Join the crew of Sea Dragon and sail from Antigua via Guadeloupe and Dominica to Grenada. Hike the Deshaies river, snorkel/dive at Pigeon Island. Sail Indian River, where Pirates of the Caribbean was filmed, hike to the unique boiling lake!
Month: October 2014
Depart: Westend, British Virgin Islands
Arrive: Providenciales, Turks and Caicos (via Dominican Republic)
Length: 9 days (8 nights)
Focus: Creating ocean education content
The first stop on your voyage will be to Norman Island, made famous by the pirates who stashed their booty in its plentiful sea-level caves. Then, you will take a sailing trip to the island of Hispaniola to visit the highest mountain in the Caribbean, Pico Duarte in the Dominican Republic. Your last port of call will be in the pristine islands of the Turks and Caicos to explore its beautiful coral reefs.
On each leg of the voyage, your adventures will help the crew create and curate digital media stories about life from the vantage point of the sea. You will also learn about sustainable global tourism and what it means to be a good global citizen in a ‘flat world’, and how educators work to cultivate curiosity, respect and empathy in the classroom using today’s communication tools. Visiting STEMxperts Bonnie Montelone, of the Plastic Ocean Project, Jenny Buccos of Project Explorer will also be aboard the ship to share their expertise.
Tonia Lovejoy – Mission Leader
Bonnie Monteleone is a prominent Plastics Ocean Researcher. She currently leads a team of students at UNC Wilmington that focuses specifically on collecting and characterizing plastic samples from the North Atlantic Subtropical gyre. These samples are measured by weight, typed using IR, and are tested for persistent organic pollutants or POPs using Mass Spectrometry. Bonnie is also studying the relationship of plastics in the ocean with the formation and location of ocean eddies.
Bonnie has taken scientific expeditions to 3 of the 5 ocean gyres collecting plastics. Monteleone’s collaborative efforts are with Charles Moore, founder of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation (AMRF), Dr. Marcus Eriksen and Anna Cummins, co-founders of 5 Gyres Institute, Dr. William J. Cooper, University of California Irvine (UCI), and Dr. Maureen Conte, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Science (BIOS).
Bonnie’s Master thesis, titled “The Plastic Ocean Project”, looked at the compromised environment for the convenience of plastics. A major thrust of this study addressed the question “If the North Pacific gyre is inundated with plastics, are the other gyres?” Monteleone completed her first field study exploration in the North Atlantic Gyre in July 2009 in collaboration with Bermuda Institute of Ocean Science. In the fall of 2009, Monteleone accompanied Algalita Marine Research Foundation’s 10-year resampling of the North Pacific Gyre quantifying the rate of marine debris growth to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, sampling a transect of 3,460 nautical miles (nm). In 2010, she continued her North Atlantic study resampling the same region in the North Atlantic. In fall of 2010, she joined 5 Gyres Institute in a first ever South Atlantic transect sampling for pelagic marine debris traveling 4,270 nm from Brazil to South Africa. In 2012, Monteleone was the lead researcher in sampling the South Pacific near Fiji and completed her third set of samples in the North Atlantic in July that same year. A total of 204 surface samples were collected from all four oceans.
Bonnie is also an accomplished artist, turning some of the plastic she collects on her voyages into modern artistic masterpieces http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W-Qx-KM1UA8.
Jenny M. Buccos began her professional career with Credit Suisse First Boston managing global media projects in Hong Kong, Tokyo, and New York.
In 2003, before the existence of YouTube or mainstream online video, she founded ProjectExplorer.org, a free video-based website designed educate primary and secondary school students about global cultures and histories.
Over the last decade, she has directed/produced nearly 500 short films for ProjectExplorer.org working with leaders, visionaries, and world-renowned organizations including Nobel Laureate Archbishop Desmond Tutu, The British Museum, The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, and the Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action, to name but a few.
Under her direction, ProjectExplorer.org’s viewership grew by over 600% between 2006 and 2010, and now reaches a global audience of over 6 million.
John Hishmeh, Special Projects Officer for the U.S. Department of State, said of Jenny’s work: she takes the time to properly research what is needed to capture environments without bias and gains access to areas that provide a rich landscape for learning…ProjectExplorer.org is a positive voice in a sea of global misunderstanding.
