Exploring Mindsets was a trip of a lifetime. Learning to sail was such an incredible experience (Eric and Shanley are amazing!) and the workshops that Emily and Dave facilitated both challenged and encouraged me to make some key personal decisions whilst considering what more I can do to nurture our beautiful planet. I left the boat feeling inspired and determined to implement positive changes in my life and with a group of wonderful new friends to support and accompany me on the journey. What more could you want from an adventure?!I woke up for work Monday morning, and checked Facebook. I noticed the Aquapac page was telling me to check my email. When I did, I couldn't believe what I saw. I haven't been out of New England in about 5 years, and had no aspirations to do so anytime soon. I can't put into words how excited I am for this trip. While at work, I build an environmentally friendly water filter for cooling towers. Our filters are a component used in LEED certification of buildings. I also run the internet sales of a local fish and coral store. In my off-time, I keep around 300 gallons worth of tanks. I keep coral reefs, turtles, snakes, and other reptiles. I really hope that this trip will give me the opportunity to see some amazing fish and corals...
I was dropped off by a taxi in what seemed to be a random spot in Bermuda. As I walked towards the Sea Dragon with my bags in hand, a woman standing on the street looking at her phone spoke up, "There's free Wifi here."
"There's free Wifi in this spot here, you look like a sailor."
Looking back, that set the entire tone for my experience.
What an amazing trip that the Pangaea Exploration team has put together. Having a little sailing experience did not even come close to preparing me for the open ocean. The crew of the Sea Dragon obviously was very experienced in handling "first-timers". I never thought filling out a simple form on Facebook would give me the chance to see an entire new world. I would not hesitate to do it again. Between the great conversation, the great leadership by the crew, and the great expedition planned by the Pangaea Exploration team, I'll never look at the world the same. To top it off, it only took them 9 days.
Thanks again guys and gals, I'll never forget it,
CollinOur expedition aboard the Sea Dragon was the adventure of a life time. Over the course of one month, our motley bunch (4 crew, 5 scientists) traversed 2000+ nautical miles of the equatorial Pacific. Our research took us to several remote islands, places few people have ever seen, in order to study their coral reef ecosystems. Sea Dragon was an excellent platform for conducting our work and we couldn't have had a better crew: The 2 dinghies and on-board compressor allowed us to continuously rotate SCUBA tanks in order to maximize the amount of time we could have divers in the water. The Sea Dragon crew was flexible with regards to storage space, dedicating an entire cabin to our sampling gear. Our research goals were always a priority and both crew and scientists worked together as a team, coming up with creative ways to achieve our scientific objectives (e.g. converting a spinnaker pole into a makeshift crane for water sample collections). Captain Dale, mate Emily and crew members Ryan and Alec enthusiastically engaged us in daily shipboard activities while remaining considerate of our group's broad range of sailing experience. In all, the trip was a huge success, a fantastic experience and over far too soon.Sailing with the Sea Dragon from Halifax to Yarmouth and Bermuda was an absolutely irreplaceable experience. There is no substitute for perfect sunsets, dolphins off the bow, and good company. The rest of my crewmates were some of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. Sea Dragon certainly attracts a special sort of person. Skipper Scott Comben and first mate Paul Hobson were excellent teachers of both seamanship and navigation, and I can definitely credit their tutelage for having just passed my exams for my USCG 100T Master License. I cannot recommend the Sea Dragon experience highly enough. In The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame wrote, “There is nothing—absolutely nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats.” My experience aboard Sea Dragon is a perfect testament to this. I can’t wait for my next opportunity with her.Deja Vu. From reading about ocean plastic pollution and other water quality issues facing our oceans in a magazine in 2000, to seeing some larger than usual sailing vessel docked in Toronto Harbour in July 2013, came my adventure of a lifetime. I inquired about the sailing vessel, their programs, and decided a few days later to join an amazingly organized team of dedicated and brilliant sailors, researchers, environmentalists, teachers and administrators, to take part in The One Water Story, Great Lakes Expedition. Pangaea Exploration, and their perfect research vessel, Sea Dragon, tops my resume for fun-filled sailing, and purposeful marine environmentalism and education.
Asta Mail, Kate Gardella, Eric Loss, Shanlee McEntee, Mitch McLean worked incredibly cohesively, to organize and deliver a solid educational, research, and sailing program. This was not just for my journey between Cleveland and Chicago, but the entire ports of call of the One Water Story, and well beyond toward future charted, and perhaps uncharted waters.
I'm re-energized about our salt water and fresh water environmental issues, and recognize the importance of continuing to bring these important issues to the attention of my community in the Toronto area, and move toward protecting and restoring our fragile waterfront and Great Lake.
What a privilege and opportunity to join as crew, and experience being part of an incredible team, and journey.
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain
Sail on Sea-Dragon.Being involved in One Water Story is one of the best things I have ever done. Rather than use the words amazing and fun to describe this experience, which are true, I will say that this is a life changer. As a researcher I appreciated the chance to expand my knowledge and as a land lover I appreciated my, however temporary, sea legs. Its wonderful to be in an environment of people willing to learn and do something different with their lives and astounding how close you can get in a short amount of time. I'd do it again in a heartbeat and I strongly encourage anyone who can do this to do it. Whether you want to see the sea or see the stars, let Pangaea Explorations' One Water Story open your eyes.[/colored_box][/two_third_last]As a scientist, I conducted coral reef community surveys with Sea Dragon in the central Pacific in summer 2011. The Pangaea crew exceeded my expectations. Though almost everyone else on the ship was also a diver, diving activities were tailored entirely to fit my research needs. Every day I was asked, What do you need to accomplish today? What do you need us to do to make your research dives successful? Moreover, being in a group of non-scientists provided a wonderful opportunity to communicate my research and participate in a dialogue about marine conservation with passionate people from diverse backgrounds. I would not hesitate to recommend Sea Dragon as a competent (and environmentally friendly!) research platform.
