Bon Voyage Polar Ocean Challenge!
On Sunday 19th June Northabout embarked on her polar expedition! Friends, family journalists, politicians and other well-wishers gathered on the SS Great Britain dock to wave off David, Ben and the rest of the crew.
From rainy Bristol to the Arctic Ice
Just after 4pm, the yacht and crew left a rainy Bristol to many whoops and cheers.
Heading out through the Bristol Channel they will make their way up the West coast of the UK, around the coast of Norway and into the cold icy waters of the northern Siberian coast. Here they will face their first challenge – the notorious Northeast passage – following it to their first stop in Murmansk, Russia.
An Educational Adventure
David is making this journey to highlight changes in the Arctic due to climate change. His passion to protect the Arctic comes from seeing the changes first-hand:
“We hear about global warming on the news, but it can be difficult for people in the UK and around the world to fully appreciate the threat of global warming until it directly impacts them. I’ve seen massive changes since 1982 when I first went to the Arctic. There’s a lot less pack ice. If we get around, it will show we’ve got massive problems because normally it would take three years to get around each of the Northeast and Northwest passages. To do the whole journey in one season indicates what state our planet is in.”
“The Arctic is ours to look after and everyone can be part of that conversation. From a very early age, from primary school age upwards, they can start to think about this, which is why we have launched Wicked Weather Watch.”
“We are expecting rough seas, and the weather may mean the crew have a tough time in one of the most inaccessible places on Earth. You are so remote up there. But any hardships will be worth it to help educate people. If we have got to get cold, hungry and scared to do that, then that’s great!”
Sailing into the record books
If the trip is successful it will it will be multi-record-breaking. Not only will David and his team be the first ever British yacht to circumnavigate the North Pole in one season, but Wicked Weather Watch Youth Ambassador and youngest crew member Ben, said if successful he will become the youngest person to have sailed around the North Pole “by about 20 years”. He added he was most looking forward to seeing a polar bear. “That will definitely make my day!”