In addition to her work with ProjectExplorer.org, Jenny has directed and produced video content for the Four Seasons Hotel brand, Project Medishare (Haiti), The Bushcamps Company (Zambia), and Bombardier, Inc.
Jenny is the two-time recipient of a GOLD Parents’ Choice Award for Excellence in Educational Programming. She is a 2010 recipient of a National Award for Citizen Diplomacy; honored alongside Academy Award winner Robert Redford for her work as a citizen diplomat.
In July 2012, she was recognized by the Obama Administration as a White House Champion of Change. In March 2013, she was selected one of the National School Board Association’s 20 to Watch in the EDTech community. In October 2013, she was named Top 40 Innovator in Education by the Center for Digital Education.
She has spoken at TEDx conferences in New York, Cincinnati, and Soweto, South Africa, and regularly lectures on the importance of global competencies in primary and secondary education. She is considered a brand ambassador for several of the countries in which she has worked.
Background & Expertise
Business background – Interior Decorator and Artist
Operated a painting and restoration/renovation business for 15 years.
Personally I have a deep reverence for nature, the planet we are gifted, trying to preserve it for generations to come, and soaking up all the joys it provides.
I’m hoping for good weather and a healthy back. I am looking forward to meeting everyone aboard and learning and helping with the projects selected.
Background & Expertise
Sailing, education, international development
Support the BNP!
Background & Expertise
Bachelors degree in recreation administration. Keen interest in gardening, natural environment, coastal issues and waste recycling. Area of expertise is aquatics and swimming.
To support the objectives of the Beautiful Nation Project. Have fun.
Background & Expertise
Help out wherever I can.
Background & Expertise
I specialize in teaching students about Plastic Pollution
To help out as much as I can and to learn from the team along the way. I want to be able to use this experience as we continue to teach everyone about such environmental issues as plastic pollution
Background & Expertise
Working as sailor, explorer and journalist for The Beautiful Nation Project, I am lucky to pair my sailing experience with my experience as a marine biology researcher, teacher and naturalist and use the whole to educate children about the world’s marine resources. I researched and wrote articles about the wonders of the Sargasso Sea, the role of coral reefs in Hurricane protection, and (coming soon) the engineering wonders of the Panama Canal.
I have a B.S. in restoration ecology and have conducted marine fisheries and littoral zone surveys for the U.S. National Park system, the state Fish and Wildlife service, and the U.S. Native Tribes. I am also a professional ski patroller and emergency care giver. The patrol job has allowed me to treat traumatic injuries in adverse conditions, experiences that I draw upon as an educator for the Wilderness Medicine Institute. I have a Wilderness-EMT certification, have been medical officer on board several boats and have been fortunate to avoid and deter serious ship-board medical emergencies thus far. I have treated jellyfish stings in St. Vincent, a manta ray sting on the Pacific coast of Mexico and a tick bite in Senegal, West Africa.
I have honed my gregarious, open, and wacky sense of humor through long watches, rotten weather, and irregular showering regimes common on boats. In spite of these, or probably because of them, I have an infectious enthusiasm for sailing and the marine environment.
While sailing on Makulu (Reach the World’s 43′ Ketch), we had two basic dive set-ups on board and when I wasn’t using them to scrape the bottom of our boat, myself and the crew were exploring the amazing riches below the sea near Tobago, St. Vincent, Dominica, St. Kitts, Tortola, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic. Many times we were lucky to view abundance, sometimes our dives revealed huge swaths of bare and plowed up ocean bottom. The most impacted ground was often revealed in my inspection of our anchors and holding ground. It was a sad introduction to a harbor.. crystal blue water revealing tin cans, toilet tissue, and trash of all varieties.
I am most excited to learn and someday teach coral reef surveys to citizen scientists around the world.
Background & Expertise
My background is in education and outreach for Plastic Ocean Project, Inc., I coordinate activities with community based initiatives to stop the overuse of single-use plastics. I have fairly extensive travel experience that has aided my ability to relate to people of different cultures.
I am excited to team up with other great non-profits in research and outreach, I think it will be a great learning experience for all of us. I also can’t wait to meet people who live on the islands to understand their view of plastics, how they handle it and what expectations are for the future. Hopefully making an impact on educating toward a future without overuse of plastics and their destructive nature to our oceans.
