British explorer and adventurer Dom Mee will be returning to the Arctic leading a joint team of personnel from the Royal Navy and Royal Marines on a historical and geographical expedition.
Exercise Arctic Quest 1832 is believed to be the first British expedition to this area for over 170 years. It will retrace the steps of Sir John Ross, a Victorian explorer who with his crew became trapped in the region in 1829 while searching for the fabled North West Passage. After enduring three harsh Arctic winters in the Gulf of Boothia Sir John and his crew abandoned their ice bound ship in 1832 and headed on foot towards Baffin Bay. The ice had still not moved by 1832 so the crew had to spend a further winter in the ice. They were finally rescued a year later.
This year’s expedition will be conducted using a wide range of transportation, but will primarily be a maritime expedition covering an area of 180kms. It plans to visit many of the harbours where Sir John Ross wintered.
Dom Mee on his solo expedition attempted to reach the high Arctic harbours of Thom Bay by kayak last year, but his passage was blocked by thick sea ice and Polar Bears. He said:
“I said that I would return, this story needs to be fully told. Ross and his crews endeavours leave me numb with admiration.”
The team will consist of five Royal Marines, an historian and a member of the Royal Naval Reserve. Each team member has been chosen for his/her specialist skills in this harsh environment, and one of them, Lieutenant Commander Mark Hankey RNR is a direct descendent of Sir John Ross himself.
Arctic Quest 1832 would not be possible without the support of the Royal Navy, many sponsors and friends.