Nature PEI

Antarctic Adventures: Exploring the Southern Ocean by Tall Ship

In 2012 Fiep de Bie flew to the Falklands Islands to volunteer as crew on the 56 meter, 100 year old square rigger “Europa”, ( joining in the exploration of the Southern Ocean with her shipmates.  Besides re-experiencing tall ships, she was able to hear the roar of the seals on South Georgia and indulge her fascination for birds by meeting up with many Antarctic species including several kinds of penguins, skuas, terns, and also the Wandering Albatross.  “Try imagining about 200,000 pairs of King Penguins at the St. Andrews rookery. I was in awe of the remote wilderness and the wildlife. I had to pinch myself to really understand I was there,” Fiep recalls.

While Fiep volunteered, her camera was working overtime, and she’ll share highlights of her intriguing trip at the upcoming March meeting of Nature PEI. It takes place on Tuesday, March 4th, 7:30 pm at Beaconsfield, the Carriage House, corner of West and Kent Streets.

Admission to the presentation is free and all are welcome.


Fiep de Bie:  Biographical Notes

Fiep de Bie is a Prince Edward Island resident who first cut her teeth on traditional sailing ships in The Netherlands and earned her Captain’s License to sail them.  Starting in the early- 1990s she gained experience as  deckhand on some Dutch sailing barges, gained her Watch-Keeping Mate certificate and started sailing on Tallship Europa.  During “Tall Ship 2000,” she crewed aboard the Europa in the Trans-Atlantic Cutty Sark Tall Ship Races. 

Fiep is a member of Nature PEI and a graduate of the Holland College wildlife program. She annually volunteers to do the challenging Breeding Bird Survey for Environment Canada, and has also worked conducting bird surveys in some of the more remote Island places. Presently, she is updating a science specimen inventory for the Prince Edward Island Museum and Heritage Foundation. Fiep is President of Island Nature Trust. 

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