OM is looking for 12 enthusiastic souls, for each expedition, that feel the responsibility to make a positive impact on marine conservation, to become a knowledgeable inspiration source for the others and for those who want to join the change (for example, by choosing a more sustainable lifestyle). This program is recommended for people studying or just interested in Marine Science, Oceanography, Marine Biology and traditional sailing. However, we believe that everyone can and must be onboard for a change!
This year we celebrate the outcome of probably the most exciting project we have been working on. During the last two years we have been working with Mission Blue (led by the legendary Sylvia Earle), locals, scientists and experts to gather scientific arguments to declare a Hope Spot in the area Skjálfandi Bay , Eyjafjördur and Grímsey. The time has come and finally it has happened! The Mission Blue expert committee accepted our proposal and with that the declaration of the first Hope Spot in Iceland, the Northeast Iceland Hope Spot.
What are Hope Spots?
According to Mission Blue, Hope Spots are ecologically unique areas of the ocean designated for protection because of their critical biological importance / biodiversity values! The ultimate goal of Mission Blue is to help local communities to emphasize important marine areas from a biodiversity point of view in order to achieve the protection of at least 30% of the oceans by 2030. The movement refers to efforts by the global community to conserve 30% of terrestrial and marine habitat by 2030.
Take a deep breath and immerse yourself into a full mind-blowing experience in wild Iceland. Hold fast and sail Schooner Opal into some of the most unexplored and remote landscapes in the North of Iceland, like hidden wild spots or the edge of the Arctic on Grímsey Island. This route is of special interest due to its high biodiversity and wildlife at this time of the year, including some of the biggest seabird colonies in the world, different species of seals, dolphins and whales as they start migrating to Iceland for the summer feeding season.
Join us on this unique experience to celebrate together the declaration of the Northeast Iceland Hope Spot!
SAIL THE UNIQUE HOPE SPOT AREA!
Join our scientists, photographers and experts on the mission to explore the valuable marine and coastal habitats of the Hope Spot Area to gather critical scientific data to justify the importance of protecting these waters.
Possible destinations: Siglufjörður, Eyjafjörður- Grímsey- Skjálfandi Bay , Mánáreyjar Islands, Lundey…and other abandoned fjords and hidden places.
Aim: We will focus on the Hope Spot area. We will explore the natural wonders and gather valuable scientific information to argue the value of this natural habitat.
WHAT TO EXPECT?
Wild islands with thriving bird life, remote beaches, breathtaking mountains, dramatic landscapes and crossing the Arctic Circle…Incredible bird colonies (Atlantic puffins, Northern gannets, guillemots, arctic terns…), big whales (humpback whales, minke whales, perhaps blue whales? ) and hands on experience of traditional sailing!
We will study birds, whales, plastic pollution, plankton and climate change.
Sail with a purpose
Be part of a short documentary film and raise your voice for ocean protection. Be part of this exciting wave of change that we have created! All voices matter.
ON SHORE PROGRAM (BASED IN HÚSAVIK)
For three full days you will be immersed in the heart and home of the Ocean Missions team. We‘ll introduce you to our lovely whale community, and our lovely harbour and facilities. Opal will still be your home and we are preparing a meaningful program for you to learn everything you need to become an Ocean ambassador.
Day 1: Morning talks. (3h event). We are preparing an exciting event to find ways to solve the ocean crisis. The main themes would be science and conservation in Icelandic waters, sustainable tourism and sustainability. Challenges, opportunities and solutions for CHANGE. Hope for the future. The main speakers are from Ocean Missions crew, local scientists and special guests!
Lunch. Organized clean up in a beautiful place. Dinner onboard (optional).
Day 2: Whale Watching tour in the morning. Visit to the Ocean Missions exhibition room . Lunch onboard. Guided tour to the Whale Museum in the afternoon. In the evening, microplastic data analysis and marine litter analysis (Ospar surveys) using data collected during the expedition. Dinner onboard. Free hot tub time by the harbour and local music (optional).
Day 3: Free time in the morning (optional whale watching). Trash to treasure workshop in the afternoon and documentary session plus debate at the Whale Museum. Optional GEO SEA Baths. Pizza night onboard + pictures/video session at North Sailing facilities by the harbor.
Húsavík, our home town!
Húsavík, the so-called “Whale Town” of Iceland is a small, charming fishing town with 2500 inhabitants in the Northeast of Iceland. It is one of the best destinations worldwide to see whales in the immensely biodiverse Skjálfandi Bay.