A MOTHER and daughter from Cam are attempting to sail across the Arctic Ocean on a small yacht to highlight the problems of climate change.
Cllr Doina Cornell, 46, and her 15-year-old daughter Nera from Everlands are currently undertaking the perilous journey through the Northwest Passage on North America’s northern coast.
Year 10 Rednock School student Nera is likely to be the first British teenager to make the passage, which has only been possible in the last few years for small vessels to successfully get through.
She will be carrying out scientific projects whilst onboard for the science department at her school, as well as keeping people up to date on her adventures via her blog.
“When I was told I would be sailing through the Northwest Passage, who wouldn’t get excited?,” she said.
“I’m really interested in science, and I can’t exactly put into words how much this means to be doing this, with climate change affecting the Earth, the Arctic has begun to melt, which is the main reason we believe we can accomplish this hard voyage through the ice.”
Doina, who represents Dursley on Stroud District Council, said they were sailing with her father Jimmy on his yacht Aventura on a route that has claimed the lives of explorers in centuries gone by.
The trio set off for Greenland on Friday , July 11 and are expected to return at the end of the summer if all goes well.
The trip is part of the Blue Planet Odyssey round the world sailing event, organised by Jimmy Cornell's company Cornell Sailing Events.
It works in partnership with UNESCO by sending back vital data on climate and weather from remote parts of the world rarely visited except by small sailing yachts.
Over the last three decades, his books on offshore navigation and sailing rallies have helped sailors fulfil their dream of sailing on their own boat to distant destinations.
As well as being event co-ordinator for Cornell Sailing Events, Doina Cornell runs the UK office, providing back-up to the international team of experienced sailors working on events in the field.
In 2012 her memoir of sailing around the world as a child with her family, A Child of the Sea, was published, and she hopes a new book will come out of this exciting adventure.