Climate change is no longer a threat of the future!
It exists and threatens our own home. We experience it almost every day in every corner of the globe. Intense and deadly storms that carry thousands of lightning and thunderbolts in their guts, catastrophic floods and tornadoes are some of the extreme weather phenomena which made a strong presence in the last year.
Nature is now looking for new balances. According to NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration), July 2019 was the hottest month ever recorded for the planet, with temperatures rising to new record highs. The average global temperature in July was 0.95 degrees Celsius above the 20th century’s one average.
Many countries in Europe saw new temperature records while even Alaska had the hottest July ever. At 21 degrees Celsius, the thermometer reached the northernmost inhabited part of the Earth, just 900 kilometres from the North Pole, constituting one of the hundreds of records caused by global warming.
The record warmth also shrank Arctic sea ice to historic lows, surpassing the previous historic low of July 2012.
The latest data shows that ocean levels continue to rise in 2019, with sea levels around 8.5cm higher than in the early 1990s.
Our mission “Ribbing for Arctic” is to raise the awareness of the people and to emphasize that climate change is the greatest threat of our century which, every passing day, becomes even more intense.
We look forward to enhancing our environmental consciousness further, urging by all means to struggle for the protection of the planet and not only be spectators of it, since Earth is our home. Environmental consciousness must become a way of life and not just an occasional action and behaviour, focusing primarily on Prevention rather than treatment.
Our message is: “Save the Arctic”
Arctic plays a very important role in regulating the global climate system, constituting the ΄΄air condition΄΄ of our planet. Ice reflects 80% of solar radiation back in space, keeping Earth cool, while the sea reflects only 10% of it.
The effects of global warming have a much more intense impact in the Arctic and are more visible in Polar Regions. Ice is melting rapidly due to climate change and consequently more and more heat is accumulating in the oceans, thereby accelerating the global warming phenomenon. It is characteristic that in the last 30 years, the area of ice has decreased by 75%.
Glaciers are melting, the sea level is rising, forests are dying, and wildlife is struggling for survivor. Considering that all these climate changes are currently due to the rise in temperature by just 0.8 degrees C, we can easily understand the anguish of scientists who estimate that by the end of the century Earth's temperature will rise 4-6 degrees Celsius.
The mission “Ribbing for Arctic”, in close collaboration with the Rescue and Care Research Centre of Whales ARION arion.org.gr carrying the message ΄΄Save the Arctic΄΄ will transport scientific material to the bases of the research teams of Iceland, Greenland and Canada, and will highlight the very serious work of a global scientific group active in the study of the environmental and anthropogenic impact on cetaceans.
Arctic is the last wildlife shelter on the planet, hosting unique species such as polar bears, sea elephants and many kinds of dolphins and whales. Sea ice, however, which contains most of the food chain of the above mammals, disappears at a terrifying rate, causing the above species to be threatened with extinction.
The Expedition: “Ribbing for Arctic”
For the last few months we have been working very hard to make real another feat that is about to take place in the summer of 2020. It is a truly great journey, most of which will take place within the Arctic Circle. We will navigate on the wakes of Vikings and great 18th-century seafarers who dedicated their lives to discover the shortest passage to the Pacific Ocean. In more detail, we will attempt to navigate the North Atlantic Ocean in order to reach the west coast of Greenland and afterwards try to cross the legendary North West Passage, north of Canada, crossing the Bering strait that separates the coast of the American continent from the coast of Asia, and reach the city of Nome, Alaska, covering a total of more than 7000 nautical miles. This route could not be crossed until recently since it was covered with ice, while nowadays the North West Passage may be open for a short time period in the summer due to the ice melting caused by the global warming.
The success of the mission will make us the first team in history that has made this feat with an inflatable boat, which will have managed to cross both the Atlantic Ocean and the Northwest Passage, reaching the Pacific Ocean.
The degree of difficulty of our mission is enormous since we will be called upon to face major challenges that will require from us to overcome our limits. Everyday we will be travelling for 10 to 12 hours, without intermediate rest or refuelling stations, with not always the best conditions, while the temperatures are extremely low even during the summer season.
The course we will cover is characterized by the toughest seas with extreme weather phenomena, enormous waves, strong currents and frequent storms, while the dense fog in these latitudes is often such that it is impossible to even discern your bow.
