I wrote about a team of rowers who were gearing up to challenge the Arctic Ocean this spring. At the time, they were still looking to add a fourth member to their crew and the expedition was still taking shape. Fast forward a eight months and now they are in the final stages of preparation before setting out in July.
The aptly titled Arctic Row 2012 will put paul Ridley, Collin West, Neal Mueller and Scott Mortensen out on the Arctic Ocean for as much as 30 days. The plan is for the team to set off from Inuvik, Canada and cross the ocean into Providenya, Russia. The route will cover approximately 1300 miles (2092 km) of water that will, at times, be chocked with ice.
In order to cover that distance within a four week time span, the team will be rowing non-stop, 24-hours a day. They'll take two hour shifts with two men rowing at all times while the other two rest. In order to maintain that pace, the crew will eat in excess of 5000 calories per day while onboard desalinators convert up to 400-pounds of salt water into drinking water on a daily basis as well.
The expedition isn't just about making the first crossing of the Arctic Ocean in a row boat, although that is a worthy goal in and of itself. While they're out on the water the team will be making observations about the health of the Arctic ecosystem and will be collecting samples of plankton throughout the region. Those tiny fish are a crucial food supply for the whales that migrate through the area and the health of the plankton population can offer insights into how the entire ecosystem is faring.
Good luck guys!