Danish national Michael Andersson let his military training and certified carpenter skills lead him from Europe to Canada, Zanzibar to Greenland and Svalbard, and then back Greenland where his growing interest and skills led him to fulfill a childhood dream by being accepted into Denmark’s Sirius Patrol – an elite unit of the Danish Navy that enforces sovereignty in the Arctic wilderness of eastern and northern Greenland.
Today on the podcast we get a peek behind the door of what it’s like to be in the Sirius Patrol – out with only one colleague, a sledge and 13 dogs for months at a time, eating dried food and sleeping with a weapon on your chest in the event of a polar bear approach.
Download the episode and listen to Michael’s incredible tales from some of our earth’s most remote Arctic environs.
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2:48 – What exactly is the Sirius Patrol and how was it developed?
4:00 – Michael shares what the requirements are for men and women to apply to be a Sirius patrol person
7:37 – How does the application process happen – how do they narrow down to the few that are accepted? Plus, intensive Sirius Patrol training…
9:43 – Dentistry in the Arctic when it’s you and one other person, weeks away from help.
12:50 – It’s official – you’re starting your two years of service. What happens then?
15:11 – Michael tells us about what a day looks like when it’s just you, one colleague, and 13 dogs on those multiple-month patrols
18:13 – What to do when there’s an issue with one of the dogs
20:04 – What do you feed this many dogs and how do you manage supplies?
21:40 – Michael talks sledge maintenance, and the challenge of packing heavy and light at the same time
24:05 – Nature is king and the weather is your boss
25:02 – Navigating in polar bear country
28:09 – Being out for four months at a time…lots of time to get to know your work buddies
30:45 – What did Michael miss the most?
32:12 – Michael talks food and meals out in this environment
35:12 – What is it like out there in the polar isolation? What did Michael learn about himself?
36:43 – Lessons from solitude – The heart holds certain things dear after this type of experience.
39:20 – Michael just finished his master’s in nature-based tourism. What’s next?