Svalbard

Posts from Project Crew (all)

Conference on 29 November

By Cape Farewell // Wednesday 24 Oct // 16:13:14 // View

Creative Partnerships are sponsoring a mini conference to evaluate and learn the lessons of CFYE 2007. This will take place on the 29th November in London. We hope that each school will send : the participant, the key co-ordinator, 1 member of the ground team.

We will be sending out an evaluation sheet very soon to help you prepare for the conference. We particularly want to invite teachers who have been Cape Farewell key co-ordinators to come along and share their thoughts with the conference.

Could you all let Colin know as a matter of urgency if you can make it! We know that Shona, Amelie, Doriana ( hopefully) and Rebecca Zalatan are preparing to come over from Canada, so we hope that you will try your very best.

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Back to reality

By Rebecca // Thursday 27 Sep // 20:41:36 // View

Well I’ve spent a few days resting and taking it easy after an exhausted series of flights home. Although I am happy to be back, I miss the tranquility of the Arctic.  After spending hours doing laundry and sorting my stuff back into place, I finally sat down to reflect on my experience.

I miss the energy and dynamics of everyone who was on board. We all played a significant part in the making of this expedition and without each and every one of us, the experience would have been different. I’m glad that I got to be there to share it with all of you.

The journey isn’t over. We still have a lot of work to do to spread the news about climate change to our friends, colleagues, parents, teachers and anyone who wishes to listen. You don’t have to be a climate change activist to inspire people, you just have to tell them your story as you see it, in your own words. The most inspiring and interesting stories are ones that come from the heart.

So go out and tell the world about Cape Farewell. Even if you have to resort to telling the funny or silly stories about our journey. At the very least, you’ll become a good story teller. 

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Cross platform mind blowing soul shifting skill building opinion forming Cape Farewell Youth Expedition 2007 !

By Colin // Thursday 27 Sep // 16:56:15 // View

Hi Everyone! Thanks for all your soulful posts Now then! what’s next ? We all had a marvelous, purposeful experience which was also fun. It fulfilled the objectives we set for ourselves more than a year ago, better than we could possibly hope for
We have a lot of images, footage, project material to work with, and once we have rested a bit we’ll start thinking about the follow up… how to share all that we did and learnt together.

Phew! There’s video to cut, photos to share and projects to complete. Above all we want to help you voyagers and your ground crew continue making an impact in your schools and communities.

We’re also planning a conference at the South Bank Centre to learn the lessons and spread the word of our achievement to other schools. This will help us to plan further work and voyages. Can’t give a specific date yet but we’ll let you all know soon.

Meanwhile if you need pictures, sounds or specific pieces of footage to help you in completing your project and working in the school then let us know what it is and we’ll make a list and get started.

Even if it wasn’t filmed on our voyage we may well have useful stuff from previous voyages eg funky close ups of Plankton, diagrams of the ocean circulation, carbon cycle in the deep ocean etc. It’s worth asking!

Love and changes

Colin

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Arctic Blues

By Jessica // Wednesday 26 Sep // 14:59:10 // View

Been back in London for three days now and it seems like such a long time ago that i had to say goodbye to all the wonderful people that I had the pleaseure of working with over the two weeks of the Cape Farewell youth expedition. I am really missing the quiet, majestic, awesome landscape of Svalbard, particularly Ny Alesund. It really was the most amazing experience of my life, everybody worked so well together and resolved differences quickly and amenably, without hidden agendas or resentment – just goes to show how fantastic the human race can be when it tries. I learned so much about so many things and experienced so much including many challenges, and I am proud of what i accomplished. I am also aware of the fact there is so much more to be done and that is the start of a big journey that is going to be hard work, but worth it if we can get people to significantly reduce their imapct on climate chaos.

I have some absolutely wonderful memeories that Iwill cherish for the rest of my life, thank you to everyone involved, I will never forget you. From Polar Bear pawprints to the graphs being moved their were so many highs (and lows) I can’t believe we experienced so much in so little time. i never believed I could fall in love with a place, but now a little bit of my heart will always belong to Svalbard.

Keep the faith,

Jess x

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Back home.

By Duncan // Wednesday 26 Sep // 09:26:29 // 1 Comment // View

Monday 24th September

Back home.

Well I’ve been filming all these lovely people for more than a week, trying to document their private thoughts and personal feelings when they reflect on being here. And guess what, I’m going to miss them all, they have been such good company. They must be fed-up of being interviewed and filmed, and a couple have suggested I’ve been hiding behind the camera. Yes that’s true. I can hardly string a sentence together at the best of times and you have all been so good at it… some needed less persuading than others.

So my closing thoughts are;

Svalbard is a place of human failure, a frontier that is just holding on against something that would not be tamed. For all the ingenuity, all the technology, the mining, hunting trapping, whaling, exploring, not much has stood to time except as a kind of epitaph.

This place has existed since the first continental land mass appeared on earth. It is humbling to think that every geological age from Precambrian, the era from the beginning of earth’s history, through to Tertiary, is laid out in the mountainsides, revealed as the glaciers gouged out the valleys, then freeze-thaw shattered the cliff faces. Rocks of the most varied geological types, carved, crushed and ground on their way down to the shore, then dumped as the glaciers have melted. Heaps of bolders and pebbles, from every age lying jumbled together, no two the same, arranged in great piles as if by a deranged JCB driver.

Memories of being there.
So quiet, empty and lonely, lovely, brutal and fierce.

