During a voyage from the Arctic to the Antarctic this expedition takes a novel approach to describing the urgent environmental challenges of our time. By comparing the journal records and sketches of the first European explorers and naturalists with the observations and photography of this modern journey, a unique and first-hand impression of change will be provided. This picture of historical change will be supplemented by reference to contemporary conservation science, through a continuous series of marine biodiversity surveys, and through a focus on environmental stewardship by local communities committed to preparing for a better future.
Aim 1: To re-visit wild coastlines first explored hundreds of years ago and examine how these areas have changed in the intervening years.
Aim 2: To showcase positive examples of local adaptation by communities to alleviate impacts to livelihoods and lifestyles caused by climate change.
Aim 3: To empower people to make critical lifestyle choices in the interest of the planet by showcasing low carbon and low footprint alternatives.
This sailing expedition spans the height of the globe – starting in Trømso, Norway, the two person team aims to sail from the Svalbard Archipelago all the way to the Antarctic Peninsula – a distance of over 17,000 nautical miles.
Approximate itinerary (italics represents completed passage)
|18 June||Depart Tromsø||Ocean passage across the Barents Sea via Bjørnøya|
|June – July||Svalbard||Wildlife, local communities, diving|
|July – August||Greenland – Iceland||Ocean passage via Jan Mayen, glaciers, Inuit lifestyles, diving|
|September-October||Faroe Islands – UK – Ireland||Ocean passage, offshore Islands, exploring Celtic heritage|
|November – December||UK – Spain – Portugal||Ocean passage, Atlantic coast|
|January – February||Morocco – Cap Verde Islands||Exploring the diverse cultures of northern Africa|
|March – April||Bissagos Islands||Immersing ourselves in one of the last untouched wildernesses in the world|
|May||Atlantic crossing||Four weeks at sea|
|June||Amazon delta||Estuary management, Amazonian manatee|
|July – August||Venezuela||Sailing up the Orinoco River, forest conservation|
|September – October||Peninsula Valdez||Southern Right Whales|
|November||Tierra del Fuego||Refit for Antarctica, tourism for development|
|December||South Georgia||Wilderness and wildlife, toothfish management, science|
|January||Antarctic Peninsula||Wilderness and wildlife, climate change, tourism|
|February||Antarctic Peninsula||Wilderness and wildlife, climate change, tourism|
|March||Tierra del Fuego||Project completion|
Landscapes and seascapes
Starting amidst the broken sea-ice of the Arctic spring melt and ending amidst the jagged peaks and glaciers of the Antarctic Peninsula the adventure will take two in the blue through some of the most spectacular scenery that lies between the two poles. From awe inspiring polar landscapes to tropical forests and coral reefs, and from the wide open ocean to the narrow waterways through the Amazonian jungle, this journey will pass through some of the most magnificent scenery on the planet.
Landscapes are not composed of just bare rock, but also of the life that defines each region. As two in the blue travel from the coldest parts of the Earth to the warmest and back again, they will sail through some of the most charismatic flora and fauna on the planet. Polar bears, whales and walrus will give way to tropical forests teeming with life and colourful coral reefs. Eventually the ice will begins to take hold again and the denizens of the tropics will retreat and finally give way to the penguins and seals that call Antarctica home.
In the face of climate change and other threats on the ecosystems we rely upon conservation and adaptation are essential to many human populations. A switched on approach to conservation has resulted in improvements in lifestyle and wellbeing. Two in the Blue will showcase examples of conservation activities that benefit both the landscapes and wildlife and the people that call these landscapes home.
Significant climate change now affects the entire planet, and nowhere is this more apparent than the poles. On the journey we will document and record local examples of climate induced change and how this affects not only the wildlife but also the people spread in communities across the globe. From acid oceans to melting ice and changing shorelines we will also show how changes starting in the poles have the potential to affect the entire planet.
Science and local people
Conservationists commonly look at wildlife and wilderness as separate from the people that depend upon the environment around them. We will be meeting communities that rely upon the ecosystem around them, and indeed have an empathy and understanding of this environment that is inspiring. With traditional approaches to land management challenged by changing conditions, we will showcase examples of how local communities and scientist are building positive solutions that can assist in building resilient and healthy ecosystems as well as contributing to a more sustainable approach to life on the planet.
The age of exploring new coastlines may have faded into the history but Patrick and Leonie have made adventure and exploration a major feature of their life. With past journeys spanning the globe and including some of the most remote and spectacular areas on the planet, there is still too much to explore to sit still for too long. Two in the Blue is a way of combining their love of adventure with their professional drive to ensure the worlds valuable ecosystems are saved from the various threats imposed by human development.
Two in the blue is a journey of discovery not only for Patrick and Léonie, but also for the entire world. Communication will be a key requirement of the journey and the experiences of two in the blue will be updated daily on the web. Updates will be transmitted by SSB radio from all points on the journey and followers of the journey will be invited to submit queries and questions which will be answered as soon as possible.
Any trip on this scale includes a wide array of risks. On one hand, risks are part of what makes an expedition, but on the other hand it is the responsibility of any expedition to make sure that all risks are considered and avoided or minimized wherever possible. Two in the blue are proactively addressing risks through experience, training, equipment and in some cases by avoiding hazardous situations. A full risk assessment of the project is available to any interested parties.