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Regan Communications Group
Sailing East to West Around Cape Horn, Around the Americas Marks a Thrilling Milestone on its Mission to Inspire, Educate and Engage Citizens of the Americas to Protect Our Fragile Oceans
BOSTON, MA (January 27, 2010) – Around the Americas today announced an extraordinary milestone on its 25,000 mile sailing circumnavigation of the American continents – it has successfully rounded Cape Horn, South America. Around the Americas was launched by Sailors for the Sea, which was founded in 2004 by David Rockefeller, Jr., and in partnership with Pacific Science Center, with a mission of inspiring, educating and engaging the citizens of the Americas to protect our fragile oceans. The steel-hulled, 64-foot sailing vessel (S/V) Ocean Watch has a full-time crew of four, including a photographer and journalist. While traveling around Cape Horn, they grew to a crew of eight, consisting of the four permanent crew members plus David Rockefeller, Jr., David Treadway, Ned Cabot and Horacio Rosell, all of whom joined the expedition as it sailed from the Falkland Islands, U.K. to Puerto Williams, Chile and continues on its voyage to Puerto Montt, Chile.
“The Horn has been called ‘the Mount Everest of sailing,’ which is not an exaggeration,” said Watch Captain Herb McCormick, who is one of the four permanent crew members on S/V Ocean Watch along with Captain Mark Schrader, Watch Caption, Photographer and Journalist David Thoreson and First Mate David Logan. “The history, lore, adventure and challenge of rounding Cape Horn is rich and enduring. We’ve been preparing for these weeks since we left Seattle at the start of the expedition last May. The power of the ocean around Cape Horn is raw and incredible. The weather is changeable and awesome. As sailors, this is what we live for. We all feel incredibly privileged and excited.”
Weather forecasts from a variety of sources for the Beagle Channel, a 150-nautical mile waterway that links the Atlantic Ocean to the east with the Pacific Ocean to the west and the surrounding areas, all agreed that the afternoon of January 23rd may have been the only time in two weeks when rounding the Horn from east to west was actually going to be possible. “S/V Ocean Watch is one of only 100 boats in 100 years to have successfully traveled through the Northwest Passage and now Ocean Watch and those of us involved with the Around the Americas expedition are proud to announce the sail around Cape Horn – two simply remarkable feats for any vessel, but particularly for a sailing vessel,” said David Rockefeller, Jr. “It truly was a thrilling feeling when my fellow mates from Sailors for the Sea, David Treadway and Ned Cabot, and I each took turns at the helm. It’s not every day you sail around the Horn,” he added.
There have been several discoveries and observations made during the expedition as well as scientific data that has and will continue to be collected, and then comprehensively evaluated at the end of the voyage. Examples of both are as follows.
Discoveries and observations, to date, include:
- Sea ice is melting
- Ships are passing through the Arctic waters as never before
- Increased bear population on Cooper Island, Alaska
- Farmed fish have now surpassed wild caught fish as a source of human protein
- Extreme ocean acidification, particularly in the Arctic, which threatens the viability of ocean life
- Abundance of jelly fish
- Aerosol plum and coccolithophore bloom off Patagonia
Scientific Research Programs that are in progress throughout the expedition include:
o Meteorological Studies
o Jellyfish Survey
o Arctic Buoy Deployment
o Solar Reflection Study
o Underwater Sounds
o Water Quality Measurements in Port
o Cloud Observations
For more information about Around the Americas, including photos and the current whereabouts of the sailboat, please visit www.AroundtheAmericas.org, become a fan on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/AroundtheAmericas or follow the expedition on Twitter at AroundAmericas.
About Around the Americas
Around the Americas is a 25,000 mile sailing circumnavigation of the American continents with the mission of inspiring, educating and engaging the citizens of the Americas to protect our fragile oceans. Around the Americas was launched by Sailors for the Sea, which was founded in 2004 by David Rockefeller, Jr. with a mission to engage the boating community to help protect our endangered oceans. The expedition is collaboration among Sailors for the Sea, Pacific Science Center, a Seattle-based not-for-profit science foundation, and renowned ocean sailor Mark Schrader, who has twice before sailed around the world by himself.
The Around the Americas sailboat, Ocean Watch, embarked on the expedition from Seattle in May 2009 and has successfully sailed through the Northwest Passage, is continuing down the east coast, around Cape Horn and up the west coast returning finally to Seattle in June 2010. It will visit approximately 40 ports along its journey.
North and South America are continent-islands surrounded by a large, complex and fragile ocean environment. The ocean is changing: fish stocks and other marine creatures are vanishing; coral is suffering, ph levels are changing, and the melting of the Arctic and Antarctic ice is raising the sea level and threatening low lying areas. Our ocean is at risk.
About the Sailboat, Ocean Watch
The steel-hulled, 64-foot sailing vessel Ocean Watch has a full-time crew of four, including a photojournalist. Throughout the expedition, a Pacific Science Center educator will be on board to facilitate education activities. In addition, ocean and atmospheric scientists will join different legs of the expedition to conduct research on board Ocean Watch. Activities at approximately 40 scheduled ports-of-call will engage the public in hands-on exhibits, didactic displays and public talks about ocean health.
About Sailors for the Sea
The nonprofit organization Sailors for the Sea (SfS) educates and empowers the boating community to protect and restore our oceans and coastal waters. As a direct result of his work on the Pew Oceans Commission, SfS was founded by David Rockefeller, Jr. to galvanize the sailing and boating community around ocean health issues.
Sailors for the Sea works with many organizations to leverage the effectiveness of our projects and programs – this includes the 2009 release of a powerful new documentary film co-sponsored by SfS entitled A Sea Change, which focuses on ocean acidification. Sailors for the Sea is also a co-supporter of the Around the Americas expedition, which is circumnavigating North and South America by sail to raise awareness of ocean conservation issues.
Additionally, Sailors for the Sea has three core programs – the nationwide Clean Regattas program assists and certifies yacht clubs and regatta organizers as providing clean events that minimize impacts upon our oceans. The web-based Ocean Watch program provides essays on current ocean conservation issues as well as resources for further information and engagement with stewardship activities. SfS is developing the strategic plan for the Certified Sea Friendly program which will create a voluntary, LEED-style certification program to transform the marine manufacturing industry and make the construction, maintenance and operation of vessels more environmentally friendly.
To learn more and join Sailors for the Sea, please visit: www.sailorsforthesea.org.
About Pacific Science Center
Pacific Science Center, a not-for-profit institution in Seattle, Washington, is a nationally recognized leader in informal science education. The Science Center’s flagship facility serves a million guests each year with exhibits, IMAX films, planetarium and laser shows, programs and events for all ages. Pacific Science Center has expertise in curriculum development and informal (non classroom-based) education, much of which is available for bilingual audiences. Through the van based Science On Wheels education program, Pacific Science Center brings engaging, hands-on activities to schools and communities throughout the Pacific Northwest. These capabilities, combined with the Science Center’s strong connections with the atmospheric and oceanographic research communities, make it uniquely well-suited for partnering in the Around the Americas venture.