Locals return to RI from adventure in the Arctic


Three Rhode Islanders are back from an adventure in the Arctic.

Diana Kushner and her husband Stephen Smith of Hope Valley as well as fellow Rhode Islander Christopher Horvat were among five on the kayaking expedition that took place over thirty-three days this summer.

Smith has been going to the Arctic since the late 1970's and had done a kayaking expedition in the same region in 2004.

He’s noticed the change over time.

"I've seen in my lifetime the Arctic go from the cooling system of the planet to the heating system of the planet," said Smith, who explained that as the white ice of the Arctic which would normally reflect the sun’s rays melts, it’s leaving behind the darker ocean that absorbs the radiation.

As a result, instead of large sheets of ice spread out amid a large amount of open water that the group expected, they encountered a slushy, messy consistency of ice they described as a “slurpy” that made it difficult to even kayak in the water.

They anticipated they would travel about two hundred nautical miles during their time there, but because of the terrain they only traveled about sixty miles.

Add to that some pretty wild weather, and it made for quite an adventure.

"All of a sudden we were in hurricane force winds like one hundred mile an hour winds for two full days," said Kushner, who said she couldn’t decide whether it was “more challenging to be stuck in your tent for five days or more challenging to be harnessed like a mule pulling your kayak over really bad ice."

All of the footage they shot will be used in the documentary they’re working on called Enduring Ice-In search of a frozen ocean.

For more information on the project they have a website: http://enduringice.com/

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