Exploring Alaska in the 340 FCT Console
World travelers Olya, who hails from Russia, and Will, with roots in the U.S. and New Zealand, first met each other in India in 2010. This fateful encounter sparked not only a romance that culminated in marriage after a few years of pursuing far-flung travels together, but also a lifelong collaboration in adventure filmmaking. In 2013, they launched CoLab Creative, a New Zealand-based studio that has made award-winning adventure content for global brands like Mercedes-Benz, Audi, The North Face, Red Bull Media, among others.
“From climbing up to 7,000 meters in the Himalayas to scuba diving to 65 meters below in the South Pacific, our portfolio contains productions from all seven continents (twice over) and stories have been featured on the BBC, Outside magazine, lVNZ, Discovery Channel, and HBO to name a few,” Will said. “We live adventure.”
Most recently, the couple sailed their Beneteau First 285 in Alaska throughout the summer of 2020, filming as they went, as part of a new project they call “The Adventure Locker”. (They also re-connected with Will’s mates from his days working as a commercial fisherman in the dangerous waters off the Alaska shores – but that’s another story.) Their RIB, a Highfield Classic 340 FCT with a 20hp Tohatsu outboard, served as an integral tool for filmmaking as well as a reliable tender.
“Our Highfield is our main production vehicle, allowing us to get off the main boat and into adventure. Without the RIB, there wouldn’t be much we could accomplish in terms of The Adventure Locker,” Will said, adding, “The RIB has been utilized in every way imaginable! We tried to stay out of harbors as much as possible, often leaving the boat on anchor if we had to run to town for provisions. The skiff was priceless for us.”
Will and Olya now are looking for a new sailboat that will take them on adventures farther south. He said, “The Adventure Locker will continue into the Caribbean this winter and we hope to continue for years to come, seeking out inspiring locations and telling unique stories of the people, places and activities we encounter along the way.”