All set for epic voyage

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 June, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 June, 2009, 12:00am

A small crew of sailors will navigate a boat through the Canadian Arctic, where icebergs and polar bears still rule the land. I am the captain of the Silent Sound, and I will be telling you stories about the expedition - which starts on Saturday - through the summer.

We will be facing raging Arctic storms, cramped quarters and soggy clothes as we try to learn more about climate change.

Warmer temperatures are melting the sea ice in the Arctic. This ice creates an important platform for bears and other wildlife as they hunt and breed, and if it melts, the survival of these animals will be under serious threat.

The traditional people of the Arctic, called Inuit, also rely on the land and its wildlife for their living, and changes to the landscape are forcing them to adjust their lifestyle.

The Open Passage Expedition is sailing through these waters in order to learn more about these changes, and to find the human face of climate change.

Our four-member team plans to produce a book and a film on this topic and we are publishing a blog on www.

We will be sailing through the Northwest Passage, a waterway through the far north of Canada. For centuries, sailors have tried to find this route through the islands, reefs and rock-hard ice of the Artic. Finding this passage was important to European traders, who saw it as a shortcut to Asia and the silks and spices they wanted from China. Hundreds of men died trying to find a way through the ice.

Climate change, and the melting of ice caused by it, has opened the passage somewhat, but it remains closed to all but the strongest ships and hardiest seafarers. Only about 35 private yachts such as Silent Sound have made it through in history.

The first man to do it was Roald Admundsen, in 1906. Ice, unpredictable weather, hidden shallows and a lack of rescue support still make this one of the world's most dangerous places to sail.

Young Post will be following Cameron and the crew of the Silent Sound on their epic voyage across the Arctic region. You can follow his voyage on www. and in his weekly log book in Young Post. If you have any questions, e-mail them to with 'postcards' in the subject field and we will forward them to Cameron.