Under the Pole.com

Expedition News-Official Website

From 17.03.2010 to 10.06.2010 - Status: success

Diving underneath the ice pack

Diving underneath the ice pack

© International Polar Foundation

The submarine Under The Pole expedition is something of an unusual human adventure that will reveal the underwater face of the sea-ice at the North Pole, a hidden world that remains little known because it is so difficult to access.

The expedition members are as follows:

  • Ghislain Bardout, expedition leader, 29, mechanical engineer.
  • Emmanuelle Périé, 30, BEES 1 sailing and diving (BEES 1 = State Sports Educator Certificate Level 1);
  • Alban Michon, 32, manager of the under-ice diving school at Tignes, BEES 1 deep-sea diver class II and underground diving instructor.
  • Amula Audrain, 30, BEES 1 sailing, marine mechanic, level 4 diver and deep-sea diver class II B.
  • Benoit Poyelle, 31, advanced technician marine engineering and mineral exploration, graduate of the Institute of Marine Science and Technology.
  • Clément Infante, 24, pharmacy student in Grenoble.
  • Vincent Berthet, 27, audiovisual school, spent three years on a training boat.
  • Amarok Ermak Kayak, the expedition husky, born in Quimper on 8th February 2009.

The aim of the expedition is to produce an unprecedented audiovisual account of this hidden world in order to create a memoir and present the pack-ice as it has never been seen before. The photography and cinematography will focus on the location and the underside of the sea-ice. The intention is to publish a book and produce a 90-minute film.

A scientific programme will be conducted in parallel linked to monitoring the melting of the sea-ice by taking readings of the thickness of the snow and ice throughout the journey. The programme of underwater diving will also make it possible to confirm a number of therapeutic oxygen re-immersion protocols in conjunction with specialist hyperbaric doctors from the Géo-Scaph diving association.

To be able to achieve these highly diverse aims, 6 of the team members will travel on skis, hauling sledges from March to June 2010 across 800 km of sea-ice and making 90 underwater dives between the geographic North Pole and Ellesmere Island in the Far North of Canada.

After 65 days on the sea-ice, the final month of the expedition will be devoted to the underwater exploration of the north coast of Ellesmere Island. Its frozen fjords, cetaceans, narwhals, belugas, seals and polar bears will highlight the explosion of underwater life close to the coast.

In all, the expedition will tell the story of the way the morphology of the sea-ice is evolving, as well as the life and ecosystems that go with it.

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