For a place so baron, to have so much seems peculiar. You become focussed on the huge and the tiny.
Bright orange lichen. The ice split pebbles. 100 meter high glaciers. Sweeping mountain ranges, Huskey dog blue eyes. A red sailing boat on crystal blue water. Anchor chains rattling, booms swinging across the deck, hoisting sails. The churning of huge volumes of water as I try to sleep. Banging on the deck as the night watch tack the ship at 4 am. Coke cans crashing in the galley. Getting off the boat and still feeling I’m moving.

A glacier crumbling at two metres a day, cracking like thunder, a frosty blue diamond fragmenting in distant slow motion. Cool blue sea ice drifting by on a marmalade sunset sea.

The arctic swim by teachers and students. Brave stuff that.

A reindeer grazing just a few metres away. A butchered carcass beneath a bird cliff. Walrus feeding at sea. Whale vertebrae on the beach, bleached white, Russian bones in a 18th century coffin. Angel seabird wings lying on a soft moss mattress, attached by a bare breast-bone. Polar bear on the shore.

As Dan Harvey said, ‘Everything a man does here gets rejected; even his bones when he’s dead.’
Svalbard is what is natural in this region of the earth, and after struggling to exist here for so long, it’s ironic that without effort, our modern life-style is resulting in making it more hospitable, accessible. It is changing before our eyes, and it does make me seriously think about the true cost of what I have and want. I think there were moments for all the students when their perspective changed.

They will bring it all back home, first-hand witnesses. Telling stories, distil, put into words, music, picture, pass on their experiences hopefully to persuade others that we can’t always get what we want we want. The climate is changing and if we want to do something to reduce that, we’d better do it now.

The moments of being there become memories in a busy urban life, collecting e-mail, catch the evening news, open the front door to all that traffic, and in time remembered, perhaps unexpectedly summoned to company by the ringing of a ship’s bell.

Duncan

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Furthest North

By Colin // Friday 21 Sep // 11:06:09 // 3 Comments // View

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Colin here. Can’t believe I haven’t had time to make a post till now! We are about to leave Ny Alesund and head south again. Akash is next to me doing the final live Q and A session before we set off. Thanks to Kathy Barber and all at Bullet, Jess at Big Heart Media, Hannah at Cape Farewell central , and particularly Base Commander Sverdrup Institute, Trond, Karl, Jack and all the scientists at the Norwegian Polar Instititute, we have been able to keep our site bubbling with blogs videos and posts. They have also helped us to see how real scientists work on climate change related isssues.

Look out for everyone’s Video 3s summing up what they have been feeling and achieving – also some stunning footage of everybody actually SWIMMING in the King’s Bay last night. Mad or what? Climate change is definitely biting if most people felt able to swim at latitude 78 degrees 56 minutes! Everyone says snow is very late this year. Usually they have a big snow fall early in September

Last night we were all out on the quayside quite late watching Dan prepare his latest sculpture -burning ice – a large iceberg which Joe and I helped him to fish out of the bay on Wednesday with the help of Capt Arne Christofer and the King’s Bay tug – (see the image bank)

We’re all looking forward to the football match with the youth club at Longyearbyen tomorrow ! We’re not looking forward to saying goodbye to this very special place where we have shared so much together and learnt a lot about each other and this precious world we share.

Keep looking out for those reports!

Make a difference!

Love and changes – The Cape Farewell Youth Expedition 2007 at Furthest North!

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Watch Jethro’s video report

By Jethro // Friday 21 Sep // 09:05:30 // View

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Fri 21st Sept, 9am GMT (10am UK)
Watch Jethro’s latest video diary, direct from Svalbard (duration: 2:45mins), one of the last for the Youth Voyage, and find out what’s been going on up there. If you are a pupil at Frome Community College join both Jethro and Keith Brindle both online for a quick QA at 9.30am GMT (10.30am UK). Follow the link below!
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Jethro + Keith Brindle’s QA

By Jethro // Friday 21 Sep // 08:59:00 // 90 Comments // View

Live QA session is now closed

Jethro and Keith Brindle’s Live Arctic QA Session

Friday 21st Sept, 9.30am GMT (10.30am UK)
Following the new video diary from Jethro, he and Keith Brindle will both be online live from the Arctic for 30 minutes to hear your responses and answer questions. The live QA will take place on this page on Friday 21st September at 9.30am GMT. To take part check back and follow the instructions below.
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Swimming at 3degrees C!!!

By Suba // Friday 21 Sep // 08:30:12 // View

Yep. that’s right…we all went swimming in the nordic sea last night….the temp was around 3 degrees celcius. our toes were frozen by the time we got out…and we were only in there for a few seconds!

today is our last day in Ny Alesund. The weather is incredibly nice again…just a few clouds. A group went up to the weather station this morning….hopefully they got a nice view of the landscape.

 We sail today for Longyearbyen at noon….we will be doing night watches in 2-hr sessions again to help the captain sail the boat. this will be tirying but exciting at the same time.

We collected climate data yesterday all day from 7am until 9pm. the students drew out this data with chaulk on the dock…and i plan to climb up the crow’s nest to take a photo and film it. should be fun!

This is my last blog until we reach Longyearbyen. It has been an adventure….I don’t want to leave this beautiful place but I guess all things must come to an end.

ciao!

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Swimming at 79 degrees North

By Jessica // Friday 21 Sep // 07:55:53 // 3 Comments // View

Oh my word!!!

Keith started a very mad trend yesterday by runnning into the sea with his shorts on, he stayed in for a few seconds and then ran out straight into a bundle of towels to warm up. We all followed suit in groups and it was absolutely freezing, you went numb in seconds, I don’t think I have ever been that cold in my life, at the same time it was very exhilarating!! WOW!!! Apparently the beach we ran into the sea from is called Palm Beach, as the scientists set up trees on the bach in the summer! Will blog more later!

Cheers, Jess xxx

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