Chicago to Windsor

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AUG 18 – 27,2013

Depart: Chicago, Illinois
Arrive: Windsor, Ontario
Length: 10 Days
Focus: Research & Education




[tab title=”Overview”]

August 18-26, 2013


This exciting leg of the journey will be the first leg of the return expedition.  We will be stopping by beautiful Traverse City, Michigan on route for our passage through Lake Huron and Lake St. Clair.  This leg is a part of our Educators on Board program, encouraging science and arts teachers from across North America to get involved in Great Lakes research and education.


The goal of the Great Lakes expedition is to tell the stories of the Lakes.  

We want to show the world what is really happening within this valuable ecosystem, and we know that educators make the best storytellers!

During our expedition, we want to highlight all of the positive changes that the communities of the Great Lakes have created. Through community interest, action and dedication, the conditions in the Great Lakes have drastically improved over the last 40 years.

Despite these positive changes, new environmental issues are developing in this beautiful ecosystem. Without immediate action, these issues could lead to a drastic deterioration of the health of the lakes and its residents.

Pangaea Explorations wants to create a network of dedicated individuals working together to tackle these issues, spanning all over the Great Lakes region and beyond. We want North America’s elementary and high schoolteachers to be the building blocks of this network.


We hope that after their time with Pangaea, educators will be able to communicate their passion for protection of the Great Lakes to their students and communities.


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Dates: August 18-26, 2013

Contribution: $2000.00 US  per person

Reduced contribution for educators: $1470/person

This cost includes:

  • 9 nights accommodation on the Sea Dragon
  • All meals, snacks and drinks on board the boat (please note that no alcohol is provided on board)
  • Crew Uniform
  • IYT training certification and sail instruction
  • Educational programming and scientific research training
  • Sailing safety equipment and outerwear

The cost does not include:

  • Transportation to Chicago and from Windsor Ontario
  • Transportation to and from the dock
  • Personal expenses while at port

Pangaea is well aware that educators work within a limited budget, and have reduced the price of the expedition by 30% to accommodate this situation.
To lessen the burden on your budget even further, educators are encouraged to find personal sponsorship for the expedition, should they need additional finances to attend. To learn more about personal fundraising for your adventure, please check out:
Many of our previous crew have been able to completely or partially fund their expedition through the gracious donations of their friends, community and local businesses.
Some teachers may be able to contribute professional development funding towards the course. There are also grants that may be available for this kind of opportunity.

For more information, please visit:


Requirements for Educators

The programming for educators on board will be informal, but guided. Based on your personal interests, we will tailor the programming to what you would like to discuss with your fellow educators.

We would like to ask educators to also come prepared with discussion topics, lesson plans and activity ideas that they can share with fellow educators. These topics should be related to marine science, plastic pollution and debris, sailing or nautical career development, or bringing sustainable behaviors into the classroom.

We have a TV and seating area for students that can be used for lectures, or to show slides, films, or other educational material. If you would like to prepare a lecture for the group, please bring along a laptop or USB card with your materials so that we can display it on our TV screen.

Each participant should come prepared with materials to share with the group. Please let us know in advance what topic you will be sharing by emailing the Expedition Coordinator, Asta Mail, at


[tab title=”Itinerary”]

August 18: Our guest crew will join the Sea Dragon in Chicago at Burnham Harbor at 4PM local time. After an introduction to the boat and an afternoon to settle in, Captain Eric Loss and Frist Mate Shanley McEntee will give crew a briefing on the expedition, and guide them through the basics of life on a boat. The boat will be prepared for its journey, and the evening will be spent at port. The Sea Dragon will begin its journey at first light the following day.

August 19: Sea Dragon will set sail early, and begin its journey North. Crew will begin their sail training, and a watch schedule will be established. Dr. Lorena Rios Mendoza, our resident plastics pollution expert, will provide a lecture on the research being collected on board, and research methodologies will be explained.

August 20: Sea Dragon will sail toward Beaver Island, Michigan. In the evening, educators will have the opportunity to present their lesson ideas and discuss which aspects of freshwater research will work in the classroom.

August 21: Sea Dragon will arrive at port in Beaver Island, Michigan, and spend the day exploring the Beaver Island Research Station. After a tour of the research facilities the crew will spend the afternoon exploring the island before returning to the vessel for the evening.

August 22: Sea Dragon will resume sailing North toward the Strait of Mackinac. Students will learn how to navigate shallow channels, and Captain Eric Loss will lecture on how to navigate through boat traffic.

