Sevens.

 

All Seven-inspired cars are welcome. However, we expect that the support vehicle will be carrying some spares applicable to Caterhams, to supplement the spares carried by the individual participants. So drivers of other Seven-inspired cars should plan to be relatively self-sufficient in that regard.

 

Normally-available spares and service should be available in the various nodes of civilization that we pass will through: Dawson Creek, BC, Whitehorse, YT, Fairbanks, AK and Anchorage, AK.

 

To express your interest in being a part of this epic blat, go to: http://www.7cars.ca/polar_bear_blat.htm

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  • 4 weeks later...

The PBB 2015 organizers have concluded that for logistical reasons, the maximum number of Seven cars participating should be no more than 21.

 

We already have 18 cars committed and registered for PBB 2015. After the quota of 21 is filled, we will compile a list of reserves, in the order received. This will allow for unexpected contingencies in the participants’ planning for this Blat, which is now a year and three months away.

 

Due to the fact that the 21 available slots are filling up quickly, we need to get a firm idea of participation. Thus, advance registration for the 2015 Polar Bear Blat will close on 1 June 2014, first come, first served.

 

To confirm your slot in this epic Blat, send the $250.00 USD registration fee by PayPal to: terryjohns@live.ca

 

Our departure date will depend on the 2015 Alaska Marine Highway schedule, to be released by late October 2014. Our anticipated departure date from Vancouver, BC is in the first week of August 2015.

 

All Aboard!

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We have our first UK registrant for PBB 2015. Perhaps the description of the PBB 2015 in the latest issue of Low Flying has stimulated some action from across the Pond.

 

After discussion, the organizers have concluded that to make this Blat more economical (and even possible) for UK participants (a 40-foot shipping container will hold 6 Sevens), we will hold the North American registrants to 21 in number, and leave up to 6 slots for UK participants. This means that the total number on the Blat could be 27 cars, if a full container comes to Vancouver BC from UK.

 

Logistically, it should be possible (but more difficult) to accommodate 27 cars total. If fewer than 6 cars are shipped from UK, the organizers will decide whether any unfilled “UK slots” should be filled from the NA “first-come, first-served” wait list, assuming the NA quota of 21 has already been filled at that point.

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Good to hear you are reserving some spots for the people across the pond. I hope some of the Brits from the GBB can make it, they were fun people to travel with.

 

I'm signed up and am going to have a hard time waiting for it to happen. I can't recall ever signing up for an event more than a year in advance.

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  • 3 months later...
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Rahul,

 

Yes, I got notice of the ferry schedule over the weekend. We are working backwards from an August 31 departure date from Whittier, AK to Bellingham, WA, to get the start date from Vancouver. It looks like August 13 as Day Zero, Aug. 14 as Departure Day from Vancouver, BC, but will need to do further calculations, because a same-day ferry connection from Valdez to Whittier is not available this year.

 

We should have a near-final itinerary ready soon.

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