Background & Expertise
Jennifer is a conservation scientist, nature enthusiast and world explorer. With 20 year’s experience and a master’s degree in International Ecology and Conservation, she has a true fascination with the connection between humans and nature. Devoted to conservation, women’s empowerment and youth empowerment she has been instrumental in supporting a variety of powerful and impactful projects including the Emmy-award winning film Chasing Ice and the youth-led nonprofit One More Generation (OMG). Through international projects and expeditions, she is continually inspired to learn, grow and teach through a fusion of science, art, communication, culture, education, nature and adventure. Thus far, she has researched and explored over 35 countries, including scientific and education expeditions in Africa, SE Asia, Central America, Europe, Oceania and the Middle East.As an esteemed Kinship Conservation Fellow, founder of Women for Wildlife, and World Minded Ambassador, she deeply believes that no matter what your passion may be, there is always a way to create positive change.
To connect with powerful women and youth ambassadors through adventure, exploration and discovery. To be able to contribute whole heartedly to the Beautiful Nation Project and support our collective passion for ocean awareness and youth empowerment. To embrace each moment of being on the sea and looking out over so many shades of blue. To smile and bring hugs and love to all members of the crew as we support one another in mind, body and soul. To laugh each day, grow stronger and feel full of inspiration and purpose. To remember (and relearn) how to sail and be one with the ocean! 🙂
Background & Expertise
I have had the opportunity to work on the waterways of New York City since I was 15 years old. During that time I was able to learn how to sail, row, canoe, kayak and receive my certification in power boating. I became a citizen scientist along with my friends and learned how to sample water quality as well as river restoration.
I am excited to see the aquatic organisms and film some amazing experiences on my GoPro! I am also anxious to meet the students that I will be talking to in the Dominican Republic, which is the country my family is from.
Jack Pincus – Skipper
Born in Colorado, Jack moved with his family at an early age and enjoyed an international upbringing in South America. He returned to Colorado to study Economics at Fort Lewis College, graduating with a B.Sc. Since graduating he has led sailing expeditions in the Caribbean, the Inside Passage, the Great Bear Rainforest, and the San Juan Islands. He holds MCA and USCG licenses as well as medical and diving certifications.
Jesse Horton – First Mate
Background & Expertise
Sailor, artist, surfer, diver, cameraman, all around mischief organizer.
To get everyone on the boat safe, have an amazing trip, share some stories and experience, and make sure everyone gets to Sweden safe!
Cayley Coulbourn – Deckhand
Cayley’s love for the ocean probably stems from where she calls home – Vancouver, British Columbia. While obtaining her degree from the University of British Columbia (Geography & Asian Studies), she was also lucky enough to obtain a job as a marine naturalist aboard a local whale watching vessel, which inflated her passion for the marine world. Since then, she’s been adventuring the world as a PADI scuba instructor and crewing aboard sail education programs, hoping to inspire that same love for the environment in others.
January 17: Crew arrive on board Sea Dragon at noon for a Welcome Briefing, stow gear, safety briefing.
January 18: Crew will sail Sea Dragon to the Caves/Indians and go snorkelling, day of sail training
January 19: Sunrise hike at Norman Island. Crew will snorkel/swim morning, sail back to west end, clear customs Depart for Dominican Republic PM
January 20: Underway to Dominican Republic
January 21: The crew will arrive in Samana, in the Dominican Republic – after clearing customs will have the day to explore
January 22: Day to explore, clear customs in PM and depart for Turks & Caicos in evening
January 23: Underway to Turks & Caicos
January 24: Arrive Turks & Caicos Providenciales in mid-morning, clear customs.
January 25: Crew is free to depart by noon
*Itinerary subject to change based on weather [/tab]
[tab title=”More Information”] Travel documents: Crew will require a passport from their home country that will allow them to travel to British Virgin Islands, Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos.
- 8 nights accommodation on board Sea Dragon
- All meals, snacks and drinks on board
- Sailing instruction
- Safety equipment and foul weather gear
- All workshops, personal development and one-on-one sessions
Payment does not include:
- Transportation to British Virgin Islands and home from Turks & Caicos
- Transportation to and from the dock
- Personal expenses while in port
Please see our Travel Kit List.
Are you a writer who loves the sea? Or an ocean lover who wants to develop your writing skills?