August 23: Sea Dragon will arrive at Mackinac Island, and the day will be spent on shore eating fudge, enjoying the scenery and exploring the island.

August 24: Sea Dragon will depart Mackinac Island and travel through Lake Huron, towards Lake St. Clair. Teachers will have an opportunity to begin working on outreach activities, and work together to create innovative ideas for their upcoming year.

August 25: IYT Sail training will continue as the boat passes through Lake St. Clair en route to Windsor.

August 26: Sea Dragon will complete its final day of passage by sailing to Windsor, Ontario. After everyone on board has cleared Canadian customs, the IYT final exam will be given and a final celebratory dinner party will be held on shore. Guests are welcome to return home, or stay on board for the evening, and participate in our One Water Festival in Windsor the following day.

August 27: The Sea Dragon will host a One Water Festival event in Windsor, Ontario. Guest crew are welcome to participate in the festival, but it is not mandatory.


[tab title=”Why Join?”]

Pangaea is thrilled to provide this exciting sailing expedition through Lake Michigan and Huron. This expedition is open to anyone, but will be designed to incorporate the interests of educators and teachers at the elementary and high school level. There is something for everyone to enjoy on our 72′ sailing vessel, so if your partner, friends or family are interested in joining you, they are most certainly welcome.

There are many reasons why this experience with Pangaea is particularly valuable to educators. Some of these reasons include:

  • An opportunity to learn sailing skills and enjoy a real open ocean experience
  • Receive IYT sail certification
  • Gain knowledge first hand about the ocean, and how it relates to the freshwater ecosystems of the Great Lakes
  • Share teaching experiences with colleagues from throughout North America
  • Discuss important environmental issues with fellow educators, and design new approaches to tackling them in the classroom
  • Learn how ocean research is conducted, and take part in “Citizen Science” projects by helping to collect scientific data for researchers
  • See a part of the world you’ve never visited before, from the unique perspective of the sea
  • Contribute to the One Water Story multi-media project through film making, photography, writing, art, etc.
  • Have a fun, unique summer adventure that won’t break your wallet.


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All participants will require a valid passport to attend the expedition. The passport must be up to date, and must not expire before December, 2013. All crew will go through customs and immigration, and therefore must be prepared with photo identification, and a description of what they will be bringing to the country. Canadian citizens must go through customs upon their entrance to the United States, and again at the first port of call in Canada.

Crew from outside North America may need a traveler’s visa to enter Canada. For more information on visa requirements, please visit Canada’s Border Protection Agency website at:

You will also need to provide:

Warm clothing- dressing in layers in recommended.
Hat (1 warm, and 1 brimmed)
Any required medication
Sea sickness remedies (if needed)
Bathing suit and towel
Camera or video camera (not mandatory)
Notebook, pen, or note taking equipment
Good quality deck shoes (rubber soled, non marking)
Spending money for time at port
An adventurous attitude

Please NoteNo alcohol or cigarette consumption is allowed on board while at sea.


Please let us know if you have any particular dietary restrictions. We will do our best to provide meals that suit your particular needs.

[tab title=”What to Expect”]

Taking part in this expedition means that you will become a working member of Sea Dragon’s crew. You will be expected to take part in the daily activities of the boat, including:

  • Being at the helm to steer the boat and direct navigation
  • Participating in night watches while under sail
  • Preparing communal meals and keeping the boat in working condition
  • Raising and lowering sails
  • Taking part in data collection and research techniques
  • Being involved in group discussions, lessons, and programs
  • Speaking with the public at the One Water Festival outreach event.
  • Training and instruction will be provided to help you ease into life at sea. Once accustomed to the daily patterns, most crew enjoy the simple and relaxing schedule of life on the water.


This expedition will be conducted on the open water. Our vessel is extremely sturdy, and designed to go upwind comfortably and competently. However, being on the sea does come with certain conditions that you may not be used to.

Many people experience sea sickness at some time or another while at sea. This feeling is unpleasant, but usually passes once your body acclimates to the sensation of motion. To prepare yourself for this situation, it is advised to bring along a non-drowsy sea sickness medication. The best course of action to prevent sea sickness is to spend as much time as possible on deck, and focus your mind on daily activities, so that you do not become pre-occupied with the feeling of being ill.
Pangaea’s main aim is to provide you with an exciting and engaging sailing experience. If there is anything we can do to make your experience better, please let us know.


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