We will meet the estuaries of frozen rivers, enter some of the hundreds of breathtaking fjords and we will ride among the huge icebergs travelling through the streams for many miles to the south.
We will meet the estuaries of frozen rivers, enter some of the hundreds of breathtaking fjords and we will ride among the huge icebergs travelling through the streams for many miles to the south.
The biggest challenge is the crossing of at least three long passages, from 300 to 500 nautical miles each, and of course the crossing of the frozen North West Passage, meaning tens of hours of continuous and uninterrupted navigation, while we have to pass by the legendary southern Cape Farewell of Greenland, the most winding spot of the planet.
For all the above reasons, the crew of the rib is strictly selected. The experience we have is great, since we have been actively occupied with the sea for many years and have made great trips from time to time. These, of course, do not make our operation easier. On the contrary, our multiannual experience makes us to get prepared better and better every time.
Our Team and its previous expeditions
We are an international article-writers team of marine press specializing in rigid inflatable boats, outboard engines, speed races and long trips. In our website you can see our profile and all the great trips we have attempted from time to time.
Our offshore ventures began about 20 years ago and include a series of great trips for their time, the main ones of which are mentioned below:
In 2004, we crossed the Mediterranean Sea, with a 9mt rigid inflatable boat, covering a total of 5000 nautical miles in 20 days, when travelling 250 nautical miles daily, we transferred the Olympic Flag and two Olympic Torches from Greece to the Pillars of Hercules in Gibraltar. In 2006, we made the circumnavigation of Adriatic Sea, while in 2010 we travelled with an 8-meter Rib to Corsica covering a total distance of 2000 nautical miles.
Our latest and greatest expedition, HELLAS-AZORES 3.500nm held in 2014, has many things in common with the mission we are planning now. In 2014, with a 9-meter rigid inflatable boat, we crossed the Mediterranean Sea again, but this time we continued for 800 nautical miles in the open Atlantic Ocean, and travelling for two days and two nights, without a stopover and refuelling, we arrived to Azores. It was a real feat that was the top 2014 event for the whole of Europe.
The Rib of our mission
We inform you that we’ve already been given the Rib with which we will make this journey. It’s about the Seafighter 40, which is manufactured by the Seafighter Company. It’s a Rib of Greek design and with no doubt one of the best Ribs in its category throughout the world.
The reasons for which we have chosen the Seafighter 40 are:
- It’s a Rib of strong construction and excessive quality, a fact that protects us from any possible problems during the journey.
- It’s famous for its speedy and very economical hull.
- Its navigation even under rough seas is extremely soft, making our definitely hard trip quite more comfortable.
- The most economical speed of Seafighter 40 is at 32-35 knots, which ensuring the fast approach to our destinations, saving time for resting.
- The combination of its economic hull with the low fuel consumptions of the engines will give us the lowest possible consumptions, something really important, especially at the long passages of our trip.
- Another very important reason is that we estimate to travel with a cruise speed of 35 knots with the engines to operate just at 3500 rpm. That means that the engines will work “smoothly” throughout the whole journey.
The program of the mission
The dates of the crossing are chosen so as to meet the best possible weather conditions, long days and the fewer possibilities for local thunderstorms.
|July 2020||Stornoway-Scotland||Feroe islands||300|
|July 2020||Feroe islands||Reykjavik||500|
|August 2020||Tasillaq-Greenland||Cape Farvel-GL||330|
|August 2020||Cape Farvel-GL||Upernavik-GL||1100|
|August 2020||Upernavik-GL||Pond inlet||400|
|August 2020||Pond inlet||Nome (Alaska)||2700|
Knowing that the sea does not forgive any mistakes, we are preparing this journey for many months. The safety of the crew, and thus the success of this mission, is of primary importance to us.
