Growing up overlooking the port of Sydney, Nova Scotia, Andrew Prossin seemed destined for a life at sea.
“We lived right on the harbour. I used to sit there with my binoculars every day and watch the ships come and go,” he recalls. “I joke that I was the unofficial harbourmaster; I used to know what was going on with every ship or boat that ever came into Sydney Harbour.”
The grandson of a Russian-Jewish immigrant who ran lobster boats out of Cape Breton, Prossin spent more time in sailboats by the age of 15 than most people do in a lifetime. Starting as a child, he won dinghy races locally and then international competitions on bigger sailboats over longer distances.
Post-university life found Prossin far away from boats and the ocean, working in Toronto for CP Rail. After telling a friend about his desire to travel the world and work, he accepted a job with a small ship expedition company that operated voyages to Antarctica.
“When I got there on the first day, it was exactly as I’d imagined it would be,” he says. Prossin was hooked; he worked his way up from expedition leader to operations manager and then, in 2007, founded One Ocean Expeditions.
Today, the company has strong ties to The Royal Canadian Geographical Society. The newest vessel in its fleet is called the Royal Canadian Geographical Ship Resolute. It’s the first ship ever given that designation, reflecting the combined interests of both organizations in travel, exploration and research. The Resolute’s inaugural sailing last November was to the Antarctic Peninsula, a place that remains near and dear to Prossin’s heart.
“Do you remember the feeling you had when you built a snow fort as a kid and you really could hear the silence? That’s what being in Antarctica is like,” he says. “The silence, the solitude, the power of nature — it’s a true spectacle that everybody should see.”
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This episode is produced and sound engineered by Robin Dumas, and hosted by David McGuffin (@mcguffindavid).
Explore has been made possible with support from One Ocean Expeditions, the exclusive expedition cruise partner of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society. One Ocean Expeditions offers one-of-a-kind expedition travel experiences in some of the most remote regions of the planet.