Polar Expedition With Kelly


Not too long ago SPECCOMTRA had the opportunity to train an operator for polar expeditions. Kelly brought a good attitude and a willingness to learn boat handling in extreme environments and to do it safely. Recently Kelly came back from Greenland and sent us a thank you note along with a few images.

Here’s a few things Kelly had to say regarding his training:

Kelly Gets Nautical

“Your training session was invaluable for me to get a basic grasp of Zodiac operations, so I thank you for your time and expertise. As expected, I was thrust into service as soon as we landed in Greenland; ferrying passengers to and from the dock to the ship.”

Kelly Going Commando


“Provided safety boat services for our SUP and kayakers on occasion. They were all wearing dry suits, so our intention wasn’t to get them into the boat unless it was an emergency. More than anything it was to watch for polar bears approaching (we saw 23 in total on the rip) and make sure people were not blown out to sea. 

Arctic Beach Party

All in all, I was praised for my ability to keep my pax dry (as possible), and to give them a good ride and safe passage to their destinations. I learned a lot about shallow beach landings in milky water, and how not to position a passenger at the very stern next to the fuel line (had a pinched line that gave me a brief scare). We all had comms and always traveled in pairs, just in case there was a technical issue. At any one time, we had 16 boats in the water, either running ship to shore shuttles or cruises amongst the sights. All in all a wonderful experience. 

People Appreciate A Well Trained Pilot

Thanks again for getting me the basics so I felt confident to jump in and take on this task. I’ve gotten a few requests to drive and do some assisting with expeditions with National G and Adventure Canada for their Antarctic trips, so I’m looking forward to some more Zodiac experiences in the Southern Ocean! Plus it seems as though I’m “in” with Students on Ice” for their next Arctic season. I credit you and SSB1 for helping me get to this point. 

Enjoy the pictures and maybe we can all have some coffee next time I’m in Portland. 
Kelly “



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