Every journey demands many hours of planning, regardless of the distance we need to cover, in order to minimize potential problems. The perfect preparation of the rib and the engines, the really good physical state of the crew, the consideration and knowledge of the winds in the sea regions where we are going to travel, comprise an important part of each journey planning. We inform you that we will be travelling for about 10 to 12 hours per day, sometimes under not the favorable weather conditions. It’s about a non-stop sea route, with the greater challenges the long passages we have to cross. For this reason, the rib’s crew has been really carefully chosen. The crew’s experience in sea travelling is huge, as all the members of the crew have made long sea journeys since now. It is worth mentioning that the World and European Champion in Ribs’ races, the Italian Cristiano Segnini will be among the crew members. On the other hand, the whole of the crew we are article-writers of the international nautical press and we’ve written many articles about the safety of navigation as well as many articles regarding technical issues. Indicatively we present some of our related articles which can be found on our website:
- Preparing the Rib before the trip
- Planning a trip by Rib
- Handling a Rib in rough weather
- 10 useful Tips for safe Trips
- Useful tips for improving our fuel mileage
- How to set-up our Rib properly
In addition, we are able to set-up the Rib and the engines in the best possible way so that we get the maximum performance every time, a fact that is very important on long journeys. We are well aware of what it is needed to do so as our engines and their gearboxes to be as low as possible stressed during our all-day rides.
We can also fix the most damages that may arise during the voyage, concerning the propellers and their hubs, fuel flow and electrical problems, and we have the knowledge and experience of repairing or replacing if necessary, even the lower units of the engines. <./p>
Such a long trip may include several dangers such as:
Bad weather conditions
As far as the bad weather conditions are concerned, they could just delay our arrivals in our destinations and nothing more than that. We inform you that when our expedition will take place, the sea conditions throughout the North Atlantic Ocean are mainly quite good. We have studied very well the weather phenomena as well as the direction of currents that usually prevail during the summer at the geographical areas of the Atlantic Ocean where we are going to navigate.
Moreover, we have already ensured the support of two very strategic meteorological stations, located in England and Norway, with which we will have daily communication and weather information throughout our journey.
Matters about the constant flow of fuel from the tanks to the engines
We know very well that any obstacle to the fuel flow system constitutes the most common cause that leads the engines to shut down or can’t increase their rpm, at a rate over 90% of the cases of which a lot of boats were found adrift. That is why we will be equipped with spare water-separating fuel filters and all the related parts, but still we are not limited only to them:
- We have already built a complete spare, external fuel flow system that will incorporate water-separating fuel filter and will be ready for immediate and easy installation if needed.
- We have already built a gasoline pump system with customized hoses, which will allow us to transfer the fuel from a tank which may have some damage.
Issues relating to the propellers
Being well aware of the fact that the load and stress for the propellers and their rubber hubs are enormous in such a long trips, we will be bringing on board two spare pairs of propellers as well as four removable rubber hubs so as to be able to deal with any problem that may arise with propellers of the engines. The spare propellers are also necessary for one more reason: They enable us to match the appropriate propellers with the proper pitch, according to the load and the amount of fuel we carry each time, so as to take the best possible performance and at the same time to allow the engines to reach their maximum recommended rpm at WOT, which is particularly important for their best function and their longevity.
Mechanical problems of the engines
Suzuki outboard engines are very reliable and guarantee the success of such a long journey. However, we will be able to overcome any possible problems, as we will be carrying all the required spare parts of the Suzuki engines with us. We will also have the strong support of the representatives of Suzuki engines in Greece, Belgium, England, Iceland, Canada and USA, who will take over the check and the appropriate service of the engines at each station of our trip.
These and many other things have already been taken into account to be prepared, such as a specialized fire protection system and intelligent rapid deck drainage systems so as to be able to handle anything immediately and rapidly.
The electronic equipment that we will use during the mission is absolutely related with the safety of the crew and the ability to communicate at all times.
The electronic equipment includes: two GPS-Plotter with high resolution maps, two VHF (LVR-880) marine with “Distress”, three portable VHF, a 3G radar and an Airmar-WeatherStation 150WX, which reads the speed and direction of the wind, the barometric pressure and includes a digital compass.
The Rib will also be equipped with all the necessary safety equipment (life rafts and EPIRBs -emergency position-indicating radio beacons-which signal maritime distress), a dinghy with a 6hp outboard engine, while the crew will be equipped with high quality flotation suits with a thin layer of foam, synthetic thermal underwear, life jackets and helmets.
On the other hand, we know very well that no matter how well prepared may we are, the sea is unpredictable.
