ONE BOAT, 13 MONTHS, 12 COUNTRIES, ONE GIGANTIC ISLAND;
Friday, May 29, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
FOR INFORMATION CONTACT: Dan McConnell 206-819-9211
SEATTLE-When the 64-foot sailboat, Ocean Watch, leaves the dock in Seattle this Sunday, it will begin a momentous voyage called Around the Americas-a 25,000 mile clockwise circumnavigation of the North and South American continents. The scientifically-equipped sailboat with scientists and educators on board during various legs of the voyage, will make 31 stopovers in 13 months to draw attention to the changing condition of the oceans.
This is a project that has been three years in the making. A consortium has been formed to make the public more aware of the plight of our Oceans. The founding partners are Pacific Science Center, a nationally-recognized leader in informal science and environmental education, and Sailors for the Sea, a non-profit organization that educates and empowers the boating community to protect and restore our oceans and coastal waters. They have joined in this undertaking with Captain Mark Schrader, a world-record-holding, solo circumnavigator and ocean race director, and his experienced, professional crew of three talented sailors, who have all been long-time supporters of ocean conservation.
After leaving Puget Sound, Ocean Watch will head north and make its first international port-of-call in Victoria, British Columbia on Monday, June 1. One more day of provisioning will take place in Victoria after a welcoming ceremony and then on Wednesday, June 3 the voyage goes north toward the Northwest Passage.
David Rockefeller, Jr., co-founder of Sailors for the Sea, said, " This project is definitely an expedition for our times. The health of our oceans is important to all of us, not just those who live by the sea. Our food sources, our climate and even the air we breathe are dependent on the vast ocean systems. Around the Americas will demonstrate both the current deterioration of the ocean condition and what we as individuals can do to reverse or at least slow the negative effects."
The science education component of this project is being led by the Pacific Science Center. Bryce Seidl, president of Pacific Science Center stated, "We have put together a very strong coalition of scientists and educators to ensure the success of this project. The University of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory; the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, RMR Co., MIT Sea Grant College Program and the NASA Student Cloud Observations On-Line are all internationally recognized for their leadership in the fields of polar science, oceanography, atmospheric sciences and climate research. We have a great team!"
A major funder of Around the Americas is The Tiffany & Co. Foundation. Fernanda Kellogg, President, remarked "The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, since inception, has had a focus on marine conservation, specifically coral, an d the Around the Americas program promotes awareness and education of the importance of healthy coral reefs."
The Around the Americas website www.aroundtheamericas.org will be the primary means of communication from Ocean Watch. Daily crew reports, photographs, video and satellite telephones, along with a tracking program from iBoat that updates the boat’s position every two hours, will provide the world access to the science and educational adventures of Ocean Watch during the coming year.
Fact Sheet follows and Stopover schedule is attached.
Around the Americas 2009-2010
What: The first continuous 25,000 mile clockwise circumnavigation of North and South American continents. The 64-foot steel-hulled sail boat, Ocean Watch, will use science-driven, on-the-water activities and education materials to draw attention to the changing condition of the oceans.
Who: Permanent crew of four including:
Captain Mark Schrader, 62, Stanwood, WA, world record holder for 1st American single-handed circumnavigation of the world via the five Southern Capes and ocean race director;
First Mate David Logan, 60, Seattle, WA, veteran ocean cruising and racing sailor and skilled boat refit manager;
Watch Captain and correspondent Herb McCormick, 53, Newport, RI, former editor of Cruising World magazine and sailing correspondent/sportswriter for the New York Times. Veteran ocean racer;
Watch Captain and photographer David Thoreson, 49, Okoboji, IA, sailed below the Antarctic Circle, twice above the Arctic
Circle, three Atlantic crossings; the first American sailor in history to transit the Northwest Passage east to west, photographer and documentarian
Others aboard: A scientist; an educator and two media/VIPs, all of whom will come and go at various pre-arranged ports
When: Departing Seattle, May 31, 2009 and returning in July, 2010 after making 31 stopovers in 12 countries.
Where: Going north from Seattle through the Northwest Passage, down the east coast of North and South America, rounding Cape Horn and returning to Seattle
Why: The mission of the Around the Americas project is to utilize this unusual adventure to engage and educate citizens in North and South America about ocean-health issues.
Major Underwriters: The Tiffany & Co. Foundation; the Rockefeller family; the Osberg Family Trust; and James Bishop
Additional Supporters: Charles Butt, Edmund B. Cabot, The Campbell Foundation, John Castle, Jim & Dee Claypool, the Ettinger Foundation, the Herbert Hoover Foundation and Vantage in Philanthropy
Managing Partners: Pacific Science Center, a nationally-recognized leader in informal science and environmental education, www.pacsci.org and Sailors for the Sea, a non-profit organization that educates and empowers the boating community to protect and restore our oceans and coastal waters,www.sailorsforthesea.org .
Science Collaborators: University of Washington Applied Physics Lab, the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean, RMR Co., MIT Sea Grant College Program, the Office of Naval Research, and NASA Student Cloud Observations On-Line.
Communications Provider: Iridium/Stratos Satellite Communications
Art Project: Dale Chihuly, world renown artist
Documentarian: Laszlo Pal, Pal Productions, award-winning adventure documentary producer-director
Official Suppliers: Bainbridge Sailcloth/Port Townsend Sails; Blue Seas Electrical; Euro Marine Trading; Fisheries Supply; Freeborn Concepts LLC; Hatton Marine; Helly Hansen; Iridium/Stratos Satcom; Jeppesen Marine; Lewmar; Logan Services; Miller & Miller Marine; Northern Lights/Lugger Marine; Navionics; Northwest Rigging; O’Mega Graphics; Outdoor Research; Raymarine Instruments; Remote Satellite Systems; Samson Rope; Seaview East Boatyard; SSI; Stratos Satellite Communications; Sure Marine/Webasto; Swedish Hospital – Ballard; Vi Jean Reno; and Winslow Life Raft Company.