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.


Harry Robinson – Skipper

Harry has grown up as a avid sailor starting off in the Sea Scouts on the South Coast of the UK. A true water man & a huge passion for engineering. Harry built a jeep at the age of 16 which took him and a couple of friends on a few surf trips throughout Europe. After getting a degree in Marine Engineering in 2008, Harry taught Design & Technology at a secondary school. Whilst at school & university, he volunteered his time at a Sail Training Organisation. Loving teaching but wanting to spread his knowledge further he decided to take up for sailing as a profession in 2010 so got his MCA/RYA Yachtmaster Ocean & MCA/RYA Cruising Instructor he also holds his MCA Ships Captain Medical and is now working towards his MCA Master 200.

Harry has a recently got a workshop on the south coast of the UK, restoring traditional boats & building bespoke wooden surfboards. He has covered many miles all over the world & built up an extensive knowledge and passion for environmental issues, his heart lies within the ocean; sailing, surfing & kitesurfing.

Oliver Machell – First Mate

Ollie spent most of his childhood on and around boats, completing his first two Atlantic crossings at the age of 10. During his youth he was a keen dinghy racer, competing in Lasers at international level. He then continued his passion for sailing with the aim to become a professional skipper, crewing on many ocean passages. During the last two years he has been working as a freelance yacht delivery skipper and yacht rigger, holding his RYA/MCA Yachtmaster Offshore. Protecting the environment is of huge importance to him, having seen the consequences of pollution around the world. Age 21 with over 35000 nautical miles under his belt, if he´s not on a boat, he can be found kitesurfing or surfing.

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 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.

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.