Lanzarote, on the horizon for hours as a question mark – cloud or land? – came into focus as an extended sprawl of volcanic hills. A fantastically arid landscape, all browns and tans like the dried pelt of a brindled creature, a stark contrast to the lush greens of the Azores. Clusters of white buildings ran in lines like barnacles on a low-tide rock.
Anticipation has been building for days now as component parts of Studio Swine’s machine are handed up through the fore-deck hatch for assembly – and then passed back down again as Petr Krejci the film-maker, strapped in at bizarre angles on the constantly shifting deck, takes and retakes each shot. Studio Swine, aka Super Wide Interdisciplinary New Explorers, aka Alex Groves and Azusa Murakami, are working on this occasion in conjunction with sculptor Andrew Friend. They are designer/artists with a unique and brilliant take on waste. A square aluminium frame emerges; then some chunks of orange plastic, a handful of orange and black twine, a matt black square edged funnel and an arresting, 3ft diameter golden dish, glinting and glowing and occasionally throwing out sudden blinding splinters of reflected sunlight. Assembled, it’s about 3ft high, the golden bowl suspended in the frame on plastic orange feet, all tied in with the twine. The black funnel perches on top, waiting to be filled with mounds of multi-coloured bits of plastic, collected in advance from a beleaguered Cornish beach.
Reconfiguring our conception – and use – of ‘waste’ is a theme running through Studio Swine’s work, which has seen them crafting chairs from aluminium cans in Brazil, and extraordinarily beautiful, tortoiseshell-like table-tops and other objects from human hair and bio-resin in China. They first became interested in ocean plastic after Alex heard a BBC Radio 4 programme about a previous Sea Dragon voyage from Brazil to South Africa through the South Atlantic gyre. On our current journey, as we lower the fish-mouthed trawls into the sea for the daily collection of plastic and plankton, we’re witnessing an intriguing, real-time intersection of science and art. The science we’re all helping with on board seeks evidence for whether plankton – about 860,000 of them per teaspoon of sea-water – are ingesting micro-particles of plastic waste. Studio Swine’s plan for plastic waste, taken from the same ocean, is to feed it into their golden machine, harness the power of the sun, melt and transform it into something useful, beautiful, or both. They describe it as a solar-powered extruder or a solar 3-d printer. Here on Sea Dragon the aim is a modest ball-shaped object but, in theory, the machine could produce almost anything.
The golden machine is arresting. It provokes questions. What? How? Why? It would possibly look more at home in a moon-landing scene than it initially does here on deck; though on second look there are nautical references, perhaps, in the spliced ropes or the satellite/radar dish shaped bowl. Judging by their previous work, the film that Studio Swine are making will be even more thought provoking than the strange and gleaming object with the starring role at its heart. As Alex puts it, ‘in truth, we don’t need more chairs or tables or plastic balls. But we do need more stories, more perspectives, new and different ways of seeing the world.’ And this is what they hope to convey: a shiny fragment of a new story, urgently needed; about the potential to re-envisage waste (as the UK’s Royal Society of Arts Great Recovery report puts it, ‘waste is design gone wrong’); about the power of sun and wind; about sustainable ways of making and living, recast from simply necessary, to necessary and exciting, intriguing, creative, alluring, fun. Above all, this kind of work holds other living beings and systems, and our impacts on them, vividly in mind from the outset – and eliminates the negative impacts as far as is humanly possible. Imagine if this were the norm. Imagine the shift from the current norm, where reducing our impacts on nature is so often relegated to a belated afterthought at the point at which we’re fishing plastic from an ocean or unwrapping it from river-bed tree roots or sieving it from the sand of an otherwise beautiful beach.
Info about Studio Swine’s work and their films ‘Sea Chair’, ‘Can City’ and ‘Hair Highway’ can be found here: www.studioswine.com
Info about Andrew Friend’s work: www.andrewfriend.co.uk and Petr Krejci at www.petrkrejci.com
– Dr. Kate Rawles, Mission Leader, Gyre to Gaia Expedition, October 9, 2014
According to the UK Design Council, 80% of a product’s environmental impact is ‘locked in’ at the design stage. Take the humble toothbrush. Most of these apparently simple objects are made from three or four different kinds of plastics. For a toothbrush to be recycled, the different plastics would have to be separated, making toothbrush recycling, even were this technically feasible, an immediate non-starter financially. The toothbrush as a whole is a short-lived item, but actually, the only short-lived bit of it is the bristles in the head. The plastics in the handle will probably last upward of 450 years.
