Henko Roukema is a 19yr old Cape Town student who recently returned from a three week adventure in the arctic with Mike Horn, the South African adventurer widely acknowledged as the premier explorer of our era! Mike Horn's current project is the PANGAEA YOUNG EXPLORERS PROGRAM -- a four year expedition that includes 12 expeditions engaged from 2008-2012. On each expedition Mike selects eight young adults age 15-20 from a pool of applicants from all over the world. Henko was as one of the eight to attend Expedition #9 of 12. It was an Arctic Ocean Expedition in Nunavut Canada and the Baffin Bay area just west of Greenland.
The young explorers hiked over glaciers, camped in the wild arctic, climbed up Big Walls & slept on portaledges 180m above the icy arctic ocean and sailed the Arctic seas. They took unique collections, samples and readings from the area to study the effects of global warming on an area that's so susceptible to the consequences.
As all Young Explorers are encouraged to start projects the world over in an attempt to raise public awareness on environmental issues, Henko did an official 1 mile ice swim while on this expedition (a new world record as the most northern 1 mile ice swim completed according to the International Ice Swimming Association’s rules – wearing only a speedo, 1 Cap, goggles in water temp below 5C, swimming 1 mile) . This was to raise awareness on the effects of global warming on the fragile arctic area and also as an athletic feat to show what the human body is capable of if you are well prepared mentally & physically. Henko is asthmatic so the arctic swim was off course a double challenge, but thanks to chronic medication & dedication, he was successful in his attempt.