Dive Training Archives - Arctic Kingdom Polar Expeditions

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Interested in Ice Diving? You’re Not Alone.

November 23rd, 2010 | By | Filed in ACTIVITIES, AK PRODUCTS & SERVICES, Dive Training, Diving

In the last few days, a number of articles online have mentioned that actor Jake Gyllenhaal, star of films such as Donnie Darko and Brokeback Mountain has decided to embark on an arctic ice diving trip for his 30th birthday. According to the New York Daily News, Gyllenhall explains - "The only reason I'm doing it is I wanted to do something that absolutely terrified me — killer whales and walruses and freezing cold water? That seems absolutely terrifying." Terrifying? Not if you take part in ice dive training, and travel with an experienced company well prepared for any contingency.

AK expedition member Ice Diving in Arctic Bay. Photo by Louise Murray

Ice diving is thrilling, beautiful, and a deeply memorable experience.  If you have experience diving elsewhere and are advanced certified, you might consider taking our four day ice diving training. Taught as a mini-expedition, and with group numbers limited to 8 people, you'll travel by airboat to a range of sites for as many dives as can be safely completed. As we've mentioned before, the airboat is a simply amazing piece of equipment. We're able to travel across all sorts of ice conditions, including areas off limits to snowmobiles and boats. This makes both our training dives and ice diving expeditions even more exciting, providing greater access to terrific locations.

A team prepares to dive.

Mr. Gyllenhaal will no doubt return from the arctic with not only memories, but a little less nervous about this unique activity. If you are considering a dive yourself, contact us with any questions, but also sign up for the upcoming webinar on the topic of Arctic Diving,  December 2nd, 1-2pm EST. Thomas will be answering questions live and explaining what you can expect to experience while diving with Arctic Kingdom. Want to see more? Photos from an AK driving trip by Joe Canepari Thomas Lennartz's account of 'dancing' with Belugas while on a dive.

A Glimpse of the Arctic Through a Californian's Eyes

February 1st, 2010 | By | Filed in Current Events, Dive Training, Diving, Expedition Training, Sports

This Sunday's San Francisco Chronicle featured a great article by Margo Pfeiff about her trip to Baffin Island for training in polar survival. I couldn't help but giggle at her description of her first foray into Arctic waters:
Dangling my legs off a 6-foot-thick ice floe, I slide into slushy water. My "swimsuit" ain't no polka-dotted bikini, but a screaming red one-piece waterproof number I've wrestled over a half-dozen layers, including an expedition down jacket and ski boots. Air rushes out around my neck as heavy-gauge nylon hugs me. Suddenly, I'm bobbing buoyantly up to my chin in the Arctic Ocean like a cherry in somebody's piña colada. As I hoist myself back onto the ice sheet, the saltwater on my suit flash-freezes and drifts to my feet as snow. I had come north to immerse myself in the Arctic, but hadn't expected the experience to be quite so literal.
This rare patch of open water in the sea ice blanketing Frobisher Bay is a polynya kept open throughout winter by strong currents. The 29-degree seawater steams into the clear, minus-18 degree March air. I dog-paddle through clinking ice chunks as if I'm doing laps in a tumbler of scotch.
The sometime absurdity of negotiating Artcic waters aside, Pfeiff  manages to capture how fun the Arctic can be, how unique and enjoyable trekking across sea ice and camping on a creaking ice-locked bay. Pfeiff's whole article is well worth a read. You can read it in its entirety on the San Francisco Chronicle's webpage. Got the itch to try it yourself? Check out our trips page for more information on our expeditions to Baffin Island and beyond.

The Arctic Kingdom Ice Diving Experience

June 15th, 2009 | By | Filed in ACTIVITIES, AK PRODUCTS & SERVICES, Dive Training, Diving, Gear, TECHNOLOGY

Following up on Brian's post on ice diving, I thought I'd talk a little bit about what distinguishes Arctic Kingdom's ice dive training and expeditions from all the other diving services out there. I've mentioned this before (in the context of this video), but it bears repeating: on the ice, the Airboat changes everything.
AK expedition member ice diving in Arctic Bay 2004

AK expedition members ice diving in Arctic Bay 2004

Read the rest of this entry »

Narwhal Week: Using Technology to Optimize the Diving Experience

June 5th, 2009 | By | Filed in AK PRODUCTS & SERVICES, Arctic Animals, Dive Training, Diving, Gear, TECHNOLOGY

So, here it is: Friday, and Narwhal Week draws to a close. For those of you just tuning in, I've spent the past week looking at narwhals in honor Arctic Kingdom's upcoming expedition to Lancaster Sound. We've explored research being done on narwhals and climate change through Smithsonian Magazine, watched some great footage of the narwhal migration shot in Lancaster Sound by the BBC, looked into recent research on narwhal song, and finally, explored the history and purpose of the narwhal's distinctive tusk.

The Inspiration Evolution Rebreather

But there's one final aspect of the narwhal we have yet to explore, and it happens to be one near and dear to us here at Arctic Kingdom: the unique challenges and rewards of diving with the narwhal. Read the rest of this entry »
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