A new, quick and dirty upwind delivery – we’ll leave St. Lucia and sail hard upwind for a few days to get to Key West – good way to build some offshore experience or gain some mileage and night hours on our Challenge 72′.
[image_frame width=”417″ height=”240″]http://panexplore.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Horizon.jpg[/image_frame]
Depart: Key West
Length: 11 days 10 nights
Focus: Adventure Sailing
Join the crew of Sea Dragon for an exciting sail through the Sargasso Sea to the beautiful island of Bermuda. You will experience every aspect of life at sea as we rush across the Atlantic. We’ll leave Key West and ride the moving carpet of the Gulf Stream current past the Bahamas and Florida before setting out towards Bermuda. We’ll arrive just as the America’s Cup activity is kicking off in Bermuda!
*This trip is a YM Ocean qualifying passage. Please contact us for details if you are interested in joining us to meet the requirements for your Ocean Yachtmaster. There is a $650 deal to be had if you combine this leg and the Bermuda – Azores leg.*
Roger Guy – Skipper
Roger grew up with boats and yacht racing around the Isle of Wight. After eight years in the Royal Navy as a Marine Engineer Officer aboard aircraft carriers, he moved across to the yachting industry with his wife, Lisa.
Since 1998 they have run a string of yachts from 80 to 62 feet and have sailed to the Baltic, United States, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Pacific Islands and New Zealand. Roger is a qualified Yacht Master Ocean and also holds an MCA Certificate of Competency as an Engineer (Y3), allowing Roger to also spend time at sea as the Chief Engineer aboard super yachts up to 56 metres.
Lisa Guy – First Mate
Lisa started sailing when she could crawl and now races for fun. Starting out with the ethos of sailing is better than using an engine, in dinghies. Spending 8 years working in shipping recruitment, bunkering, and port agency.
Since 1998 working on yachts and sailing to New Zealand, Pacific Islands, Caribbean, United States and around the Med. She also more recently managed to build 2 houses in her hometown of Cowes. Loving scuba diving, snorkeling, cooking, horse riding, hiking. Exploring new places and seeing new cultures. Whether human or animal, highlights have been swimming with humpback whales in Tonga and playing with seals whilst snorkeling in Galapagos Islands.
Gavin Reid – Deckhand
Gavin, born in the UK, has lived all over the world including locations such as Kuwait, Belgium and USA. It was this early experience of travel that inspired him to explore the world including some projects in Tanzania and India. Having initially decided on a career in International Development he ended up working behind a desk in London for 2 years.
To reignite his passion for traveling, Gavin signed up for the 2015/16 Clipper Round the World Yacht race, seeing it as an opportunity to learn a new skillset as well as a different angle to view the world.
After successfully completing the 11 month, 47,000 mile circumnavigation he was inspired to continue sailing and has since completed his RYA Day Skipper qualification. Becoming a deckhand with Pangaea Exploration is the next step as Gavin looks to develop upon his sailing experience to convert it into a career in sailing..
Max Patterson – Guest Crew
Born and raised in Canberra, Australia, Max has always loved traveling! Bitten by the travel bug since his first trip to the USA in 2006, he has made it his life’s goal to travel, see and experience as much of the world as possible.
Having recently finished Year 12 and deciding academia was no longer for him, he embraced his passion for travel and exploration. Looking to the oceans for his next series of adventures, Max, having never sailed before, signed up for an extended Sailing trip with Rubicon 3, enrolled in a night time navigation course and a day skipper course.
These experiences have ignited a desire in him, to spend all his time sailing, learning how to work as part of a crew and gaining the experience he needs to make working in the Marine Industry a career choice.
Maya Weeks – Guest Crew
No stranger to the ocean, Maya grew up on the pacific coast around the San Fransico Bay area and is an avid surfer and keen sailor. Her sailing experience encompasses a broad range of vessels from day sailing dinghies and ketches, in and around local waters to sailing expeditions aboard the tall ship S/V Antigua in Svalbard where she helped as crew.
