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Pilot Project with Inuit Kids

Inuits are trapped between traditional ways of life and the quick changes caused by global warming. In addition, they are in some villages exposed to too many cruise ship tourists. Greenland has 56’000 people, only 3000 live on the East Coast.

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“The Greenland ice cap covers 75% of Greenland, the biggest island on our planet.”

The results are a record suicide -, alcoholism -, and abuse rate. According to the WHO, Greenland has the highest suicide rate in the world.  We already experienced suicide rates under teenagers as high as 25% in some communities in the Northwest Passage last year.

Like the polar bears, Inuits need ice. They travel over the pack ice to get to their hunting grounds. With the early breakup and the loss of sea ice, they lose their hunting grounds. There are no fruit trees or vegetable gardens; they have to hunt.

With the missing ice, they kill their dogs, so they don’t have to feed them. They try to substitute the meat from the seals more and more with dolphins and whales, with not much success. It is time to act so that the Inuits can survive.

We were already successful sharing different outdoor activities with Inuits in the Alaskan – and Canadian Arctic in 2016. Outdoor sports were an effective tool to motivate them to face the challenge of global warming and not give up. We started to connect schools on a global scale, to interact, to understand and to learn from each other.

Our vision is a global network based on understanding and friendships over borders to problem solve the global challenge of climate change.

 

The Kulusuk pilot project:

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It was a blessing when we met Leifur from Icelandic Mountain Guides when we sailed through Reykjavik on the way up North. He told us about his project to teach Inuit students in Kulusuk at the East Coast of Greenland how to rock climb. TOPtoTOP agreed to volunteer and join forces. With climbing, you build trust and confidence. Inuit kids experience what is possible and gain hope. It is for sure not a medicine for everything, but it leads to passion and inspiration. Here the outcome:

 

In the pack of East Greenland

We were trapped for 16 hours in the Arctic pack ice on our attempt to make landfall close to Turner Island, where the Inuits have found a hot spring. Unfortunately, there were too many clouds to define the exact density of pack ice from the sat picture. The ice chart was about one week old and underestimated the pack ice.

We could see a stretch of open water close to shore on the sat pic that leads finally to the settlement of Ittoqqotoormiit, but there was no way to pass the heavy pack. It was time-consuming and not easy to find a way out in the sometimes dense fog, that is created by the cold ice.

We used all our senses and suddenly heard some surf, expecting it from the swell that crashes against the outer line of the pack. Like this, we had an idea about the shortest distance out of the pack and in which direction to navigate to get free and back in open waters. The radar was useless because the flat pack didn’t reflect the signal very well.

Close to the limit of the pack ice the fog disappeared. From the top of the mast, we could see the open sea but at first no way through the last barrier of ice. It took Dario a while to study the ice to define the most promising channel to risk an attempt.

All hands were on deck, outfitted with fenders and a stick to push the ice. Thanks to the great team work of each crew member, we managed to come through. Congratulations to Sabine+, Veronika, Mjriam, Johanna, Jana, Salina, Alegra, Mia, Carl, Dario, Andri, and Noe!

We changed our strategy and sailed Northeast in open waters along the edge of the pack. From an older satellite picture, we hoped that we have a chance to get through this belt of ice coming more from the North into Scoresby Sound. Unfortunately, it did not get better and we changed course on 70 N / 20 W towards Grimsey Island at the Arctic Circle.

About Grimsey Island at the Arctic Circle:

How to prep a fish and how we got to Siglufjördur and Akureyri?:

About the Beached Whale at the Northern Shore of Iceland from where we set sail Northeast towards Greenland:

About the Tourist Rescue and Family Hug visiting while we were still based in Isafjördur:

We are now in Akuyeri in the North of Iceland, where we expecting our 6th child around the 21st of August. You can reach us with “what’s up” on +1 415 516 36 79 or on our Icelandic mobile +354 833 01 58.

Latest News in Iceland: 

Hafa búið um borð í skútu í 17 ár (17 years on a sailboat)

Sjö ára á toppi Hvannadalshnjúks (Seven years at the top of Hvannadalshnjúp)

TOP of Iceland

We arrived in Reykjavik and filmmaker Livia left. She joined us in Flores and joins us again later on. Our Icelandic phone number is +354 833 01 58.

We cycled around Iceland to find a hospital to give birth. On the way, we explored exciting examples of renewable technologies. Hans from sailboat Thor joint us. Lagoon car rentals provided us with an escort car. They are super! They are a young team and we can only recommend them. They plan to have hybrid- and electric cars.

On our trip around Iceland, we were swimming with Icebergs the same day, we climbed the TOP of Iceland, Hvannadalshnúkur with 2112 meters. Noe with 7 years did it in 7 hours from sea level. We started at 10 p.m. lastSaturday and summited on Sunday at 5 a.m.. We were back down at sea level at 10 a.m. after 12 hours climbing. As a desert, we went to the hot pool in Selfoss and to the Geysir.

For Dario as a mountain guide, it was one of his highlights in his life to see his kids climbing so well and enjoying it so much.

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Back in Reykjavik Hans gave some training how Dario can control Sabine’s blood pressure, because of her pregnancy diabetes. It’s important that you can do it by yourself in remote places without hospitals.

IMG_3527Before departure from Reykjavik to the North, mountain guide Leifer joined us on Pachamama. He is very experienced in guiding in Greenland and could give us good advises, how we can approach the TOP of the Arctic. The best months are April,  May, June, and August.

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We had also the priveledges to welcome the Swiss honorary consul Jóhanna Vigdís Hjaltadóttir and her husband. She will help us with media and contacts to schools.

Evelyne fromGreenwich and Ron from Cordova just joined the boat and we are off to the North. Please trek us here!

Here with some delay the film from Vestmannaeyjar:

 

HEIMAEY ICELAND

We arrived in Iceland. We needed 9 days from the Azores and did once 200 nautical miles in 24 hours.

We arrived on the 22nd of June at 4 a.m. and had a nice welcome from the Icelandic police officer, who gave us a tour over the island in his police car.

Here on Heimaey Island we found the best museum on our 17 year long journey. The director Kristin invited us to do laundry at her place. This great museum tells the many stories about the outbreak of the vulcano in 1973, where all people had to be evacuated. We highly recommand to visit the Eldheimar museum , when you decide to come to Iceland.

Another attraction was our first shower after the Azores in the hot pool of the town.

Salina got invited to sail around the island and was fortunate to see whales by Ribsafari. It was her highlight these year for sure.

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We hiked a lot. On one vulcano the ground was still pretty hot. We also got involved in a community work to fight erosion. The whole family participated to carry gravel up the mountains to maintain the hiking path.

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The people here in Iceland are extremely hospital. The harbormaster Kristjan did a present for the kids and the pilot Alfred and his son Hallldor, who is a fisherman, donated us a lot of cod and shrimps.

 

Here some pictures about our first island in Iceland. Heimaey is really a perl:

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More pics and short films, you find like always on our dropbox.

It was hard to leave Heimaey Island and its people behind. But Sabine is now in her 9th month and needs once a control. That is only possible in Reykjavik, where we dock next.

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24 hours light in Iceland in summer.

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