Raymarine Ambassador Juho Karhu sends his greetings directly from Svalbard!
Monday, July 1, 2019
Hi from 1500 kilometers above the Arctic Circle! S/y Sylvia and me just had a quick pitstop in Longyearbyen and we're now on our way to Hornsund, the remotest fjord on the west coast of Svalbard. I'm able to share these photos with you before we get out of Internet connection range in an hour or two. We've been exploring the west coast of Svalbard and I've been able to sail, ski and kitesurf in some incredible places! As you might see from the photos there's still plenty of ice here and the northwest corner of Svalbard is still blocked.
On this trip we've also volunteered to collect snow samples to help with the research on persistent organic pollutants (POPs). The Sval-POPs project, which we're working on together with the Gdansk Technical University, concentrates on spatial comparison of pollutants in Svalbard's snow. These pollutants are man-made compounds (think chemicals, solvents, pesticides etc.) that end up in the Arctic in various ways and are already causing havoc here. Snowfall can be an effective way of how the pollutants get transferred to the Arctic. With s/y Sylvia and our skis we were able to collect samples from locations that the scientists normally wouldn't have access to.
The polar bears once again make for a sad example of how the pollutants are spreading. The animals that are at the top of the food chain end up gathering most of the pollutants well. And polar bear mothers' milk can contain so much pollutants that it actually poisons their cubs. This kind of research is so important and we should consider these scientists our modern day superheroes!
S/y Sylvia is outfitted with a full but compact package of Raymarine electronics, including an Evolution series autopilot, Axiom screen, Ray700 VHF+AIS and a Quantum radar. Everything that we need in these demanding conditions. You can read more about this kit in the previous Raymarine blog post and follow Juho's adventures at @alluringarctic or