Science At Sea | Horta to Plymouth

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$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.



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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.



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Roger Guy – Skipper

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

Rayenne Hale – Guest Crew

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Rayenne hails from Southern California and will enter her fourth year at Niagara University upon return from this voyage on the Sea Dragon. She majors in Psychology with minors in Statistics, Sociology, and Philosophy. Pursuing a life of deep spiritual connection and mindfulness Rayenne enjoys prayer, reading, cooking, and poetry, exploring nature and actively engages in both indoor and outdoor athletics.

Caleb Bach – Guest Crew

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Caleb’s background is serving his community, church, and his family.
His main goal is to learn every aspect that is involved in sailing and becoming a valuable crew member on this expedition. Caleb hopes to begin the steps needed to attain whatever international sailing certifications that these nine thousand nautical miles will permit. With this lengthy trip away from campus and his family, he plans on becoming more independent and self-sufficient upon his return.

Damona Brown – Guest Crew

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Damona is an international student from The Bahamas currently studying Biology at Niagara University. She loves being in and around the water and is interested in learning more about the environment and ecology. Her goal aboard Sea Dragon is to learn as much as she can while having fun. Damona is very excited to learn how to sail the ship and snorkel.


Keanan Jenkins – Guest Crew

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Keanan is an avid swimmer, an ocean-lover, and a future engineer. As a sophomore at Arizona State studying chemical engineering, he plans to use his education to combat climate change. Believing our oceans are suffering the worst of its consequences, he cares deeply about being part of the intervention efforts. During his freshman year in college, Keanan took courses in naval architecture and marine engineering at an institute in New York. Keanan’s primary goal is to learn more about the problems our oceans face and what can be done to solve them. He is excited to explore the topics covered in this expedition and plan to apply this knowledge to his future career. Learning to sail has been a dream of his, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to start. Finally, Keanan loves seeing and learning about the ocean’s wildlife. He has swum with sharks and stingrays in the Bahamas and snorkeled with dolphins in Hawaii, and he wants more interaction with more of these amazing species.


Veronica Lindgren – Guest Crew

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A seasoned sailor, Veronica has previously taken her Sailing course, skipper La Gomera.  She can be found regularly sailing around the waters of her homeland Sweden. Having been born and raised by the sea in the Swedish arcepelago, Veronica is very at home on the water and  has seen for herself  how big the enviromental issues concerning our Seas and Oceans is. She joins Sea dragon on this voyage to get a better understanding of the cost of these problems, to marine life, and ecosystems and how and where differences can be made, now and in the future; hoping to take home some ideas to help tackle the issues in her local sailing grounds, the Baltic Sea.

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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.


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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: