Amongst Giant Icebergs—A worthy finish to our epic expedition
2014-2016 Sedna Epic Expedition
July 30, 2014
It was the last day of our expedition. The 2014 proof-of-concept expedition had come to an end for Team Sedna. We conducted our final snorkeling sea trials while waiting for the ice to clear during before entering Disko Bay, Greenland.
I found icebergs to be just mesmerizing. They each have different characteristics and shapes. The bigger they are, the more drawn one is to their towering magnitude. During our approach to Ilulissat, we encountered thick fog and gigantic icebergs. Our ship, the MV Cape Race slowed her speed to almost nothing, and the skipper placed crew as lookouts on the bow. We moved forward slowly in the fog, and the crew called out the locations of the icebergs to the skipper: “to the right” and “to the left.” It was like a scene right out of Titanic (before the ship hit the iceberg, of course!).
I wondered whether this was how the Titanic passengers had felt as they walked the decks of the Titanic? We passed icebergs that measured tens of feet high some ten feet away from the boat. In fact, we were so close that we could hear the icebergs crackling and melting—right in front of our eyes. Rain was pouring from the icebergs, and if you closed your eyes, the soundtrack transported you to a tranquil spa.
But it was not raining—rather, we were listening to the sounds of the icebergs melting into the ocean. These glacial waters entering the ocean, at record speeds, are causing increases in sea level and changes in salinities in the ocean, two factors that are creating so many problems for mother Earth. It hit me like a ton of bricks!
Global Climate Change is a reality. The water around icebergs took on different shades of aquamarine and blue, mirroring reflections of their towering shadows. Thankfully, for us, the MV Cape Race, we avoided the icebergs and made it safely to shore. Our team of ten woman gathered for an evening in Greenland, and, then in Iceland, before our final departures.
The team had completed its initial or proof-of-concept mission. I was sad to see the women go their different directions—Canada, New Zealand the United States. But, I returned home inspired by the other nine remarkable women in my team who left their footprints not only in the Arctic.