As a writer and artist, with a BA in Language studies and an MFA in poetry. Maya’s current work focuses on marine debris, climate change, gender, and logistics from an environmental justice perspective, especially with attention to how marine debris disproportionately affects bodies sexed female at birth.
Maya’s main goal for this expedition is to observe first hand, just how much marine debris is visible during the passage from start to finish. To experience the North Atlantic Gyre and to compare her own observation with the available literature on pollution in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Niklas Schroder – Guest Crew
Niklas first experience of sailing was during a family holiday, around the Aeolian Islands. Living aboard a 100-year-old wooden windjammer and helping as a deckhand, for the entire holiday; sparked his enthusiasm for sailing, adventure, and exploration.
It is this enthusiasm and sense of adventure that has led him to join Sea Dragon, on this amazing Atlantic journey. We predict, at the end of this journey, sailing will very firmly be in Niklas’s veins.
Having just graduated high school, Niklas has embraced his wanderlust, traveling and working his way through Canada and the States. Along the way, helping to build an ice castle in Edmonton.
Our young intrepid explorer on completing his journey with us hopes to continue onto higher education in his native Germany, where he will study Computer Science in Berlin, armed with stories of his amazing summer experience.
For Niklas, this voyage is about, great opportunities, making new friends, and to learn more about the ocean and sailing itself.
Rob Harmer – Guest Crew
Rob has lived and traveled extensively throughout the United States, Mexico, Belize, Thailand, parts of Europe, West Indies and Antarctic. He holds a BFA, MFA, which took him back to his country of birth, Canada as an artist and collaborative printmaker. But it his diploma in natural resources, and an applied degree in conservation enforcement, that now facilitates him living and working in the Canadian Artic, employed by the Gov’t of Nunavut (Canada) as a Conservation Officer.
An incredibly seasoned sailor, having been trained in traditional sailing & navigation during his time served with the Canadian Navy. Rob currently holds certification in ASA (basic keel101, basic cruising 103, bareboat 104). CYA (basic cruising standard, intermediate cruising standard, coastal navigation standard). Pleasure Craft Operators Card (Cdn). Restricted Operators Cert with DSC.
He joins Sea Dragon with his wife Sophia, to bump up his mileage and strengthen his experience with a desire to complete his RYA Yacht Master Ocean, having purchased their own boat in 2011.
Below is a link to their blog, detailing their adventures in Nunavut and their plans to sail the Ocean.
Sophia Granchinho – Guest Crew
Sophia has been an avid traveler from a young age, traveling extensively through Europe, Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Peru, and Thailand. Born in South Africa, she has lived in South Africa, Portugal and has slowly made her way far north, to live in the Canadian arctic with her husband Rob. Holding a M.Sc. in Chemistry, Sophia has worked in the environmental sector for over 12 years now, initially as a consultant and now as a senior technical advisor for an Institution of Public Government (IPG).
An already skilled sailor, Sophia holds her ASA (basic keel101, basic cruising 103, bareboat 104), ISPA (competent crew, day skipper, coastal navigation), Pleasure Craft Operators Card and a Restricted Operators Cert with DSC. She joins Sea Dragon to further her experience, ready for her Yacht Masters in the near future.
Rayenne Hale – Guest Crew
Rayenne hails from Southern California and will enter her fourth year at Niagara University upon return from this voyage on the Sea Dragon. She majors in Psychology with minors in Statistics, Sociology, and Philosophy. Pursuing a life of deep spiritual connection and mindfulness Rayenne enjoys prayer, reading, cooking, and poetry, exploring nature and actively engages in both indoor and outdoor athletics.
Caleb Bach – Guest Crew
Caleb’s background is serving his community, church, and his family.
His main goal is to learn every aspect that is involved in sailing and becoming a valuable crew member on this expedition. Caleb hopes to begin the steps needed to attain whatever international sailing certifications that these nine thousand nautical miles will permit. With this lengthy trip away from campus and his family, he plans on becoming more independent and self-sufficient upon his return.
[/tab] [tab title=”Itinerary”]
June 5: Crew joins the boat at 1400 in Stock Island Marina, Key West
Afternoon, Safety briefings, introductions and boat familiarizations and trip preparations.
June 6: Depart Key West
June 7- 13: Underway to Bermuda
June 14: Arrive at Bermuda, St Georges Harbour.
