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Northwest Passage Snorkel Relay

Date: Summers 2017 and 2016

Through cross-cultural dialogue and educational outreach, the 2014-2018 Sedna Epic Expedition will record on-the-ground climate change observations of Inuit and Inuvialuit Elders. Providing educational and life role models, Team Sedna will reach out to Inuit and Inuvialuit women and girls, empowering them to build resilient communities to combat the impacts of climate change.

Immersing itself (pun intended) in the issue of disappearing sea ice, Team Sedna will translate its findings into educational and awareness programs on climate change and disappearing sea ice. The Expedition will serve as a call-to-action for citizens of the world, including youth, providing aboriginal and scientific knowledge to inform governments of the world on implementing science-based policies to mitigate global warming. The Expedition will also serve to inspire women and girls to think “big,” and to follow their dreams, no matter how crazy they may appear…

Divided into two competitive groups—Team Narwhal and Team Beluga—the sea women will face formidable challenges as they snorkel the unforgiving and unpredictable arctic seas: hypothermia in -2 C waters, dynamically changing sea ice conditions, icebergs, gale force winds, stinging jellyfish, tusked walrus, predatory polar bears, pods of orcas, and the elusive Greenland shark (second only in size to the great white shark) which can grow to six metres in length.

Sedna, the Expedition’s namesake, is the Inuit goddess of the sea. Also known as the “sea woman,” Sedna is the mother and protector of the Arctic’s marine mammals.

As the sea women snorkel the Northwest Passage, they’ll follow in the esteemed steps of Viking, European, American and Canadian explorers. Using state-of-the imaging technology to map the sea floor, Team Sedna may discover long-lost wooden ships that have been preserved in oxygen-poor arctic waters—perhaps a Viking merchant ship? Or Captain Sir John Franklin’s ships, the HMS Erebus and the HMS Terror? Franklin’s 1845 traverse of the Northwest Passage ended horrifically; his two ships were beset by ice and later sank. Franklin and his 128 men perished.