You’re quitting your work? Going cruising with kids?? To the Arctic???
It sounds thrilling to some, foolhardy to others. For us, ever since sailing across the Pacific on our honeymoon, cruising with kids has always been the plan. But the route we’ve chosen—from Seattle north around Alaska, through the Northwest Passage, and on to Europe—is unusual. The Northwest “Passage” has been blocked to boats—at least non-icebreakers, or those not willing to spend a season or two in the ice—for most of human history. But, due to a warming climate, regular cruising boats like ours can now make it through every August. This monumental shift happened at the beginning of the 21st century, around the time our kids were born.
The Arctic Ocean was frozen for 2.7 million years. Now, for the rest of our lives . . . and our kids’ lives . . . and their kids’ lives . . . it is not.
What does this mean?
What does it mean for the people of the region? For the animals and marine mammals that live there? For the glaciers, the tundra, the oceans? And what does it mean for the rest of the planet?
We don’t know, but we want to learn.
And so, as a family, we’re going north to explore, learn, and share. We’re not sure what we’ll find, but we imagine it will be challenging and enlightening, heartbreaking and inspiring, and also a lot of fun. We invite you to come along!
© Header image courtesy of Denis McGuirk, taken in Juneau, Alaska.