Canada C3 sets sail
Unlike the funding of a giant rubber duck, CanadaC3 expedition is one Canada 150 activity likely to deliver a more durable impact on Canada’s future leaders, marine wildlife and the public. It set sail on an epic journey navigating Canada’s three seas: Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific.
The C3 Polar Prince is painted red and white and parts sea ice. Experiments will count ducks, killer whales, measure marine plastic and test algae. Over 150 days it will travel 23,000 km and visit 70 coastal communities and six UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There will be music, art, dance, film and hopefully, glimpses of northern lights.
Oriented to youth, funding for C3 is from Canada 150 and private sponsors which enables research to benefit all of Canada. Developing future leaders is another goal.
It is a journey that will…lead to a greater awareness and deeper understanding of our country, its vastness, beauty and the enormity of opportunities ahead of us — Geoff Green, C3 expedition leader
The Canada C3 ship is part icebreaker, part floating science lab, part reconciliation effort. Launched in Toronto’s urban harbour with surprising little fanfare. A ceremonial escort by Toronto Fire Service Wm Lyon Mackenzie fireboat and Toronto Police Marine Unit. Cast off was provided by a few Royal Canadian Navy men and women in dress white uniforms.
Waving small Canada 150 paper flags, a small crowd of family and friends gave it a low-key send off. Attended by Mike Downie, brother of Gord Downie, lead singer of Tragically Hip. They are co-founders of Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund which will support a Legacy Room on board the C3.
Duck duck, go
It’s a stark contrast to a festival happening just down the quay over Canada Day weekend. The Toronto Redpath Waterfront Festival will feature HMCS Ville de Québec …and thousands of people and a giant American duck. At six stories high, Maclean’s pointed out how the duck dwarfs many of Canada’s navy ships. Good thing the navy will host a 5k run and cook-off to get out from the shadow of the plastic extravaganza.
A worthy search for answers
Meanwhile, the comparatively small C3 ship is poised to punch above its size. For each of fifteen segments of the C3 journey, 60 people will be on board – including scientists, artists, educators, elders and journalists. The crew will ensure it sails safely in Canada’s three seas through the icy Northwest Passage.
The coastal marine wildlife survey will record sightings of migratory birds and marine mammals – particularly killer whales which have been seen further and further north. In another study lead by Peter Ross, a toxicologist at the Vancouver Aquarium, will look at the impact of ocean plastic pollution. Canada C3 could easily borrow the motto of the HMCS Ville de Quebec: Don de Dieu feray valoir (I will be worthy).
Follow #CanadaC3 research into the future
Satellite and sonar enables the crew to stay connected. Live updates throughout the C3 journey will trace the country’s spectacular coastline. Cataloging biodiversity from bacteria to baleen whales, Canadians are encouraged to follow along and join the online discussion using the hashtag: #CanadaC3.
The hands-on experiences of the participants and the interactions with communities throughout the journey are important opportunities to recognize the impacts of climate change and send the message…there is action that we can all take today—Ron Seftel, CEO, Bullfrog Power, a sponsor of the Canada C3 expedition
Impact of the C3 expedition will go beyond data gathered for science and connections made at ports of call. It will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience of the 300 Canadians who will take part and the countless others who observe from afar. The journey will end in Victoria, British Columbia on October 28, 2017.