Captain Andreas B. Heide was born in Stavanger, spending his childhood years on small boats in the waters of Norway’s rugged coastline. Developing a love for the oceans at a young age, he grew up reading about the adventures of Norwegain polar Explorer Fridtjof Nansen, French oceanographer Jaques Cousteau and British conservationist Sir David Attenborough. To this day, his admiration for their dedication to scientific exploration and the protection of our planet, is what inspires Barba’s mission in the Arctic.
Heide’s curiosity for what lies beyond the horizon and below the surface drew him to a career as a military officer, diver and parachutist in the Norwegian Navy. After several years of working on IUU fishing in West Africa and fisheries in Vietnam, he returned to the colder latitudes. He then sailed extensively in the North Atlantic with his friend Ketil Christensen on their boat Memento-Mori, undertaking numerous North Sea crossings, including long voyages circumnavigating Svalbard and sailing from Bergen to Greenland.
His observations of plastic pollution, the grave climate-change induced changes in the ecosystems at home, and his passion for the protection for Arctic wildlife, ultimately inspired him to turn from adventure sailing to science and marine conservation. Combining his navigational experience and wealth of knowledge about Arctic waters the Barba Project, a floating platform for marine protection was born. Heide named his expedition vessel memory of his family dog, Barba, who was a trustworthy and loyal companion to him as a child, never leaving his side during his inquisitive coastal explorations. She had an endless curiosity and admirable appetite to explore the good and simple things in life: food, friendships and outdoor adventures.
Since the founding of Barba, Andreas has covered thousands of nautical miles under sail in the Arctic circle, as far north as the ice-packs surrounding the pole. Self-sufficient and powered by the wind, she has enabled unique scientific research and close interactions with marine wildlife. Heide’s most memorable encounters include freediving with an orca bull, watching sperm whales glide underneath Barba, meeting Hvaldimir the Beluga and diving under fishing vessels surrounded by humpbacks.