Author Archives: Hannah Bird

Uummannaq Day at Southbank

Uummannaq harbour

Join us on Friday 9 January 2009
Join Arctic voyagers Shlomo, Lemn Sissay and Quentin Cooper for an evening of Arctic stories and performances at Southbank Centre, guided by local Uummannaq resident Ludvig Hammeken. Uummannaq is the most northerly settlement we visited during the expedition, home to our Inuit guide Ludvig, 1400 people and 3000 howling dogs. This unique place will inspire a day of school workshops and evening of film and performance at London’s Southbank Centre.
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Arctic Disko


“Two weeks ago I was sat on a boat in the Arctic eating breakfast next to Jarvis Cocker. And, no, it wasn’t a dream. Well, it might have been a dream, but if it is I haven’t woken up yet so please don’t wake me when you leave…” Read Hannah’s article on the Disko Bay expedition written for online magazine Tweakerzine.
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QA – the next answer

Juan’s question
You are all truly inspiring people. Now, I’ve just returned from the 
Youth expedition and I learned my fair share from the Arctic beauty 
and from the other voyagers, but what do you all have to say to the 
youth around the world?
 Any tips or plans for us to share with our schools?
 Truly appreciate it. I am excitingly following your trip, and I hope 
we get to talk about both of them one day.
 Good luck…

Hannah’s response
Hi Juan,
Thanks for your questions and for taking part in the youth expedition, please check the education section of for various resources, ideas and activities for schools, our ambition is that climate change is taught right across the ciriculum and not only restricted to being taught in isolation in say science or geography lessons. Climate change is a cultural issue which demands a cultural response – it requires a creative approach and we hope that our education programme will help achieve that in schools and young people. But you have to do your bit too! Now you have returned from the Arctic it is up to you to share your stories and lessons and help others to understand the beauty of what we stand to lose.
What do ‘we’ have to say to the youth? Perhaps the question you should be answering is what do ‘they’ have to say to ‘us’!

The Disko Bay Blues Band (with special guests)

The Icebergs, Carol Cotterill and Emily Venabless backing KT Tunstall at Murphy's Bar, Ilulissat
KT Tunstall backed by ‘The Icebergs’ (scientists Carol Cotterill and Emily Venables) and local band The Disko Bay Blues at Murphy’s Bar, Ilulissat. Photo: Nathan Gallagher

Excuse the spelleng mistakes, the grammatical errors and the mistaken cultural references, but this blog comes after only 6 hours sleep total in two nights (holding a satellite phone outside, pointing at the sky in the snowing Arctic is certainly a new experience for 3am internet roaming). This alongside the introduction to the most dramatic landscape on earth can only lead to a brain that somewhat resembles the broken ice floating through the sea.

David Noble and 'Murphy' locals.
David Noble and ‘Murphy’ locals. Photo: Nathan Gallagher
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Freeze Frame(d)

Today as breakfast ended we were treated to a spectacular iceberg show as we journeyed down the ice fjord towards the front of the Jakobshavn Glacier Each berg more beautiful than the one that came before, you couldn’t help but feel in awe that this happens every day, that the ‘show’ wasn’t for our benefit, merely something we were lucky enough to stumble upon. I found myself stood on deck in my birkenstocks unable to turn away from everything before me. And as I sit here typing this blog on my bunk bed, I begin to wonder – did I actually see what I think I saw?
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Competition: Name that ARGO float

To follow in the grand Cape Farewell ARGO float naming tradition, we declare the competition to name “Arty Bob 2” now open. Suggestions welcome from far and wide (post them in the comment box below). Get your suggestions in by Wednesday 1st October. Top suggestions so far include: Titanic Bob, Broken Mike (ask anyone at the London launch) and Sarah Palin (Marcus’s suggestion that it would be fairly satisfying to throw Sarah overboard into Arctic waters and have her surface only once every 10 days).

One day to go

And so we are down to one day to go. At Cape Farewell HQ we are busy answering the random questions and questioning the random answers! It seems that nine months of preparation have gone all too quickly and we’re counting down the hours and not days or months to departure. Our launches are launched and so we set sail.
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Science Weekly podcast: KT Tunstall’s trip to the Arctic

The latest Guardian Science Weekly podcast features GM crops, space dust, a green car powered by petrol and KT Tunstall’s trip to the Arctic. “Singer songwriter KT Tunstall tells us about her trip to the Arctic with Cape Farewell and why climate change is a new religion. She’s furious with claims the expedition is just a publicity stunt…”
Read the full article and listen to the podcast ›