Europe's Largest Schooner Embarks on Arctic Mission

Europe's Largest Schooner Embarks on Arctic Mission

Europe’s largest wooden schooner, the S/V Linden is to set sail from Svalbard in Norway to take part in a research mission in the Arctic. The Linden will be carrying a team of scientists and ‘citizen scientists’ from the Ocean Warrior Project, a research mission which aims to gain a greater understanding of the Arctic environment and the impact of climate change. 

The Ocean Warrior Project is the brainchild of prominent explorer Jim McNeill, who has been visiting the Arctic on expeditions for over two decades.

The scientists on board the Linden have been tasked with carrying out ‘critical scientific measurements from remote areas of the Arctic Ocean to build up an improved picture of the changes taking place due to climate change’. As part of this, they will be installing various scientific and technical equipment including weather stations. The team will also aim to ‘ground truth’ data that has been collected via satellites. 

Support for the expedition is also being provided by Plymouth Marine Laboratory (who will be sending a number of scientists on the expedition), Valeport (a leading developer of oceanographic and hydrographic instrumentation), Mole Energy, Dartmoor Brewery, and Henri Lloyd.

Prof. Icarus Allen, Chief Executive of Plymouth Marine Laboratory, who will be part of the team for the first leg of the expedition, said: 

“We’re delighted to be the scientific partner… and are extremely excited about the prospect of delivering research over a sustained period. To support a sustainable future for the ocean we need to be in a position to monitor the changes which are happening”.

Commenting on the expedition, Jim McNeill said: 

“Our quest is to help scientists put a better, more immediate ‘finger on the pulse of our planet’ by exploring the extreme environments on Earth in the greatest detail. These are the indicators of change and by measuring, benchmarking and monitoring over a 10-year period we should be able to detect changes, both good and bad. 

Through the citizen science aspect of the explorations we’re also enabling people from different walks of life to come and be part of something that will generate highly important scientific research. 

I am so honoured and delighted to have Icarus and his team at PML spearheading the science. As one of the centres of excellence, worldwide, I look forward to pushing boundaries together”.

Once this initial expedition has been completed, it is expected that the Ocean Warrior Project will spend the next decade travelling to remote areas of the Arctic Ocean - covering more than 10,000 miles each year between June and October - collecting data on a range of key indicators. These indicators include water quality, plankton, eDNA, salinity and ocean acidity. 

The S/V Linden is the biggest wooden three-masted schooner in Europe and has an overall length of 49.5 metres, a draft of 3.1 metres, accommodation for 12 passengers and six to eight crew members. 

The S/V Linden was built in 1993 and is based upon the design of the original ‘Linden’ from 1920. 

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