Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Around The America's Expedition Sets Sail
Another very cool expedition got underway on May 31st, when the crew of the Ocean Watch, a 64-foot sailing ship, set out from Seattle on an expedition to sail completely around North and South America.
Dubbed the Around the Americas expedition, the journey is expected to take roughly 13 months to complete. The crew of four, that includes Mark Schrader, Herb McCormick, David Thoreson, and David Logan, set out from Seattle, and are currently sailing along the Aleutian Islands off the coast of Alaska. The plan is to continue going north and at the height of summer, navigate through the fabled Nortwest Passage, which will deposit them out into the icy waters of the Arctic Ocean, before turning south to sail the length of the North and South America, before making the turn at Cape Horn, and heading north again to Seattle.
The team hopes to take scientific readings along the way to help gauge the effects of global climate change on the oceans, as well as the creatures that live in them. They also hope to promote environmental education in regards to marine life and will be creating classroom curriculum along the way as well.
This is the type of expedition that wouldn't have even been possible not all that long ago. The Northwest Passage being open to traffic is a result of global climate change, although navigating through the passage in such a relatively small boat will still be a challenge. The crew hopes to reach Barrow, Alaska in July, and even then they'll have to wait and watch for their opportunity to set sail through the 1000 miles of treacherous water lined with icebergs of all shapes and sizes. I'll check back in with them from time to time to see how they are progressing, especially over the next few months while they sail through the Passage itself. None of us will be all that worried for them while they are sailing the Caribbean for some reason.
Thanks to Wide World for the tip on this one. You guys are quickly becoming one of my favorite sites! :)