Day 3 was a day of air travel. At 8am this morning our team of 230 students and staff left their temporary home at Carleton University for the Ottawa airport and boarded their First Air flights to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland! Despite heavy rain, the team was filled with excitement and anticipation for the journey ahead…12 days of immersive learning in the Greenlandic and Canadian Arctic with an incredible cross-section of educators and students. Together, they will better understand and connect to the Arctic through ship and land-based workshops; scientific research; wildlife observations; hikes, cultural activities; community visits; Zodiac excursions among icebergs and so much more.
This year’s expedition team is the largest yet. It’s also worth noting that despite having spent only 2 days with most of the participants at this point, SOI has really gotten a sense of what an incredible group of engaged, open, and passionate youth and educators they are! Together, the team of 130 students and 98 staff represent 20 countries: Canada, Mexico, Greenland, Micronesia, Marshall Islands, China, Hong Kong, Italy, Ecuador, Germany, Norway, Monaco, Russia, Singapore, Malaysia, Denmark, France, Switzerland, U.S.A., and the United Kingdom.
As you can see, waterproof shells were put to use straight away…
More to come from Greenland!
We hope you will follow the journey as we share the places we visit, the important Arctic and global topics we explore, and the experiences that connect us together and to the amazing place that is the Arctic! Watch this space for daily updates posted throughout the expedition as well as on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Stay tuned!
Sospel, PACA, France
I am so happy to be finally writing about the first few days of the expedition.
Even if it is my second time on the expedition, it is completely different! The people, the program, the places, the activities…
7/23 – The first day was about getting our SOI gear, meeting the other participants and the amazing staff. We also visited the Canadian Museum of Nature and spent the night there where we officially launched the 2018 SOI Arctic Expedition! It really feels good to be back here… Listening to Geoff warm welcoming, learning from Natan Oben about what is at stakes in the Arctic for its people and finally enjoying the Greenlandic songs by Vivi and the enchanting and inspirational music from Chelsey and Jaaji.
7/24 – On the second day, we literally had a BLAST. We adventured the forest, climbed on trees, walked on bridges connecting trees, going down zip lines, under a torrential rain (with harnesses, of course!). It had been such a long time since I actually did not feel that ALIVE. I slipped many times and was hanging in the air, I was scared at times but Mikayla was there to cheer me up thourgh the climbing wall. It felt amazing to face my fears and overcome it. Listening to the rain hitting the leaves, feeling the rain on my skin, smelling the wet soil and trees, looking at the light coming through the trees and shining the light green of the leaves. It was very magical and I felt very connected to nature. The Five Senses…
The afternoon was very emotional too because we went to the Museum of History to watch the Canada C3 documentary. I highly recommend it to you Monica and James, if you are reading this post! It was awesome to see some familiar faces, hearing some familiar voices! The Students On Ice family is truly made of inspiring and highly-skilled people. Tuesday was also our last day in Ottawa…
7/25 – Indeed, at 6:30 on Wednesday morning we started our journey to Greenland! Bus, plane, bus, zodiac, SHIP! This was our itinerary from Carleton University to the MV Ocean Endeavor. Just imagine… we used the three elements available for transports. Pretty cool, right?
What an amazing sensation to be in Kangerlussuaq six years later!
And the ship… did I already talk about the ship? You cannot even imagine how comfortable it is, and how I could just live there, FOREVER. The crew is very nice and cheerful, the food is amazing and the common rooms are so good to stay in. I am very happy to be sharing an amazing room with Candace, a badass girl really.
It has been only three days, and I learned so many things already. I am very grateful for the people here who share their time with me. I particularly cherish a talk I had with Wayne by the port in Kangerlussuaq, right before boarding on the ship. He was explaining me what the hunts back home and his favorite food. I was in turn telling how we do hunting in France.
If I could share ONE thing about my expedition, it would be that YOU have to go OUT of your COMFORT ZONE! This is where amazing things happen, where you meet inspiring people, where you hear motivating life stories and where you push your limits and find your role in this world.
I feel so motivated by everything I hear here. It is a life-changing expedition, and I am so happy and thankful to be back.
Thank you everyone to have contributed to my expedition, I truly love you.
Warm thanks to the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation for supporting my expedition.
Vaughan, Ontario, Canada
Today we flew from Ottawa to Iqaluit for a refuel and then to Kangerlussuaq, Greenland! Since our flight was chartered, we did not need to go through any security, and it felt nice boarding a plane as casually as boarding a bus. On the plane, I was delighted to have a small chat with expedition leader Geoff Green about why he created this foundation and how he created it. Soon, I was able to see large icebergs out the window while crossing the Ocean from Northern Quebec to Iqaluit. It is amazing that some icebergs are so big they can be spotted from over 35,000 feet! I began to realise how close we were to the Arctic regions, and the feeling that I am actually going to be in Greenland in the evening began to set in. I cannot even describe how excited I was to be finally arriving inside the Arctic circle, as it was my dream to do so from a very young age! As soon as I got off the plane, I smelled the fresh air coming from the mountains. This was the cleanest air I have ever smelled, and I have been to many forests and shorelines in my life. The first zodiac ride on the expedition was a great experience, to have the cool sea breeze blowing on my face as I neared our ship, the Ocean Endeavour. On the ship, I took some pictures of the scenery, went for dinner, and managed to ask Glenn, a geologist studying rock formations, some questions about how Greenland formed and the types of rocks that are found on this beautiful island. I have already met and talked to so many new people from new places and in all different walks of life in these three days that I am starting to realise how diverse the students and staff onboard this vessel is. I hope to be able to meet even more new people and to be able to learn more about a lot of different and interesting subjects. The three days I have been on this expedition have been the best, and although the process to get into this expedition was hard, it was all worth it once I saw the mystical mountains in Greenland. Thank you to all those who have supported me through the journey, and a special thank you to Karine Rashkovsky, who was an amazing mentor throughout this journey.
Makkovik, NL, Canada
Atelihai, family and friends. My name is Danika, I’m from Makkovik, Nunatsiavut. Thank you for checking in as i start this wonderful journey. My day started off to be a very exciting day for me as participating in a Students On Ice Expedition has always been one of my biggest dreams. Thankfully today it has came true. I started my first day by waking up at Carleton University around 6:00 A.M. Ontario time, I went to breakfast in the Carleton University cafeteria with a bunch of friends. After that, We all gathered up into Bus A and B which then we boarded our charter flights on First Air. We flew to Iqaluit for fuel, It was such an amazing feeling to be in Nunavut for my first time ,even though it was only for a short while. After refuelling, we made our way to Kangerlussaq, Greenland. I didn’t have a word to describe how i felt as soon as we boarded as it still didn’t feel like this was really happening. When we landed in Kangerlussaq, It finally started to sink in . We boarded buses that brought us to the dock where we used zodiac boats to ferry us to the Ocean Endeavour. As we boarded the ship i was so amazed how beautiful and luxurious it looked. I was welcomed very kindly by my awesome Roommate Elinor, from Hong Kong, as we were close ever since we have met. She made me feel so welcomed, all I felt like doing was sleeping as it was had been a very busy and exciting day. Me and the rest of the expeditioners are split into different Inuktitut “pods” where we all have a chance to get closer with the people in our pods which i think is so important.