The Expedition Log | An Arctic Voyage
4 min read
Written by Lucia Griggi
Footage by Ross McDonald and Richard Lynch
“We started in Alaska in the Spring...”
Lucia Griggi sits, poring through images on her laptop as she describes the epic journey which we will follow through the course of this series. A friend of Finisterre for some time, her photography is widely lauded, and she spends most of her year travelling to some of the most remote places on our planet to capture stunning imagery.
“But this expedition was slightly different,” she explains.
From Alaska, through the Bering Straits and into the Chukchi Sea. Past volcanic island chains and remote communities. Traversing the Siberian sea and the frozen North East Passage – the shipping route that runs between the northern coast of Russia and the Arctic Ice shelf – all the way to Murmansk, one of the most northerly cities in the world.
At sea for weeks at a time it’s a voyage that includes some of the most challenging and inaccessible seas in the world; offering an insight into a region that is increasingly critical to the future of our planet, and captured beautifully in her images.
The kit that takes you there...
Sharing those images with a wider audience is something she feels passionately about and was the driving force behind our meeting.
“It’s not until you’re really in a situation or put in a place to see it with your own eyes that it truly hits home. When you get to experience something and see it for yourself, I think that’s when action is taken,” she explains.
“It’s hard because we’re so far removed from it. A lot of people don’t understand the climate crisis, because it’s not something they’ve ever experienced. So I think bridging that gap is important. And I think if you can bring people to or show them these environments it can be used effectively as an educational tool.”
Expeditions such as this take time. Months spent at sea offer up a different perspective and the change of pace from our usual forms of modern travel offers its own rewards, and Lucia remarks that she feels most at home out to sea, in isolation from the world as we know it here.
“What I’ve found, from doing this kind of journey is that when you fly, you disconnect,” she muses. “Travelling by sea, you get to see the changes and the different climates within a month of crossing from one ocean to another. When you fly you don’t have that connection. You could come from somewhere cold and end up in a completely different climate. So, it’s really interesting how travelling by sea can open you up to the small changes. You see the changes in bird life, you see the different types of wildlife in the different regions, or you wake up and the colour of the water’s different. The changes are amazing.”
Her passion and love of these places is plain to see as we continue to sift through her images, “It’s very special and it would be a shame to see these places go, because we need them. Not just for the wildlife but for ourselves…”