Catching up with Under The Pole expedition leader, Ghislain Bardout

It’s been more than 10 years that Ghislain Bardout and his wife, Emmanuelle Périé-Bardout have been travelling around the world. Under The Pole is their expedition which has included dozens of scientists and engineers who have been discovering what lays awaiting in furthest reaches of the globe. The mission goal being to push the limits of diving and to study these new ecosystems. Under The Pole is equally educating the public of the sensitivity of these ecosystems to climate change.

In this article, Ghislain Bardout give his feedback on TIMEZERO software as well as his future projects.


Could you present yourself in a few words?

“Ghislain Bardout, 37, founder and director of Under The Pole. Energy engineer EPFL and polar deep diving specialist.

© Under The Pole_Ghislain Bardout
© Under The Pole_Ghislain Bardout – Under The Pole III is undertaking the technical sailing of the North West passage, making its way through the ice. The team takes the opportunity to stopover in Beechey island, an historical highlight in the Northwest Passage. CANADA. Under The Pole III entame la navigation technique du passage du Nord Ouest a travers la glace. L opportunité aussi pour l equipe d un rendez-vous avec l histoire sur l ile Beechey. CANADA.

In 2006 I redirected my career into the adventure lane, exploring what’s under the surface. I started with Jean-Louis Etienne as a Logistics & Technical Manager and continued with that until 2007. I thought up and created the first Under The Pole expedition then named “Deepsea Under The Pole by Rolex” in 2008, and it came to fruition 2 years later in the spring of 2010. Hot off the back of the success of the first expedition, we continued on, this time with a polar schooner named WHY, taking it on a new adventure: “Discovery Greenland” in 2014-15.

© Under The Pole_Why Sailing From Greenland To Canada
© Under The Pole_Why Sailing From Greenland To Canada

As of today, we have left for a 3 year expedition around the world: Under The Pole 2017-20″

Can you present the project? What is the biggest challenge in the expedition you have embarked upon?

“Carried by a pioneering spirit and thanks to an innovative and audacious approach, the Under The Pole expeditions have maintained the goal of pushing the limits of Deepsea diving exploration. With worldwide recognition for expertise in polar Deepsea diving, the expedition counts 150 team members and 180 companies (including research institutes).

From 2017 to 2020, Under The Pole takes off for an adventure that is out of the ordinary, dedicated to the exploration of a specific zone in the oceans: The Twilight Zone, found between 50 to 150m depth.

During these 3 years, this team made up of divers and scientists will travel the world aboard the schooner WHY, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, passing by the Pacific and Atlantic. The goal: to study the sea from the surface down until 150m below the surface and to then develop new diving techniques for prolonging the duration of humans underwater.”

Why did you choose TIMEZERO technology?

“TIMEZERO is a software that is complete and simple to use. The easy use of the chart and its functional but rapid zoom, the integration of weather forecasts or the planning tools are all reasons why TIMEZERO is a performant tool, adapted for Under The Pole’s expeditions.”

Did the software installation go well?

“We installed the software following your recommendations and everything went according to plan.”

Did you get the opportunity to compare TIMEZERO with other software programs? If so, what where the major differences ?

“Yes and it was the one we chose to go with, for its ease of use, that its ergonomic and the quality of each feature.”

What was your latest outing using TIMEZERO?

“We have used it daily for the last two years in our Under The Pole II expedition in 2014-15 , in the North Atlantic and Greenland until 80°N. Since then, we use it quite often in Brittany, during the phases with the boat builder. In one month, the WHY will go back to sea for 3 years for its around the world tour, and of course with TIMEZERO as the assistant navigator!”

Do you have an anecdote you’d like to share since using TIMEZERO?

“In Greenland, there is no chart coverage so when we arrived at the capital in Nuuk, we got to know the coast guards who were kind enough to send their tracks digitally to us. All we had to do was upload them into TIMEZERO and so that allowed us for the following 18 months exploring the biggest island on Earth, even in the zones without chart coverage, we could use these traces to get our bearings.”

© Under The Pole_Why Starting The NorthWest Passage
© Under The Pole_Why Starting The NorthWest Passage

Why was the use of TIMEZERO key to the project?

“Under The Pole is a Deepsea expedition which operates generally in the polar regions or far removed locations. As we are carrying out offshore trips to arrive at the mission destination where the research work takes place near the coastline, a multi-functional software that provides efficient navigation is essential.”

Anything you would like to add?

“Under The Pole is back underway the 20th May for the extraordinary adventure which will take us from one pole to the other, so follow us on social media or at www.underthepole.com. Bon vent!”


To find out more about TIMEZERO technology that is used on the polar schooner WHY, click below: