A scuba diver from Nova Scotia is joining an all-female group on a "hazardous" trip to the Arctic Ocean.
Kitrina Godding of Dartmouth, N.S., set off Sunday. Her adventure started when she responded to an ad on Sedna's Epic Expedition Facebook page that read: "Women wanted for hazardous journey."
'I never in a million years thought I would dive in the Arctic. I didn't know it was an option.' - Kitrina Godding
That might scare off some, but not Godding, a 32-year-old master diver with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors.
"I immediately applied and was lucky to be chosen to join this amazing group of women," she said.
Goddess of the sea
The all-female diving group has a broad mission, but the main goal is to study the disappearing sea ice in the Arctic.
Sedna's summer dive is described as "a warm up, of sorts," for its 3,000-kilometre relay dive planned for 2017-18 in the Northwest Passage. According to Inuit legend, Sedna is the goddess of the sea and the mother of all marine mammals.
For Godding, it's an opportunity too good to pass up.
"I never in a million years thought I would dive in the Arctic. I didn't know it was an option until I found the Sedna group," Godding said.
"The fact that these dives are scientific and are for research is an important reason why I wanted to be involved. There is so much value to be gained and shared from the work that will be done."
This will be Godding's second big dive challenge of the summer. Earlier this month, she was one of 14 women who set a world record by diving to historic sites and shipwrecks in each of the Great Lakes in under 24 hours.
The event was called the Big Five Dive, and Godding said it was like nothing she's ever done before.
"The feeling when we completed that was pure exhilaration," she said.
Godding expects the same feeling when the team gathers in Iqaluit for the journey to the Arctic with the Sedna Epic Expedition.
Diving since 2007
The biggest hazard she expects to face is the frigid Arctic water itself; the waters around Nova Scotia are the coldest she's experienced since taking up scuba diving in 2007.
Godding will be diving in a Santi drysuit, typically used in cold-water diving so water doesn't touch the body.
Under that, she will wear a thermal suit wired for heating pads to fend off the water temperature, which will be just above freezing.