Yesterday, 18th June, the famous Swedish adventurer Ola Skinnarmo, headed out on a new adventure. Ola has many successful polar expeditions on his resume and the most famous one is undoubtedly when he in December 1998, after 47 days on skis, became the first Swede to reach the South Pole and also the youngest man to have achieved this on his own.
This time, he is the leader of a marine archaeological expedition with the mission to find the remains of the foremost symbol of Swedish polar history – the expedition ship Vega. The Vega expedition in 1878 – 1880, under the leadership of Adolf Erik Nordenskiöld, was the first Arctic expedition to navigate through the Northeast Passage. After the successful expedition, Vega returned to her original trade of whaling and seal hunting. Unfortunately the ship sank in Melville Bay (west Greenland) in 1903.
The search for Vega is scheduled to start in the beginning of August. Before reaching Greenland the expedition team will sail all the way from Gothenburg, via Shetland, Faroe Islands and Iceland with the sailing boat, Explorer of Sweden. With advanced technique, in form of autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) and a handpicked expedition team, Ola hopes to find Vega on the bottom of the ocean. She is located approximately one day’s sailing from Upernavik, and the team will scan an area the size of a square nautical mile. Through mathematical calculations she is estimated to be found at a depth of 500 meters.
Joining the first leg of the expedition, from Gothenburg to Iceland, is PolarQuest’s Charlotte Högblom and we are looking forward to receiving her reports from this exciting expedition!