‘Sea Women’ To Snorkel Northwest Passage

Sea Women To Snorkel Northwest Passage
Sea Women To Snorkel Northwest Passage

Most folks, when they think of snorkeling, they envision pristine blue waters with reefs full of colorful fish. One group of 10 women, however, want to do something slightly — OK, completely — different: They aim to do a snorkel relay of the icy waters of the Northwest Passage in 2017 and 2018.

Canadian Susan Eaton, a geologist, geophysicist, journalist, conservationist and polar snorkeler based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, is the leader of the Sedna Epic Expedition, a team of female ocean scientists, artists, educators, and polar divers and snorkelers from Canada, the USA and Mexico. They call themselves the “Sea Women.”

From July 25 to August 4, 2016, the team will conduct an 11-day expedition to snorkel and dive the waters off Baffin Island, Nunavut, to study the impacts of global warming in the Arctic.

The team plans to document the changes in arctic waters due to global warming. They also plan to tag and study the rarely seen Greenland shark, which is second only in size to the Great White shark.

Additionally, the team will visit Iqaluit, a native Inuit community on Baffin Island, to educate and inform Inuit youth, girls, parents and Elders. The Sea Women plan to show the Inuit — who generally are non-swimmers — the biodiversity below the water off their shore by leading them on “snorkel safaris” (in drysuits, of course). They also plan to mentor teenage Inuit girls and introduce them to all the varied ocean-related careers, from science to ecotourism.

This summer’s trip will function as something of a warm-up for the team’s ultimate goal: to mount a snorkel relay — using dive scooters — during the summers of 2017 and 2018 of the 3,000-kilometer-long Northwest Passage to bring attention to disappearing sea ice in the Arctic.

En route, the Sea Women will visit local native communities to empower the next generation of indigenous female leaders to learn about and work against climate change.

Before that, though, Eaton is conducting a crowdfunding campaign to raise half of her personal costs for this summer’s expedition off Baffin Island. Check out her GoFundMe page here.

John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at DeeperBlue.com. He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.

1 COMMENT

  1. If it looks like, smells like, feels like, and taste like bacon is it real bacon? Not necessarily so. The truth in labeling law says it has to be the real thing else the word “imitation” or ‘man made’ used. I suggest this is an “imitation Northwest Passage” or “Woman Imagined Northwest Passage”. Why? Because if you want it to count in the official record book you must use the same start and finish lines as those who have gone before you.

    Here is the list as of the end of 2015: http://www.americanpolar.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/NWP-2015.pdf

    Atlantic Ocean Arctic Circle in Davis Strait to Pacific Ocean Arctic Circle in Bering Strait – that’s the start and finish lines depending on your direction of travel. Anything else is just a hamlet to hamlet trip.

    You decide, but don’t expect to see anything in the record book since there are no red ‘tees’ for women on this Northwest Passage course.

    lol

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