By Marcus // Thursday 27 Sep // 16:05:36 // View
After a long day, and many months of preparation, we’ve all made it to Oslo and the Greenland Voyage is finally away. Tomorrow morning we fly out direct to Longyearbyen where we take over from the Youth Expedition and board the Noorderlicht. The current ice maps for our route are “interesting”. What this means for us we’re not sure at the moment. Our first step tomorrow is to analyse the latest satellite information available, and I’m sure we’ll be posting more about it soon…
So a very long journey up here via Stockholm, Oslo, Tromso then here to Longyearbyen. Arrived with snow falling, although not much has settled (leaving the textured rock surfaces drawn and enhanced with white dust).
There is something about returning here- so far away from the life style we live back down South and yet now very familiar to me.
The age of this land, the rock formations. You can read through it’s history, the strata laid down over millenniums, exposed, eroded and cracked into dust by the cold and ice.
It’s a raw reality that belittles everything else and puts this world back into perspective. Lonyearbyen is like a Wild West frontier town, one of the changes though is that now they are beginning to place advertising flags down the main street, lets hope this is kept to a minimum, and in fact shouldn’t be allowed at all !
Have tried today to pick up a Polar Bear bone from the Sysselmannen’s Environmental Adviser – it was put aside for us 2 years ago. Seems that I now need a CITES agreement to import it back to the UK for a piece of work Heather and I are working on. Hope Heather can get this for me by my return here next week!
We have finally arrived in Ny Alesund!
It was quite a lot of work to get here. The kids and the adults spent the entire night taking turns on night duty in 2-hour sessions. This involved waking up in the middle of the night, putting all their warm gear on, and standing on deck with the captain to help sail the boat, pull up sails and watch out for icebergs in the ocean around us. The kids worked really hard all night, and as a result, are very tired today. However, arriving in Ny Alesund made all that hard work worth the while. It is absolutely breathtaking!
Today, the weather is beautiful…warm and sunny…blue skies all around us.
News flash: the weather forecast is predicting snow and sleet as of tomorrow (17 September 2007) and possibly the rest of the week, which means our internet connection may be slow or affected by the weather. We expect that our blogging and videos will be posted as scheduled, however it may changed slightly if we are not able to properly connect.
We have arrived at the Sverdrup Institute. We were greeted by Carl Petter Nielsen, an optical engineer, who has gratiously allowed us to use this facility as a basecamp for scientific analysis and art composition.
Cape Farewell and the youth team are featured on BBC London news on BBC1 and 94.9FM. The feature focuses on the three students from London; Hayley, Akash and Liam who are voyaging with Cape Farewell as part of the youth voyage.
Cape Farewell launched its first international Youth Expedition and fourth Art Science voyage on Sunday 9th September at Southbank Centre. Hundreds of well wishers cheered the twelve students on their way, as the expedition launched on the Thames to a brass fanfare from the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Embarking on a landmark arts, science and media project, the students will voyage from Longyearbyen to the frozen extremes of Spitsbergen, Svalbard in the High Arctic.
The youth team were joined by members of the Art/Science crew, including Marcus Brigstocke, Kathy Barber and David Buckland.
This expedition is Cape Farewell’s most ambitious yet, attempting to navigate an area that has only just become accessible due to the changing climate. The voyage will cross the Greenland Sea from Longyearbyen, Svalbard on the 78th parallel to the East Coast of Greenland. Sailing south, the schooner Noorderlicht will explore the coastal fjords and Scoresby Sund before crossing the Denmark Straits to complete the voyage in Akureyri, Iceland. The precise route will be determined by the level of melting sea ice. Contemporary satellite data already shows that ice extent in 2007 is the lowest ever recorded, a sign that climate change already has a hold in the region.