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The University of Southampton
Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre Southampton

Former student reaches the magnetic North Pole

Published: 20 October 2011

Oceanography and Physical Geography graduate David Mans and his fellow crew members are now back home after their 33 day epic row to the magnetic North Pole. They got within two miles of their goal on the water but had to haul their boat over ice to reach their final destination.

The 450 mile challenge was only made possible because of the increase in seasonal ice melt due to climate change. Led by arctic adventurer Jock Wishart, the rowers started from Resolute Bay in northern Canada on 29 July and were airlifted from the former American radar base of Isaachsen on 31 August.

David, who is an Army Captain, enjoyed the adventure: “One of the highlights was definitely the wildlife. We saw polar bears, but they left us alone, and also seals swimming around the boat, shoals of beluga whales and walruses. The scenery was amazing as well.”

 expedition to the north pole
David Mans

It’s estimated the six-strong crew each consumed about 7,000 calories a day during the expedition but David says he lost a few pounds in weight. “When the weather was good, we would row up to 72 hours in one go, resting in shifts. There were periods of extreme activity, but then boredom as we waited for the sea ice to clear.”

David took scientific samples along the way and is sharing his research with academics at NOCS. He has now returned to his ‘day job’ in the army. The expedition was sponsored by Old Pulteney Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

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