Mission accomplished

Mission accomplished

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Cameron Dueck
We finally made it home! Silent Sound sailed into Halifax Harbour on October 10, completing her four-month journey through the Canadian Arctic. It was cold and raining when we pulled in, but there was still a crowd of family and friends waiting to welcome us ashore.

Tying Silent Sound to the dock in downtown Halifax, on the east coast of Canada, marked the end of a long summer of sailing. We sailed 8,100 nautical miles, or about 15,000km. That's further than between Hong Kong and New York, and we travelled at a jogging pace. We spent two months above the Arctic Circle, meaning many nights sailing through cold rain and snow.

Sailing through the Northwest Passage without assistance was our primary goal. Ice, bad weather and a lack of support in this remote part of the world made it challenging, but we managed to do it. Our secondary goal was to learn more about the people who live in the Arctic, and tell their story of how climate change is affecting their lives. We have succeeded in that too, telling the story in this newspaper as well as other papers and websites.

We had only one summer in the Arctic, so we couldn't see the changes. But we learned from the many people we met.

And what they said taught us that there are real, significant changes taking place because of climate change, changes that threaten their ways of hunting, their culture and their food supply.

This summer brought a third straight year of rapid melting, putting the sea ice coverage at well below the 30-year average. This ice is core to the lives of the people who call the Arctic home, and it is hard to over emphasis the impact of its melting. I'll be telling you more about our trip over the coming months, about the seals, the hunters and the ice that we saw along the way.

If you have any questions, e-mail them to yp@scmp.com with postcards in the subject field and we will forward them to Cameron. You can follow his voyage in his weekly log book in Young Post and on http://www.openPassageExpedition.com

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