South Atlantic Gyre | Brazil to Ascension Island

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Aug 27 – Sep 23, 2010

Depart: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Arrive: Recife, Brazil
Length: 28 days
Focus: Plastic Pollution with 5 Gyres



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Just 8 degrees south of the Equator and straddling the mid-Atlantic ridge, Ascension Island is one of the most remote landmasses in the world. Until recently tourism was not supported on the island which is home principally to support teams for a host of tracking stations. Ascension is known for its annual migration of nesting Green sea turtles- arriving from January to July each year. The island has exceptionally clear water and a rugged coastline with its volcanic past. As a mid-ocean outpost it is an important refuge for more than just turtles. Sea Dragon will be using it as a stopping point for an important expedition to the South Atlantic Ocean. In support of the ongoing 5-Gyres marine plastic work, a team will sail from Rio de Janeiro Brazil to Ascension, and then following the Trade Winds into Recife Brazil.  This will create an important early look at some of the suspected plastic accumulation areas in the South Atlantic. The crew will also continue ongoing work on ocean acidification and marine toxins enroute. Once on Ascencion, the plan will be to dive, hike and meet with local conservationists. This will be a fascinating look at an isolated oceanic habitat – and one that will help build our understanding of marine conservation issues. Arriving in Recife, there crew will be able to remain aboard and participate in the annual Recife-Fernando de Noronha Regatta. This trip is also an excellent opportunity to build sailing skills with our two RYA Yachtmaster professional crew.

This trip is now underway – Meet the team!


The trip is connecting to the Regatta on 25 September. The trip out is a a 12 day run from Rio. The team will spend several days on and around the island before heading back to Brazil. The return trip will take 5 days- benefiting from the prevailing easterly Trade Winds. Passengers must secure a visitors permit in advance, and have proof of medical insurance. Those wishing to make a shorter trip can arrange alternative transport out via either

Charter flights operated for the RAF out of Brize Norton, UK

Passage on the Royal Mail Ship Saint Helena – one of the last remaining classic ocean mail and cargo vessls. The Saint Helena operates between Portland UK and several of the South Atlantic Islands, stopping in Cape Town.

For detailed information on visiting the island please see Visiting Ascension Island

Trip Type: Research Expedition and Adventure Sail

Crew Complement: Science and up to 10 guest crew

Trip Duration: approximately 28 Days

Departure Date: 27 August

Cost per crew: $4350 including all ship-board meals

This trip carries a minimum passenger requirement of six