Quite a symbol! It was on Monday, 8 June 2020, known as World Oceans Day, that the Swiss sailing ship Mauritius cast off, leaving Brittany towards the Arctic Ocean on a new expedition of the Fondation Pacifique. During five years and in the same spirit as sailing around the world in Magellan’s wake, the Arctic Expedition will aim to measure the human impact on one of the most sensitive areas in the world in the urgent context of climate change and to raise awareness on related sustainable issues.
The expedition will undertake a continuous monitoring of greenhouse gas concentrations (methane and carbon dioxide) in partnership with the University of Geneva and a mapping of microplastic pollution with Oceaneye. In partnership with the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, the 30-metre schooner will also be the first sailing boat in the world to be equipped with the innovative new EAR to the WILD application, allowing users to listen to marine life with a smartphone as part of a programme on ocean noise pollution. Among the crew members, two teenagers in rehabilitation also embarked as ship’s boys as part of the experience-sharing component of the expedition.
For the time being, in this first year of a new long-distance adventure, the crew will head towards Scandinavia, namely Norway, Svalbard, Greenland and Iceland.