For this reason, apart from the plethora of protection measures we have taken, we are highly focused in the below:
- With the huge promotion that will be given to this trip, in every port-station that we will approach, the port authorities and local groups of boats, who will know exactly our program, will be waiting for us since we will be in constant communication, with whom welcome events will also take place.
- We already know the routes and the phone numbers of commercial ships’ captains who frequently cross the long passages which we will exactly follow in our own course, and so we can be in constant communication either via VHF or through our satellite phones.
Throughout our expedition, the Rib will essentially be a “movable-floating journalistic agency”, which will be making articles, pictures, videos and television shows every day. With two photographic devices, a camera, a drone, a laptop, and a satellite phone we will be constantly online with our site, television, magazines and newspapers transporting images from all the events, the extraordinary places we will visit and the weather conditions we will face. Everyone from all over the world will get to share every moment of the journey with us, see the Rib’s position in real time in a digital map, whilst with a satellite link we will be doing live connections from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
All these thanks to the satellite communication that our valuable contributor, the Navarino Telecom Company -which is a strategic partner of Inmarsat- provides and reserves online connection with the whole world.
Navarino Telecom specifically provides us:
- Explorer 500… which connects with a satellite and allows us to go online every day and update the mission’s site, from which all the media will be updated.
- 2. Μοtorola 9505A… as an emergency cell phone which connects with the Iridium network.
- 3. Skywave D + Pole star. This little device is called “position reporter”, because it periodically sends signals to the satellite, which state the boat’s position. So, through the Purplefinder application, everybody can watch our route via our site and see at any time our speed, but also the weather situation at the spot that we are.
MELTING (working title)
A six-passenger inflatable boat crosses the Arctic Circle on a journey to record the effects of climate change.
An inflatable boat departing from London will sail the Arctic Circle to cross the legendary Northwest Passage, which opens for some days during summer because of the ice melting. From the Bering Strait, it will arrive at the Nome city of Alaska and find itself in places that are at the heart of climate change. The passengers beyond this unique adventure in 7000 nm harsh seas will experience and document the impact of this radical change on ecosystem and locals. They will also meet scientists who study the global warming, showing that not only the ice but also the consciousness and values of the inhabitants of this planet are melting.
In the summer of 2020 a Rigid Inflatable Boat (RIB) crew will embark on a journey across the legendary Northwest Passage, sailing from London to the city of Nome in Alaska. Spanning 7000 nautical miles, the endeavor is intended as part of the global campaign to raise awareness on climate change. The team will cross the North Atlantic, reach the west coast of Greenland, weave through the Arctic Archipelago and, ultimately, sail down the Bering Strait.
Aboard the vessel will be its three-member crew, a passenger-scientist and two filmmakers who will tell the story of this expedition.
The "Ribbing for Arctic" mission will travel up to 10 hours daily, mainly in difficult conditions. The sea route is characterized by the harshest seas with extreme weather conditions, huge waves, strong currents and frequent thunderstorms. The fog on these latitudes is often so dense that it is impossible to even see your own vessel bow, that is, a 12-meter inflatable boat. The vessel will cruise Greenland's notorious Farewell Cape, the windier spot on the planet, and it will find itself at the mouth of frozen rivers; it will enter breathtaking fjords and sail between huge icebergs.
The filmmakers will aim to capture footage along three topical axes:
- Documenting the impact of climate change on ecosystems and local (Inuit) populations.
- Observing the crew’s experience of the mission/adventure.
- Tracking the science aspect of the project, including visits to certain labs and interviews with scientists encountered by the team.
Sailing in a continuous sunset and taking advantage of the boat’s nimbleness, the film crew will hunt for spectacular sights and sounds of extreme weather conditions, observe the state of local flora and fauna, and explore the impact of climate change on the local Inuit communities at key refueling and lodging spots along the way. The team will accommodate in Inuit camps and will document locals teaching their children the traditional hunting skills. The idea behind these camps is to ensure that Inuit traditions will survive, even if the ice does not. In the larger villages, the vulnerability of the indigenous people who have already experienced the destruction of their environment/economy is much more evident.
