Barba sailing through Trollfjorden during Leg 1 of Arctic Sense 2023

Arctic Sense 2023 is well underway!

We are currently in Tromsø after a two-week sail along the Norwegian coast. As we gear up for our departure to Svalbard, the core chapters of the expedition are about to begin.

This expedition serves as a follow-up to the successful Arctic Sense 2021, bringing us back to Svalbard once again. We are thrilled to continue our research, documentation and science communication during this expedition. The journey covers 2000 nautical miles and is divided into six distinct legs or chapters, each with a unique focus and a different set of crew members.

The chapters for this expedition are as follows:

  1. The Norwegian Coast – Completed: We embarked from Stavanger on June 1st and sailed for 13 days, reaching Tromsø on June 13th. This leg has already proven fruitful, as we encountered the awe-inspiring sperm whale and observed pods of pilot whales in the Bleik canyon. Stay tuned for a detailed blog post on this leg.
  1. Transit to Svalbard: This leg involves crossing the ocean from Tromsø, mainland Norway, to Svalbard. If weather permits, we aim to make a brief stop at Bear Island along the way. We anticipate this leg to take approximately 7 days. Our team is currently busy preparing the boat and getting the crew ready for departure on June 16th.
  1. “Beneath the Ice” – The ROV Chapter: During this leg, we will collaborate with the Black Whale team and their Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV) named Leonard. Our goal is to dive deep below the Arctic ice and unveil the mysteries that lie beneath. This chapter is scheduled to begin on July 1st and last until July 19th.
  1. The Pack Ice: Once again, we will sail northward to explore the pack ice surrounding Svalbard. This chapter is set to commence on July 27th.
  1. Svalbard to Tromsø: As the penultimate leg of the expedition, this journey will take us back to Tromsø, where the team will prepare for the final voyage to Stavanger.
  1. Tromsø to Stavanger: This marks the end of Arctic Sense 2023, as we transit back to Barba headquarters in Stavanger. This leg will provide an opportunity to capture any missed sights and sightings along the Norwegian coast and document its beauty.

The overall focus of this expedition is to document the realities of climate change in Svalbard, observe and document Arctic wildlife, conduct scientific research, and communicate our findings. Additionally, we aim to create immersive and interactive educational content and storytelling about the Arctic using what we find and document.

As we prepare to depart from Tromsø tomorrow, we are excited to share this journey with all of you. To track our location, follow us on our tracker, and for a glimpse into our experiences, stay tuned to our Instagram page. We will also be regularly updating our blog with more details along the way.

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