Departure Hawaii 0231 GMT 7 July

Late this afternoon EDT we received this message – now the standard signal for Sea Dragon departure:

Honolulu departure
“Sea Dragon 02? (Add as Preferred Sender)
Date: Thu, Jul 07, 2011 2:31 pm
To: Emily Penn, Ron Ritter

Leaving Honolulu for Vancouver POB 13 crew list attached, please confirm receipt.”

We know these messages well. They come over the satphone – that is key as it indicates a vessel underway. The message itself is a final test that all sat comms are working. It has departure city and destination and the crucial “POB” or “passengers on board”…in this case 13. We need final positive confirmation of the the crew count. Finally, the crew asks for active confirmation that the message is received.

With this, the vessel and crew are now on their way on a epic journey into the heart of the original “garbage patch” – the massive North Pacific Gyre.

Emily, now watching the boat from shore – sent this additional bit of info in:

“Sea Dragon is away! She looked fantastic sailing out of Kewalo Basin
under the main and stay sail with helicopter buzzing overhead. Now we
await the news and blogs!”

We will follow them and their weather closely over the next 21 days.

Most importantly – We thank the Crew for their sacrifice and hard work. This, like all, is an important mission that benefits all. Despite their excitement. We know they all have their own personal anxiety and have left important people behind in their lives. We appreciate their equal sacrifice.

I believe the words are “Godspeed”!