As a person, the trip with Sea Dragon changed my life. We visited some of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen, and I made strong connections with the other crew members. It’s really amazing that the ship brought us together, and has kept us together for so long. In recent memory, I have never been happier than I was on that ship. Sailing with Sea Dragon is an opportunity to celebrate exploration and pursue something greater in this world.I boarded Sea Dragon as one person and disembarked as another. A life changing, eternally memorable experience, I am now more at peace with my place on this planet after three weeks at sea with Pangaea. Only by allowing ourselves to be surrounded on all sides by water can we begin to understand the importance of the oceans to our planet. Pangaea and Sea Dragon are at the cutting edge of introducing people of all walks of life to our ocean environments.Quite a fan of your Cutter my friend. She's noble, comfortable, solid, and feeling her under full sail in strong seas has been a dream..As a complete beginner in the world of sailing, I was apprehensive at best about the expedition; however, once on board, I felt at ease straightaway. The Sea Dragon, which was built for long expeditions, extreme weather and rough seas, handled beautifully and at every opportunity took care of her crew as we took care of her. The vessel's captain and first mate were skillful sailors and experienced teachers. Life aboard the boat was exhilarating and before I knew, it, the Sea Dragon had become a home. The crew, of which it was a spectacular privilege to be a part, got on wonderfully with one another, and midway though the crossing, I found myself on the adventure of a lifetime with people who, at first strangers, will always be dear friends. Feel free to consider this a glowing review.An early morning on the job in Rarotonga Cook Islands I spotted this new impressive boat in the harbor, the Sea Dragon. Right away I knew I had to go and have a closer look, and learn more about what the boat was doing. Before long everything was arranged for me to leave my job and home and go on a voyage that changed the way I live my life. I sailed 2750NM on the Sea Dragon through the Pacific and visited some of the most remote places in the world. It was a truly amazing experience for everyone onboard! The boat was a dream to sail and the people involved, energetic and inspiring to be around. The voyage opened my eyes to a world of remote cultures living in harmony, and let us compares those impressions to cultures that had experienced some of the ugliest effects of modern society. I will never forget. From the eye opening reminder of plastic floating in the sea thousands of miles from civilization, to the most beautiful sunsets on remote uninhabited islands and exploring virgin coral reefs that no one had ever seen before, we saw it all.Bonds of friendship was formed onboard and everyone, experienced sailors and landlubbers alike, had an amazing time. Truth be told it was the trip of a lifetime, and I have spend many days since trying to find a way back onboard.I joined the crew who had sailed across the Atlantic from Cape Verde to Guyana, when they had arrived in Tobago. The two youngsters (one being my son, Blyth) had grown in maturity. I could see that they felt good about themselves, their responsibilities on the boat and capability of getting things done often without an adult. What? 13 year olds with confident body language and a can-do attitude! The older teenagers had clearly been just as challenged whilst being more philosophically involved, and had also benefited immensely. I feel sure that everybody on board has an increased awareness and bond to the environment particularly marine.
I had one month of Caribbean island hopping whilst interviewing fishermen and conservationists and anyone involved with the sea, looking at beaches and most onerous of all (!), diving to observe reef health and fish variety and size. Problems became clearer, opinions being divided as to what the problems are caused by and how to fix them, but most encouragingly of all, everywhere we went we found little pockets of people working away to find solutions, some with support, some in almost complete isolation. If somehow such pockets can cooperate, adjusting solutions for their particular environment, then.......? I feel wholly privileged to have been a part of the Sea Dragon team.Of all the most extraordinary things you could dream of doing joining Sea Dragon's crew was better! Despite failing to overcome sea sickness, my three months aboard Sea Dragon will be something I'll remember for the rest of my life. With no previous experience of boats or sailing, crossing the Atlantic was an amazing challenge and I hope I'll do it again some day. I've always loved being part of a team and to me this felt right. I got to understand the ocean environment and now I know we need to do something about it.
I would be a fool if I had turned down this brilliant opportunity.When I sail I am even happier now about my decision to join this trip. I would have been a fool for ever having a dispute in mind about turning it down. Over three months through my journey around the Atlantic I realize how lucky I am to have been invited on board and I feel it might well help me in years to come. We all knew that being on a Challenge 72' boat, we were in one of the safest sailing boats you could be on, still every time the boat keeled over so far that the side rails were in the water you realized what a powerful force the sea is. This boat is built for rough weather and our Captain was telling us how much worse it would be on a smaller boat. To be on such a cool sailing boat as crew is pretty amazing.
I don't want to get off the boat! %$#*.
I truly believe "Sea Dragon" is the fastest, strongest and most comfortable boat I have ever sailed on in my 30 years of skippering. Leah, my 4 year old daughter, and I had one of the best and unforgettable experiences aboard from England to the Canary Islands!This boat is amazing, 55kts of wind with a 15' following sea. Like a rock. Down below you wonder if we are moving at all...