June 15: Crew can depart the vessel by 1200
[tab title=”More Information”]
– 10 nights accommodation on Sea Dragon
– All meals, snacks, and drinks on board
– Sailing Instruction
– Safety equipment and foul weather gear
Contribution does not include:
– Transportation to and from Key West and Bermuda
– Transportation to and from the boat
– Additional nights spent ashore
– Personal expenses while in port
Tropical Kit List with some warmer clothes.
All crew members will require a passport from their home country that will allow them to travel to Bermuda. Please look into the specific type of visa you need for arriving at these destinations by sea: www.travel.state.gov/visa.
Steph, who is normally based at the University of Exeter, talked about the research she’s been doing en route. She’s asking two main questions: 1) where on our route will we find the most plastic and plankton occurring together; 2) can we find ‘real world’ evidence (as opposed to lab-based evidence, which already exists) that plankton ingest plastic? The critical question is the second one, and the method is brilliant.
Join Sea Dragon for an awesome sail across the Atlantic Ocean. Learn navigation, seamanship, sailing, and passage making from our seasoned team. Working towards your Yachtmaster Ocean? This passage is for you!
Saturday morning we stepped off Sea Dragon and onto a solid jetty, the first land underfoot for well over a week. It swayed alarmingly – despite being made of concrete. We’d arrived at Horta marina the previous evening, too late to clear customs, and stayed on the boat. That night, by now so used to falling asleep in motion, our berths surging and swaying through the waves, the sudden lack of movement felt unnatural and abrupt, as if someone had slammed on the brakes. These are truly strange transitions, I’m finding, from ocean and motion to stationary land; from the mini-world of our boat, at once small and yet travelling through an immensity of ocean and sky, to the endless-but-limited options of land-life. On the yacht, we have what we have and no more. Each other, the things on board, the things we brought with us, the sea and the sky and the wildlife. Back on land, it’s unnerving how quickly the lure and undertow of materialism can suck you back in; endless shiny commodities calling out shallow promises to our magpie selves from shop windows. ‘Buy me, buy me!’ ‘I will enhance your life!’
The jetties and harbour walls are covered with multi-coloured mini-murals, the painted legacies of hundreds of visiting vessels. Apparently there’s one from a previous Sea Dragon visit though I haven’t found it yet. We faltered our way across them, looking for Isabel from ‘No More Plastic Bags for the Azores’, who’d offered to pick us up first thing and take us to join a river bed clean. After days out of sight of all but sky and sea we were suddenly catapulted back into land-life; hurtling through the small town in her red jeep, a blur of white and orange buildings, scooters and cars, the noise of rubber on cobbles and Massive Attack on the radio. Waiting for the rest of the crew by a traffic island in a tiny village, dazed and in sensory overload, we drank amazing expressos outside a café by an earthquake damaged church, and occasionally clutched at each other at particularly aggressive land-lurches.
Predictably, the clean-up was both depressing and inspiring. A really lovely group of folk, many of them sailors fetched up in the Azores from various parts of the globe, welcomed our slightly manic and largely flip-flopped brigade – all twelve of us from Sea Dragon were there – ignored the inappropriate footwear, and sorted us out with gloves and sacks and a location on the dry river bed. Working our way up over the awkward stones we hauled out decaying bags and old clothes and reams of twine and brittle, broken plastic sheeting. The group I was part of unwrapped an entire tree root choked in tenacious plastic rubbish that seemed to have its own stubborn roots under rocks and in soil. By the end of the morning, three truckloads of sacks full of plastic and other junk – bits of cars, batteries, a dead sofa – stacked up all over the traffic island. Horrible. And also a relief. After days of discussing plastic, debating plastic, immersing ourselves in information and ideas and research about plastic, it was great to be getting our hands dirty doing something practical and at least somewhat constructive. A bit of a closure for some of the circle we’d been going around, and a highly appropriate way to end leg 1 of our voyage. Of course, a traffic island worth of plastic is a drop in the ocean, so to speak. But it still felt good to know that every piece of it we’d hauled there from the river bed would not now be making it to the ocean; and that some creature somewhere would have a little less plastic in its guts.
Check out the Facebook page for No More Plastic Bags for the Azores here.
– Dr. Kate Rawles, Mission Leader, Gyre To Gaia Expedition, September 27, 2014