“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
We need your support! Your contribution will enable “Hearts in the Ice” to grow their reach and mission! Check out our fundraiser.
Thank you for sharing!❤️
I wish you a Happy Easter.
Times are challenging, but we will overcome, and make the world a more sustainable, just and healthy place…together…because we have to…,and because we can???
Ladies, you truly are stars and thank you for such a positive message in this crazy, uncertain time! I was so looking forward to coming up to Bamsebu to see this incredible place as I am sure many others were! The right decision, of course, had to be made and now you both (and Ettra) will prolong this isolation a little longer! Know that we are all still there supporting you both and thinking about all the good information that will come out of this 9+ months you are spending there! Biggest virtual hugs sent your way! Let us a come out on the other side smarter, more resilient and sensible in caring for us and this amazing planet!! Hope to get to Svalbard some day!!!! ?❤️ ?? ??
Thank you ladies. Sending love and light to you both. I trust that nature fills you and expands your hearts and minds. Wish I could be there with you. We look forward to hearing more about what you’ve learned in such an amazingly stark environment. I am enjoying my isolation with 3 kitties in southern colorado. There are many who are struggling with isolation. Perhaps you can share some bits of wisdom on how to deal with the monotony of isolation, the affects of isolation on relationships in close quarters and how to get through it with humor and aplomb. Enjoy the beauty there! Love you. Stay safe, stay healthy ????
I think of you both and Ettra so often, and how all of this must be so disorienting from your vantage point. Thank you for your ongoing messages of positivity and encouragement! I am happy to know that your supplies are going to be replenished and that you are now going to be equipped for a longer stay – a beacon shining from your small Northern post on the map.
Here in Ontario, Spring is on her way and the sun shines a little longer each day, and we tentatively poke our heads outside like seeds sprouting from darkness. Many of us are in fact planting our own veggie gardens for the first time. So we are all adapting, in our own ways.
My heart sings that the Earth is getting a little break from all of our bad behaviour, and how quickly she renews herself with clearer skies and waterways.
Sending you love from Canada xoxo
This certainly gives us time to step off our ‘hamster wheels’attack some piles
You both are incredibly inspiring – your words and your actions. Thank you!!!!
Sunniva and Hilde, bravo for continued dedication. What a heart-breaking situation it must have been having to cancel the May pick-up trip…but something bigger than us is happening and hopefully, the world will be a better place when we emerge from all this? Sending you positive vibes from my safe place. Spring is slowly kicking winter away, snow is melting, geeses and other migratory birds are coming back, that is the most soothing feeling. Nature hasn’t stopped providing us with all of its beauty! À bientôt mon amie and hey, showers are overrated!
Sunniva and Hilde, I can only imagine the disappointment of postponing your return to regular life. I know the feeling of anticipation and thoughtful joy in approaching an event long awaited. Perhaps waiting for a wedding or a child might be a parallel to your feelings.
Well, there is a bright side. You don’t have to wear N95 masks everywhere you go and you don’t have to stay 6′ away from everyone, which, by the way is very unnatural. We are a social group of mammals and the forced distance is more awkward that you might think. We are also a friendly kind of animal. I am heartened by the smiles and wonderful greetings I see when in public. Any amount of “social distancing” cannot overshadow the good nature we humans exhibit. Somehow our creator did a very good job there.
My family is lucky in that we are all healthy and able to be together here on the EIO Farm. Both of our kids are engaged and are happily planning weddings close to our home. Our dinners are akin to a public gathering with all seven of us. We trade the duties of cooking, cleaning, and luckily have many projects popping up with the oncoming spring. Gardening, building projects, clearing brush to expand our fire protection envelope are welcomed chores to keep us busy and outside enjoying this wonderful planet.
Thank you for looking out for us with your efforts to learn more about, and how, we can best move into the future shepherding a more healthy path for our environment.
I am looking forward to hearing your adventures and learning more about what you have studied over these months.
Keep your chins up as we are doing here. I believe we make our own luck and if we maintain a positive attitude we position ourselves to receive it when the time is right.
Love and kisses from Germany
Dearest Hilde & Sunniva,
Mother Earth has given us all a wakeup call that we can’t ignore. Although it’s sad and scary, we’re learning important lessons and many people are slowing down, evaluating what’s important or not, and taking time for family and friends (from a distance). Your work and lessons are a priceless contribution to the world.
I’m sorry your return has been delayed – it must be a sign that you are meant to continue your important mission! I think of you often, and always look forward to your updates and words of wisdom. Thank you for your dedication, humor, and sacrifices!
Love from Minnesota,