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Ocean Safety and Typhoon International to Support Pelagic Expedition

Renowned polar voyager Skip Novak will start his next Pelagic expedition in late December along with a team of scientists from Oxford and Cambridge Universities and with the support of Ocean Safety and Typhoon International. The Southern Ocean summer sees Skip undertaking this International South Sandwich Science Expedition on his sailing vessel Pelagic Australis accompanied by other researchers and a documentary film crew.

Each crew member, 14 in total, will be equipped with Ocean Safety’s Sport Pro 275 lifejackets and a selection of bags and protective clothing from Typhoon including an Ezeedon dry suit, Yalu Side Zip personal flotation device, Surfmaster booties, Raptor 3mm hoods and holdall dry bags and back pack dry bags.

The voyage will comprise a multi-faceted science project on the South Sandwich Islands, a string of seven volcanic islands 300nm miles south east of the main island of South Georgia.

The Typhoon and Ocean Safety apparel which will be worn by the team has been especially selected to provide the best possible warmth, protection and durability. The Ezeedon, like all Typhoon’s drysuits, is manufactured using extremely durable fabric, which is fully breathable and completely waterproof. A unique curved front entry zip system which sits high on the body maximises ease of movement and comfort and is quick and easy to put on in confined spaces and at sub-zero temperatures. Ocean Safety’s Pro Sport 275 lifejacket is designed to the ultimate ocean going specification and for extreme conditions. It has a Pro sensor operating head, spray hood and light as standard.

These small islands are situated deep in the Southern Ocean where there is always swell running, so all the landings will be ‘wet landings’ as the surf is too big to land an inflatable safely. The team with their kit in dry bags will have to jump in above the surf line and swim ashore in waters of 2°C or 3°C and be hauled back out again by a line thrower.

According to Skip Novak the South Sandwich Islands are seldom visited due to ice risk, heavy Southern Ocean weather and the fact that they are entirely uninhabited. “This is probably one of the most challenging expeditions Pelagic Australis will have supported,” says Skip. “Not only does tough sailing lie ahead just getting to these remote islands, but deploying the science teams ashore ‘dry’ in order to complete their tasks will be of paramount importance. My job as Expedition Leader, along with my crew, is to make this happen safely and efficiently. The equipment from Ocean Safety and Typhoon will be fundamental to the success of this operation.”

The island chain is a Specially Protected Area and the waters surrounding the islands are a newly formed Marine Protected Area. The Pelagic Australis expedition has been granted a permit by the South Georgia government which is a British Overseas Territory.

Missions include a penguin census and taking ice core samples to monitor climate change. A volcanologist will survey the recently erupted Zavadovski Island.

You can track Pelagic’s voyage.