I found out about this ELYSIUM expedition through a friend, who discovered the application process was open for artists only. Even though being an artist at heart, he was unable to apply, and encouraged me to get on board. Luckily I had he credentials, and I was also a lover of nature and conservation, but I was very skeptical of getting through the initial selection process, considering the competition of eager applicants.
After a few months, I find out that I'm accepted, and start getting geared up organising myself mentally for the trip. I also get back into some cold weather painting, to see if I still had what it takes! Here are the rest of the members I will meet on the trip: Team members
Equipment is key, and as far as painting materials, I was set. I may need a little extra turpentine to dilute my medium to let the colours flow, as already in the Alps, the linseed oil congeals enough to be bothersome. As far as clothes, I already had most of what I needed, but a good pair of boots is really an essential investment, especially for someone who's going to remain quite static after all. The ones with -70°C resistance seemed like the right choice. To see what I plan to accomplish, you can find out more here: Art for the Arctic.
With the trip just a few days away, I double check what the internet situation will be during the trip. Hoping to update my travels daily, and upload pictures of the paintings I'm doing, I realise that none of that will be possible, until the final destination of Iceland. A "blind spot" across the territory of Svalbard, Greenland and the sea in between is due to no fly over by satellites. To just get the welcome page of a website would take up to 7 mn, and cost between 500-1000 NK (120$). So internet is limited to text only with no attachments.
The flight from Oslo takes me to the airport of Longyearbyen for the start of the expedition.
From there, we embark on a ice reinforced ship, for 18 days at sea. We pass around the Svalbard Islands, across the ice seas to the west, to the north of Greenland and down it's eastern coast. We end up on Iceland mid-september.
- 25 AUG Nice -Oslo
- 26 AUG Oslo - Longyearbyen, Svalbard.
- 29 AUG Longyearbyen, embark onto "Polar Pioneer".
- 29 AUG - 16 SEP travelling around Svalbard, then west to the North tip of Greenland, descent of Greenland's eastern coast and onto Iceland.
- 16 SEP disembark in Iceland
- 20 SEP Reykjavik - Nice
Hopefully, I'll be able to update this further as soon as I can.