Svalbard

Posts from Shona

Shona’s latest video reports

By Shona // Friday 21 Dec // 15:33:45 // 2 Comments // View

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Find out what Shona has been up to since the voyage.

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Shona reports from the voyage.

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Adjusting to Modern Life.

By Shona // Wednesday 26 Sep // 22:58:56 // 1 Comment // View

    I was looking forward to returning home and being with my family and sleeping in my own (non moving bed). But now that I am home I feel like i dont belong here. Everything seems strange and I feel so out of place. Waking up and seeing cars, houses and pavement doesnt compare to the glaciers and mountains that we had all come acustomed to seeing. I feel very empty and alone. Going back to school today was the strangest feeling ever. Everyone around was asking me what it was like and i found that i was at a loss of words and it couldnt be descrided. The only other people that truely understand what it was like are the others on the voyage and they are miles away right now. I feel very disconeted with everything. My friends that i was looking forward to seeing seem different and distant to me now. For the last few weeks the only people that I have known is the others on the trip and now that we are no longer together i feel very lonely and lost without them.  Things that seemed to matter no longer do. What i am going to wear or how my hair looks seems pointless and unimportant on the grand scale of things. Seeing how everyone was so dressed up at school and seeing all the efforts that they put into in seems ridculous to me now. All the time they spent on getting ready could be spent on things that really mattered, things that have an effect. To me it seems like, well i just saw pieced of our world come crumbling down, so who cares what t-shirt you are wearing today. Also something that i really miss is the peace and quiet Svalbard had to offer. Here the noises never stop and the people never stop. I find myself dreaming of a quiet, peacful place and escape there forever and never look back. I find myself lost in a crowd of people, I dont know where to go or to look. Being surrounded by people seems odd and it will take some getting used to.

     But i am home and i will have to learn to adjust to ”modern” life. Svalbard has taught me some very valuable lessons that i will never forget. This island have given me a new perpective on life and how to live. I wouldnt trade this experience for the world, i will cope with the horrors of daily life and soon enough i wont be thinking twice about the constant hum of traffic or the smell of fumes or the hustle and bustle through the school halls. But Svalbard will always be on the back on my mind along with all the incredible people that i experienced it with.

I miss you all and wish that you could all be there with me,

lots of love,

Shona x

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The thanks you were said and tears were shed.

By Shona // Sunday 23 Sep // 10:22:35 // 1 Comment // View

        After everything that has happened it is finally comming to an end. We are all tearful and sad even at the thought of saying gooodbye. The thank yous were said and the tears shed but it still doesnt feel like its the end. This whole experience has been beyond what I had ever expected. It has changed me emotionally, mentally and even physically. No words can describe how this place and these people have made me feel. Life back home seems so distant and disconnected to what I have just experienced and the thought of returning to it seems impossible. This land is so magnificant and beautiful it will be difficult to separate myself from it. I have lived, breathed and thought only of it for the last week, it has become part of me. A part that wil be difficult to leave but will stay with me forever. I am fighting back the tears and the thought of leaving, but as we say all good things must come to an end. But in reality this is only the beginning of this whole experience and its a snap shot at what life has to offer. And if its only a snap shot I cant wait to see the whole picture.

Lots of Love and Miss you all,

 Shona x (a very teary, emotional Shona)

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Complex and Intricate Wonders

By Shona // Friday 21 Sep // 07:59:54 // 2 Comments // View

Today has been a tiring but successful day. I was able to talk to talk to Dr. Jack Kohler about all the data we took yesterday and the data that has been collected over the last 40 years or so. All of the data was very interesting and I learned a great deal. Jack was very kind and I have a very high respect for him and his work. I was able to ask a lot of questions about the effects of climate change may be having on glaciers. He didn’t give me an exact answer but he explained all the factors that can influence a definite answer and makes it quite a hot topic between scientists. But he was able to show us all the trends over the last years and it can be concluded that over the last 7 years the mass balance has been very negative and the glaciers have been losing even more water than ever before. Glaciers are fascinating geography; they are so complex and intricate natural wonders. I want to learn as much as I can about them and continue to study them. I am really looking forward to doing all the mass balance calculations for myself and to work with the numbers and be able to see and understand the science for myself. I am also excited about showing all the data to the students back at Heritage.

The end is near and I can feel that everyone is looking forward to going home but at the same time there is a quite gloomy atmosphere because none of us really want to leave. We are all looking forward to getting home and sharing our experience with everyone and to start the process of getting people involved and interested (well I know I am). I don’t want to leave this place. The atmosphere here is so pure and real. The land is virtually untouched but yet the effects of mankind can be seen immediately. It will be difficult to adjust to life back home, things that I took for granted or seemed normal might seem absurd or irrelevant. But I hope that this feeling doesn’t die away and that I will be able to hold on to it for as long as I can.