In terms of production, the very nature of the mission —sailing in a small RIB vessel— is risky. But the camera will be near or inside the action with wide-angle lenses and drones, intimately filming the protagonists as they handle difficult situations and in ideal proximity for portrait construction. The limited personal space that a small inflatable boat allows will be an ally as the filmmakers observe human bodies and minds under extreme physical and ethical stress.
The mission will be cooperating with the research team “ARION” and will transfer material to scientific base camps in Iceland, Greenland and Canada, from an international scientific team working on impact studies on cetaceans and the broader ecosystem. The mission’s scientist, Dr. Anastasia Komninou, is a professor of Veterinary Surgery at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, specializing in wild animal medicine. She is also an associate of the research center at the northwest coast of Greenland, where the mission will be hosted and permitted to film.
[Development Note: The team is exploring the possibility of adding an anthropologist to the crew, for at least a part of the journey.]
Additional Development Topics:
- Managing daily personal waste on an inflatable vessel. A small-scale display of this particular problem, relating to six passengers.
- In the village of Gjoa Haven, we will visit the museum of the “Terror” shipwreck, explorer Franklin's ship. The ship was sunk in 1845 and it was found with the help of oral history narrations by the locals. The museum was founded last summer and it is already a travel destination, changing the local economy.
- Welcome events by nautical clubs and official representatives of the sponsors. A great charity event will be organized for the departure of the mission from London. Local nautical clubs will celebrate the beginning of our journey, with numerous inflatable boats sending us off.
- Meetings with other ships sailing in the area, mainly cruise ships, fishing and research ships.
- During the mission, the vessel will be on-line via satellite, having the role of a "moving-floating broadcast agency" with live video connections from the Arctic zone. It will deliver daily photos and videos of the journey, the atmosphere on board, the welcoming events, and generally "teaser moments" that will vertically raise the online promotion of the journey to social media (that can also be used for fundraising campaigns, etc.). With the Purplefinder app, our online audience/supporters will be able to track the vessel’s course and speed, as well as weather conditions along the way.
The undertaking of such a demanding task requires a combination of experience and technology. The crew consists of a RIB world champion (from Italy), a champion and engineer technician (from Spain), and an internationally published seafaring journalist (from Greece).
Companies in the field have already expressed sponsorship interest.
The filmmakers have the know-how to work in difficult sea conditions. Just as importantly, they have ecological concerns and are taking part in this mission to capture and convey a reality that is as important as it is inaccessible.
The project will culminate into a web documentary, a feature-length film, or a TV series.
Director | Producer
Promotion of our Expedition
The "Ribbing at the Top of the Planet” is bound to be the world's top global event of 2020.
With thousands of personal contacts and followers on social media, we can guarantee you the tremendous promotion of our mission, first of all through our own website www.e-Ribbing.com, which was created three years ago due to our recent Journey to AZORES in 2014, and it concerns exclusively the rigid inflatable boats, their overall equipment and outboard engines.
Moreover, the site's themes include all the trips that we have been doing over the last 20 years in the sea. As you will see, the team of the site is distinguished marine personalities and nautical journalists from Italy, Spain and Portugal, specializing in inflatable boats, outboard engines, speed races and long trips.
So we have created an international website with significant and timeless themes, due to which it has this great number of visitors. We are already counting more than 1,700,000 visitors in three years of presence, and our daily views vary between 2,000 and 3,000 readers.
Through a special insert that will be on the homepage of our website everyone can be transferred to the separate page dedicated to our mission and follow the step-by-step preparation of the Rib, the setup of the engines and the rib’s equipment, the tests that will follow with several loads and propellers, the various events as well as our entire course in real time towards our final destination. During the journey, our website as well as the facebook page of our website which has tens of thousands of interactions with people of the sea all over the world will be updated every day (via our satellite equipment) by posting pictures and videos from the routes and the events of our expedition.
The promotion will last for many months and of course it will be broadcasted by all media. Newspapers, marine magazines, web-sites, radio and TV channels of various countries will be broadcasting this attempt of ours for several months. In this way our expedition will be in the first line of nautical news throughout the whole World and the promotion will undoubtedly be worthy-great being at the centre of the interest throughout the year of 2020. In addition, after the end of the trip, we will publish a luxurious book in which our expedition will be described in every detail, accompanied by rich photographic material and videos so that everyone will have the opportunity to ‘’travel’’ through its pages and live this unique experience.