Celebrated Explorer, Jim McNeill, Invites Intrepid Individuals on High Latitude Ocean Warrior Citizen Science Expedition

Ocean Warrior Project is a pioneering, high Arctic waters expedition, which is looking for intrepid travellers (including would-be oceanographer explorers).

The expedition has the patronage world-renowned yachtswoman, Tracy Edwards – who skippered the first all-female crew to sail around the world – and will set sail in June 2023 on a journey from Svalbard, via London and Plymouth, and on to the ultimate destination of Resolute Bay, Nunavut, Northern Canada, before its return journey.

Just 144 intrepid travellers will be given the unique opportunity to join the Ocean Warrior Project #Resolute Expedition, which will be split into eight legs lasting between nine and 31 days, covering a total distance of 10,000 nautical miles.

Up to 18 guests will join each leg, travelling from Svalbard to Plymouth, followed by legs to Iceland, South Greenland, Resolute Bay via Baffin Island and back to Nuuk, then on to West Greenland, Nararsuaq in South Greenland, Reykjavik, and finally back to Plymouth via the Faroe Isles.

Sleeping on board in the comfort of this iconic vessel, participants joining the journey will help sail the wind powered SV Linden in what will be one of the most sustainable and important expeditions of its kind ever undertaken.

Designed by one of the world’s most experienced and respected explorers, Jim McNeill, the voyage’s goal is to monitor the pulse of the planet using citizen science. This will be implemented by would-be explorers sailing and staying on board Europe’s largest three-masted wooden Schooner, SV Linden; itself modelled on a ship of the same name from the 1920s.

This citizen science focussed voyage will collect critical ‘ground truthing’ scientific measurements to help deliver ‘the holy grail of oceanography’: understanding how much carbon is stored in our oceans, and how this is impacting on acidification, pollution, and species in our oceans.  Jim’s past work on ground truthing has helped the likes of NASA build a better understanding of the Polar Regions.

Dr Rowena Stern, Marine Biological Association, commented on the expedition, saying: “The MBA researchers are working on marine microbes. These marine microbes are the first to respond to the rapidly changing arctic environment. All arctic marine animals depend on these vital marine microbes either directly or indirectly. We urgently need information on ice melt and dynamics of these microbial communities to better understand food webs and to calculate predictions for the future of the arctic ocean. In Ocean Warrior’s expedition we will be using new technology to instantly record scientific data in these extreme environments. We will take photographs of algae from the surface of the sea ice, which are an indicator of ice melting capacity. By using field microscopes, we can photographically capture the types of algae growing on sea ice, and images can immediately be saved to cloud platforms for expert analysis. This allows us to explore diversity of algae in some of the more isolated environments that most scientific expeditions cannot reach. Along our four-thousand-mile sea voyage to the arctic we will be using the plankton indicator to capture the diversity of plankton life at the surface.”

Individuals interested in joining the #Resolute Expedition need to apply before the end of February.

While no previous experience is required, aspiring explorers will need to show initiative, resilience, tenacity, and good humour, all of which will be required on the journey, and will be assessed during a series of challenges on an optional pre-selection weekend, the first of which will be held on 10 February.

Successful participants can also look forward to experiencing extraordinary seascapes and to making a real scientific difference to our understanding of the health of the planet’s oceans.

Explorers on the voyage will also learn new and potentially life-changing skills, including:

  • guidance on fundraising to help pay for the expedition
  • on-vessel training in sailing and the use of scientific equipment to measure the pulse of the planet
  • training in maritime safety, resulting in a certificate in Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping; (STCW: A V1/1-1 and 1-4); required by all crew on commercial vessels over 24 metres
  • team building and resilience in the face of adversity

Commenting on the Ocean Warrior #Resolute Expedition, Jim McNeill explained: “My goal is to share the gift of exploration with individuals from all walks of life, helping those from ordinary backgrounds achieve the extraordinary.

“Adventurous travellers, be they students on a gap year, individuals on a sabbatical, professionals sponsored by companies, or retirees looking for a new challenge, will join my crew and ten lucky inner-city would-be explorers who I’ll be sponsoring personally on this scientifically significant and life-changing endeavour. They will enjoy an unparalleled experience at the same time as making an invaluable difference to our understanding of the health of our oceans, through the collection of data for scientific bodies.”

Jim McNeill

Jim McNeill

Depending on the length of the leg, prices range from £8,000 for the shortest nine-day leg, through to £18,000 for the longest 31-day leg. A deposit of 25% is required, followed by full payment by 1st May, giving individuals time for fundraising. Tickets for the optional selection weekend cost £200.

The Voyage – detail

Leg 1:  Svalbard to London, and on to Plymouth – 22 days (25 June-16 July): £14,000

Leg 2:  Plymouth to Reykjavik – 11 days (17-27 July): £8,000

Leg 3:  Reykjavik to Nuuk – 12 days (28 July-9 August): £10,000

Leg 4:  Nuuk to Nuuk via Baffin Island and Resolute Bay – 31 days (10 August- 10 September): £18,000

Leg 5:  Nuuk to Upernavik – 10 days (11-20 September): £9,000

Leg 6: Upernavik to Narsarsuaq – 10 days (21-30 September): £8,000

Leg 7: Narsarsuaq to Reykjavik – 9 days (1-9 October) £8,000

Leg 8: Reykjavik to Plymouth – 15 days (10-24 October) £8,000

Link to full details of the legs here.

To find out more information about Ocean Warrior Project, the #Resolute Expedition, its selection process, and how to join as a self-funded, or fundraised participant, visit https://www.warrior-ocean.com/ or https://www.ice-warrior.com/.

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