Love and miss you all,
Shona x

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Shona’s Live Arctic QA

By Shona // Wednesday 19 Sep // 16:25:19 // View

Live QA session is now open and active 
Shona’s Arctic QA Session

Wed 19th Sept, 4.30pm GMT (12.30pm Montreal)
Following Shona’s video diary broadcast she will be online live from the Arctic for 30 minutes to hear your responses and to answer any more questions. The live QA will take place on the link below from 4.30pm GMT onwards on Wed 19th Sept.
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Stakes and Glaciers

By Shona // Wednesday 19 Sep // 15:04:58 // View

Today I was able to do my science project! We were able to meet up with an American Glaicologist (Jack) and he took us up to see the stakes that he had put in last spring. The stakes are used to measure glacier mass balance (a measurment of how much has accumulated and melted on the glacier over a year). Since the summer has just ended we were looking at how much had melted since he was last on the glacier. The experience was incredible. The sun was shinning and the air was so fresh. Jack is a very kind man and he let us measure for ourselves the stakes and help him take the GPS readings. I learned a huge amout about glaciers and was over whelmed by the size of the glacier and the amount that had melted. It wasnt was dramatic as seeing the ice fall into the water (on the last glacier) but when I stood there and realised how much the glacier had moved over the past century and how fast it was receding made the think hard about what we have done to this planet and what we have to do. It was also very enpowering to know that the measurments that i was taking were going to be documented in real scientific journals and that it would be consulted by scientist all over the world and I did it with my own hands and eyes (at only 16!). T

Tonight is my live blog, so I hope all goes well and that i can speak to yall back home.

Love and miss you all (not too much though) ,

Shona x

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Shona’s video now live!

By Shona // Wednesday 19 Sep // 11:35:36 // View

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Wed 19th Sept, 4pm GMT (12noon Montreal)
Watch Shona’s video diary, direct from Ny-Alesund, Svalbard (duration: 1:12 mins). Thank you for all your initial questions! If you are a pupil at Heritage Regional High join Shona online for a live QA at 4.30pm GMT (12.30pm Montreal).
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Sunbathing at the 78th parallel

By Shona // Monday 17 Sep // 09:07:13 // 3 Comments // View

Yesterday was a lovely day. The sun was shinning so we took advantage and lay on deck and finally felt some sun after the last few days of cold wind and temperature. Despite the sun it was still cold but my layers never fail to keep me warm.
       
After docking at Ny-Alselund we headed off to explore a glacier in hopes of starting my pit (science experiment). Seeing a glacier up close is like nothing I have ever seen before. The films and pictures that you see of glaciers don’t do it justice. The blue colour of the ice is fantastic, it is so clear and vibrant. Right before our own eyes we saw a large part of the glacier fall off and go into the water. The power and strength of the ice is impressive. The noise it makes chills you to the bone. It echoes through the air and disturbs everything around it. The noise is like the glaciers cry for help. It doesn’t sound natural, the glacier is unwell and its thunderous cracks and moans are its way of telling us to stop what we are doing that hurts it so. Slowly it is loosing itself and we just keep ignoring it. When the ice it’s the water it creates massive waves that ripple until they hit the shore. The waves are powerful and its way of hitting us with its anger. If we aren’t careful these glaciers may determine our future and then and only then we will experience first hand the sheer strength and power that these glaciers posses.

Love and miss you all,
Shona x

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An altered reality

By Shona // Saturday 15 Sep // 17:12:30 // 3 Comments // View

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Location: NOORDELICHT, COOOMIN ROOM/ WEST SVALBARD
My whole world has been turned upside down over the last two days. Things that seemed important or relevant before doesn’t seem to matter now. Being surrounded by this sheer beauty and vastness has made me think and about the importance of life and the place humans have in our planet. Being on this ship I feel incredibly close to nature and what our planet should be. Back home we have created a reality for ourselves that seems rather fake when you experience this. What I am seeing here is real and the land that Mother Nature has given us originally and we have altered it so much. And I don’t think that we should have the right to determine what happens to this land when it gave us the right to live here in the first place. Seeing where the sun meets the water and the land makes me feel like I am on the edge of the earth and we are sailing to a peaceful end. If heaven exists I think that it might look like this.

On a lighter note today we saw a polar bear on the shore! Yes I saw a polar bear! We were returning to the ship after our 2hr hike and the captain spotted the bear walking exactly where we had just been. It was crazy to think that we had just been there and if we waited onshore any longer we might have run into him. Then we raised the sails on the ship and have been sailing ever since. We are now in open water and I have slowly gotten used to the rocking and movement the waves create onboard. At first I felt a bit sick but now I can handle it when I am on the higher levels (forget it in the cabins). Tea is soon and then I have another watch to do. The first was eventful with the polar bear and the sails being raised. I hope the next one is just as lively. Blogging is difficult for me with the seasickness so bear with me. Today I have been feeling a little down (not my normal, loud self). I have been trying to take it all in and make sense of it all. It still all seems a little surreal.

Love and miss you all,
Shona x

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Norway and all it has to offer

By Shona // Friday 14 Sep // 07:59:03 // 4 Comments // View

Im in Svalbard!

After a long day of flying we have finally made it to Svalbard. We took 4 flights and crossed 3 countries to get here but it is well worth the time. It is just breath taking. The mountains and the glaciers are like nothing that i have ever seen before. The land is so vast and enormous it is had to believe that humans could even live here.

          We are sailing today up to Ny-Alesund today. It is almost a 2 day trip and i am really looking forward to it. We have to do 3hr watches and i hope that mine is at sunrise. Today we are off to the school and shopping (a norwiegan kroner doesnt go far) then its off to sea.

Send your comments i want to hear from you and get my school as involved as they can be. My video is going up on the 19th at 12. Et un gros merci aux chums de RMC pour leurs commentaires, votre support est tres apprecier. Love you mum, dad and the others,

 Talk to you later,

Shona

p.s i hope that i dont get sea sick!

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