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 wake of Vikings and great 18th-century explorers 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 (Alaska) from the coast of Asia, covering a total of more than 7000 nautical miles.
The Northwest Passage is the sea route, approximately 5,780 kilometers, located north of Canada and Alaska, linking the Atlantic with the Pacific Ocean. It is considered to be the world’s most dangerous passage since its history is marked by danger, shipwrecks and missing sailors. For centuries, capable seafarers like Henry Hudson and James Cook have failed to cross it. The harsh weather, the thick ice, and the treacherous shallows forced many missions to turn back. The tragedy, however, was the expedition of British naval officer John Franklin in 1845 who got lost with his crew of more than 120 sailors.
Of course, nowadays the Arctic Ocean has lost much of its ice surface due to the global warming, so there are a few ice-free summer days. However, crossing the Northwest Passage remains extremely dangerous because its eastern and western entrances may be ice-free for some time, but the narrow canals at its center remain a huge obstacle.
In some water areas the thick ice is impassable and reaches up to the shore while wind and currents can move the ice around within a few hours and trap every ship or boat for many days, even in summer.
Navigating the Northwest Passage is as extremely difficult as the commander's decisions on which routes to choose each time to avoid being trapped by the ice masses are.
If we manage to make this trip it will be the first time in history that a pleasure Rib will have achieved it.
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 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.
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.
Glaciers and ice are melting, the sea level is rising, forests are dying, and wildlife is struggling for survivor.
We know very well that the 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 on 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%.
Through our Arctic Expedition people in every corner of the planet will be able to see how much we have “hurt” the Arctic….
the consequences of climate change on wildlife as well as on the lives of Inuit, and the struggle of their small communities to maintain their traditional way of life and preserve their culture.