On board the Canada C3: An epic voyage of science and exploration
By the time this first blog is posted on Sunday, I will have officially started my Great Canadian adventure for Canada’s 150th: two weeks in the stunning waters of the Arctic!
I’ll be on this epic voyage with producer Allya Davidson and cameraman Kirk Neff from W5, along with others.
Over the next two weeks, we will travel in a repurposed icebreaker -- formerly a Canadian Coast Guard vessel, which is outfitted with zodiacs, navigation equipment, research labs, multiple decks, and even has access to WiFi and a satellite dish, which means we’ll be able to tell you stories from some of the most remote regions of this country.
The “Canada C3” ship -- the number denoting the country’s three coasts, where the ship will be travelling -- is making its way from Toronto to Victoria, through the Northwest Passage. And when it reaches the final destination in October, it will have journeyed 23,000 km -- a trip that will have taken a 150 days.
There are 15 legs in all. We are on Leg 9, which takes us from Pond Inlet to Cambridge Bay.
To me, the Arctic is one of the jewels of Canada’s magical landscape, one I’ve been lucky to witness on my reporting trips -- but never for such an extended period, and never on a ship, which is what makes this assignment so special.
It’s a part of our country that’s going through significant environmental change. As ice melts, there will be more travel and traffic through these pristine parts, which puts renewed focus on preservation.
Tomorrow, a major part of this region -- sometimes referred to as the Serengeti of the Arctic because of its biodiversity -- will be designated a National Marine Conservation Area.
Canada currently has four such areas. This will be the fifth and largest -- about twice the size of Nova Scotia. It’s called Lancaster Sound. But to the Inuit who have a critical connection to the water, it has always been known as Tallurutiup Imanga -- and they want to make sure the Inuktitut term is part of the conversation.
The area is rich in marine mammals, such as seals, beluga and bowhead whales, but also walrus and polar bears, and has some of the most important seabird breeding colonies in the Arctic.
And if you have any questions, you can always message me, too! We’ll also be airing reports on CTV National News, and a full doc on W5 in the Fall.