“March Madness” happens every year in North America as the best college NCAA basketball teams in the league battle it out. The spring equinox month in 2020 has given brand new meaning to the words “March Madness”. It is unfathomable to grasp what is really happening out there and the depth of despair, devastation and volume of change everyone now has to sort through and navigate. Plan A has become B,C,D and so on. Change is the only constant!
We have a MetOcean Telematics/Mission Link satellite dish packed tightly inside a grey watertight pelican case which sits outside braving the incessant-30’c temperatures and pounding hurricane winds. We also have an Iridium satellite phone and emergency beacon. These are our lifelines to you and the outside world – there is nothing around us to indicate a crisis except for the one that we are voluntarily self-isolating and standing up for – the climate crisis.
Who would have thought when we started “hearts in the ice” that we would be sitting here with news about our entire world completely un-hinged by this virus? Everyone is needing to recalibrate their compass to figure out where to go and how to move as a collective.
We had a pickup trip scheduled for May 7-11th with the same ship, the 100-pax M/S Nordstjernen, that dropped us off in September. The list of those invited was the best of the best. They would have travelled from Asia, Canada, USA, and all over Eastern and Western Europe. Some of them were on our send-off trip and would have returned to exactly the same place they dropped us off at last September – we have not moved from here nor had a shower or watched any tv since they saw us last. Those scheduled to come and collect us up were our close family, dear friends Kari Toft and Arne O Holm (from the NRK Svalbard Minutt for Minutt), Joss Stone and her team, Kari Bremnes, science partners from Nasa, BCIT, Unis and NPI and sponsors from Lynx-BRP, Ellen Kvam, Rostein, and more. They gave their vacation time, energy and resources to plan a trip north to this magical land of Svalbard.
Their dreams became our dreams and our dream became theirs.
We have shed many a crocodile tears between us over the unravelling of an epic trip that required so much planning, preparation and visioning. We spent many hours during the dark Polar night planning the logistics and many details to make it happen. It was our light in the darkness. We too need to adjust our bearings and do what is smart and best for the bigger picture! If we consider that we are all on this “Expedition” together then every action and move we make impacts the team so we must think like a team! Remember Expedition Behaviour?
From our little isolated place at Bamsebu, 140 km from the nearest neighbour, we feel your isolation, worry, fear, sadness, loss, uncertainty and upheaval.
We also feel your hope, care, energy, connection and love for each other.
All trips that have been cancelled; including our May pickup trip; have now turned into a rescue mission for humankind and our planet.
Let’s not forget to keep perspective with the bigger picture in mind.
The air around us, our water, our sky, the earth are taking a breather without us. For the first time we are not engaged with the world in the same way and Mother nature is taking a much needed break from us taking from her!
We are visitors here to this precious land – we own nothing.
When we re-enter our natural spaces and can move about freely again – let’s move with deliberate intention. Let’s try to be better stewards and caretakers. This is about all of us. We are only as strong as the weakest link.
Keep the positivity, creativity and ideas swirling as we all try to find ways to do our part, to be resourceful, to take care of each other and to be relevant.
Hearts in the Ice – Plan B.
We offer our continued dedication, inspiration, connection and honesty right now.
Here is what that looks like. We are uncertain when we will leave Bamsebu. Norway’s borders are closed and it is not possible for Sunniva to return to Canada.
We are planning for a resupply of food and some equipment and will keep up with our Citizen Science Data collection, photography, writing and wildlife observations.
Themes and dates for more live calls via youtube with EBTSOYP – Exploring by the Seat of your pants – are being worked out now. Stay tuned as these are calls anyone can join!
We have upgraded our Met-Ocean Mission Link to Iridium Certus 700 and can handle video so we will share more videos real-time!
After having reached out to a few advisors and science partners, continuing with our platform that is “Hearts in the Ice – Embrace the Planet Project” makes good sense so we are actively seeking external support to make that possible. We will keep delivering assets to our sponsors and plan to continue writing to document all that has been and is “Life at Bamsebu” and what isolation, coping, thoughtful living and close contact to mother nature does to our peace of mind, creativity, health, connection and heightened awareness.
“What lies behind you and what lies before you are tiny matters compared to what lies within you”– Ralph Waldo Emerson
We want to continue to be of service in support of our diminishing natural spaces and the impact of not taking care of this planet. We will share our resources and tools and continue to be active leaders from Bamsebu in hopes of encouraging self-leadership in everyone. We plan to share all our lessons learned with you.
And with a splash of humour hopefully we can keep you a bit entertained!
xx Sunniva, Hilde and Ettra
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