In 2003, Pen Hadow walked to the North Pole. He became the first person to trek to the Pole solo without being resupplied. Now, Pen Hadow is returning to the North Pole, but he won’t be able to walk. The Arctic ice pack has become too thin to repeat his previous expedition. So, he will soon be setting off with a crew of ten in an attempt to sail two yachts to the Pole. The expedition will set off from Nome in Alaska in early August. The expedition team will not see land again for six weeks and is expected to cover about 3,500 miles by the time they return to Nome in mid-September. They will be sailing the 52′ Bagheera and 49′ Snow Dragon II, two ice-strengthened sailing vessels.
The Arctic ice pack is currently at near record lows. Currently, around 40% of the waters around the North Pole are near ice free in the summer time.
The expedition website, ArcticMission.com, describes the aims of the voyage:
While breaking sailing records, and even reaching the North Pole itself, can make news headlines, the main purpose of Arctic Mission is intended to have value many years from now. Our expedition is going to explore, discover and share the stories of the spectacular marine wildlife – plants, animals, and even bacteria – that live around the North Pole. Be prepared to be surprised!
We’ll also be doing essential scientific studies and sharing this information, so that our international policy-makers can decide how best to #protect90North. The more we explore this unexplored ocean, the better we will understand how it works, which means we can make the best decisions to protect it for the benefit of everyone for ever.
Thanks to David Rye for contributing to this post.