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Polar Passage `2000

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Arctic and Antarctic expeditionary centre Polus
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Polar Passage `2000NewsRouteCrewBoatHistorySupport
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POLAR PASSAGE `2000 EXPEDITION
of Anders Bilgram

under support of the Royal Danish Embassy in Moscow

The main objective of the Polar Passage `2000 Expedition was to make a complete circumnavigation of the Arctic Ocean in an open boat with outboard engines. This was a pioneer endeavour as nobody yet had made a complete circumnavigation of the rigorous Arctic Ocean in an open boat. The organizers of the expedition thought that such way of travelling provides an opportunity to have a true sensation of the Arctic. The organizers of the expedition had chosen the conditions of the sailing close to the Vikings' period, as this would produce a certain emotional effect: to the maximum approach the perception of ancient explorers, to see the present-day reality with the eyes of the first European polar seafarers.

Vikings, the first Europeans, reached the shores of Greenland in 982 A.D. For some people the rigorous conditions of the North are real ordeal and a test of their courage and stamina, but for indigenous people it is a traditional place, where they live, hunt and survive, and they can not imagine the other way of life.

At present the indigenous people of the North have serious problems, facing their communities. The European mode of life, established in some regions of the Arctic, has caused unexpected negative phenomena: alcoholism, dependence and finally degradation of local population and disappearance of ancient original culture. These phenomena could be observed in Denmark (on the territory of Greenland), in Canada, in the USA and in Russia. But it is impossible to isolate from all achievements of the world community, such as education, medicine, transport, and communications. The governments of the countries of the Arctic region and local administration are trying to solve these problems by combination of the traditional mode of life of indigenous people and the modern tendencies of the economic development.

The history and practical activities demonstrate that the purposeful policy of economic and cultural development of the North facilitate positive results. The main result is that the positive Arctic exists. The national culture has been preserved in some regions, as well as the natural primeval landscapes.

In Russia the logistic and administration support of the expedition was carried out by the Moscow Adventure Club, which has great experience in organizing yacht expeditions in the Arctic basin. The yacht Apostol Andrey, which is the property of the Adventure Club, carried out a record crossing along the North Marine route in 1998-1999 (Nikolay Litau a skipper of the yacht).


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