Science At Sea | Horta to Plymouth

$3,600/ £2,780
Jul 8 – 22, 2017

Depart: Horta Marina, Horta, Azores
Arrive: Mayflower Marina, Plymouth, UK
Length: 15 days 14 nights
Focus: Marine Science and Sailing
Max number of students: 10

Enquire – For student discount please use the Enquire link.

Join Professor Bill Edwards of Niagara University aboard Sea Dragon to cross the Atlantic while learning marine science.

Sea Dragon will serve as a floating classroom this summer and engage in an environmental science voyage on the Atlantic Ocean. This unique program will provide an unparalleled learning and adventure experience. A unique blend of science and sailing, the scientific curriculum focuses on oceanography, marine ecology, ocean chemistry, and marine debris and how they relate to climate change. You’ll learn modern ocean sciences in a hands-on environment while living, working, and studying on Sea Dragon.

You’ll join the vessel in Horta on the island of Faial in the Azores and spend a few days ashore, learning about the coastal ecology of these unique mid-ocean islands before setting sail to the UK. En route you’ll learn about the environmental issues facing the world’s oceans, see whales and dolphins, and gain real life experience in ocean science. Our expert crew will teach you how to sail as we explore the Azores then set out across the Atlantic.

This exciting experience is open to all – sailing experience is not required, but you’ll learn everything you need to be a full participant in the crew of the vessel.

Some of the topics we’ll cover are:

  • Coral reefs and Intertidal Ecology
  • Introduction to Marine Biology and Oceanography
  • Whale Biology and Feeding
  • Plankton Ecology
  • Beaches and the forces that shape them
  • Marine Chemistry
  • Ocean physics and circulation
  • Climate Change
  • Sargassum Ecology
  • Marine Debris
  • Marine Conservation
  • Physics of Sailing

We’re excited to be working with Dr. Edwards on this trip, and are offering a discounted student price to University and college students. Please contact us for details.


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 his sailing experience to convert it into a career in sailing..

Bill Edwards – Professor

Dr. Edwards is Professor of Biology and Director of the Environmental Studies Program. He came to Niagara University in 2002 from The Ohio State University where he obtained his B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Spanish and Ph.D. in Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology. At Ohio State, he acquired his interest in the interactions of aquatic ecology and environmental fluid dynamics. He continues this research on large lakes including Lake Erie and Lake Ontario and incorporates the roles of invasive species in an ecosystem. His current research explores the role of mussel beds in altering bottom roughness and nutrient dynamics in nearshore systems.

Dr. Edwards developed Field Ecology programs emphasizing field experiences in environmental science combined with scientific communication to non-scientists through field experiences snorkeling and wading through the tropics and on ships on the great lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. This work has included both research and teaching aboard ships and boats from kayaks and canoes, research vessels, EPA ships, the Brig Niagara, a 200’ traditionally rigged sailing ship, and a great sail exploring marine debris in the great lakes aboard the Sea Dragon. His other teaching interests include terrestrial and aquatic ecology (streams and lakes), theoretical conservation ecology, and oceanography.

Sierra West – Guest Crew

Sierra is a First-year Biology Pre-med major at Niagara University. Although she has little experience in sailing and field ecology/oceanography, she joins our Science at Sea expedition and her field ecology professor Dr. Bill Edwards, to obtain a deeper understanding of marine biology and oceanography. Along with gaining hands-on experience of sailing and managing a yacht across the Atlantic Ocean.

Leena Marren – Guest Crew

Leena is no stranger to the oceans as she spent her childhood Whale watching in Maine and taking Cruise tours in Hawaii. She joins Sea Dragon as a supplement to her Biology major with a goal of furthering her knowledge around the many aspects being studying in the classroom through a practicing hands experience, whilst living and deepening her exposure to sailing.

Kate Pollock – Guest Crew

Originally from Minnesota – the land of 10,000 lakes. Kate grew up on boats and around boats, so was always in a lake or river somewhere. Summers were spent in northern Minnesota or in upstate New York for several weeks each year.

With plans to study Oceanography and Environmental Science at University, Kate took time out to travel and live for a while; in Peru, Germany, and Sweden, and many places around the U.S., including a small stint in Alaska Along the way completing her SEA semester program.

During her time at University Kate discovered her passion for design, and now works as a user experience design intern, and is working toward a BS in Product Design and Technical and Scientific Communication. As a product designer, she believes she can make an incredible impact by communicating, researching and finding ways to repurpose plastic in the ocean.Getting back out on the ocean and seeing everything that, for the past few years, has seemed so theoretical, is, Kate feels the best move for her right now if she wants to form a creative career with a specific focus on the environment.

Kate is looking forward to meeting with other creative and adventurous minds on board Sea Dragon – “hearing the life stories of fellow explorers is such a learning experience”. From her previous sailing experience, Kate knows that the bonds made at sea can be life changing.

July 8: Crew arrives on board in Horta at 1300, introductions and safety briefing.

July 9: Learning on board, First session with Bill. Snorkeling/tide pooling on Faial in the afternoon, followed by evening learning session.

July 10: Depart Horta, sail to Graciosa or Terceira, look for whales on route, arrive in the evening.

July 11: Morning learning session. Explore shore, in the afternoon. Depart in the evening for Plymouth

July 12-20: Underway to Plymouth

July 21: Arrive in Plymouth, clear customs

July 22: Crew able to depart the vessel in the morning, 0900.

Contribution Includes:

  • 14 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 Azores and from Plymouth
  • Transportation to and from the boat
  • Additional nights spent ashore
  • Personal expenses while in port

All crew members will require a passport from their home country that will allow them to travel to both Azores to Plymouth. Please look into the specific type of visa you need for arriving at these destinations by sea: www.travel.state.gov/visa.