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The tern on the Tern

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Maurice and Bird Yarns tern © Clive Tesar / WWF-Canon

Boats tend to accumulate mascots, and this one has more than its share, mostly crafted by crew-member Pascale Otis: at the moment, she’s working on a family of ice-worms, handcrafted from some sealskin scraps.

But one of the mascots has already made a long journey just to join us here. It’s a hand-knitted arctic tern from Cape Farewell, a British organization promoting awareness of climate change through arts and culture. The organization heard of our trip on the Arctic Tern, and sent us a tern for the journey, one of a whole flock  created to bring attention to the changing migration patterns of seabirds across Scotland’s islands, through the Bird Yarns project.

Even though it has traveled from where it was knitted in the north of Scotland, by post to Ottawa, then carried by air to Greenland and by boat to Arctic Canada, the knitted tern has still not equaled the travels of its real life model. The real Arctic Tern migrates annually from the Arctic to the Antarctic, an astonishing 71,000 kilometer round trip.

When our trip is over, we intend to return this knitted Tern to rejoin its flock in the U.K., together with a record of its travels with us. It will carry back the story of its traverse of the fringes of the Last Ice Area.

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