Itâ€™s a busy and exciting time of year for our campaigners on the water -- and for those of us who get to see the photos and videos of the incredible marine life and habitats that they send back to land.
As you know if youâ€™ve been following the blog for the past week or so, we have a team off the coast of Oregon right now exploring important ecological areas. And today, our team in Europe is launching its seventh annual summer expedition.
This year the Oceana catamaran, Ranger, will sail for two months through the western Mediterranean and the Atlantic to study seamounts and sea canyons, ocean environments that are rich in biodiversity but relatively unexplored due to their depth and complex terrains. Thatâ€™s where our scientists, divers and underwater robot (ROV) come in.
In one of the most exciting aspects of this yearâ€™s expedition, Oceana will collaborate with Portuguese government officials and scientists to investigate the Gorringe Bank, a little-explored seamount and an oasis of biodiversity southwest of Portugal. Oceana last surveyed these waters in 2005, but this time around, using the ROV, the team will be exploring and documenting areas more than 2,500 feet -- thatâ€™s about half a mile! -- below the surface of the ocean.
The ROV will record high-resolution videos and photos, which will ultimately be used to propose the creation of marine protected areas and other conservation measures.
We canâ€™t wait to see what our teams find in the oceanâ€™s depths. Weâ€™ll keep you updated as the journey progresses!
Almost a year ago we told you about Oceana supporters Neville and Catherine Hockley, who for the past four years have been circumnavigating the globe on Dream Time, their 38 foot sailboat. They left behind their lives on land to pursue their passion â€“ exploring the world by sea.
So far they have sailed a whopping 16,000 nautical mile and done some incredible things: theyâ€™ve swum with humpback whales in Niue, free-dived with giant manta rays in Fiji, and visited the enchanted islands of the Galapagos. The couple also writes articles about their travels, and the proceeds go towards Oceanaâ€™s work to protect the oceans.
They shared with us some of the thousands of gorgeous photos they have taken, and we wanted to share them with you too:
Last night a few of us here in New York attended the ninth annual Green Drinks NYC Holiday Party. We chatted with some passionate conservationists at the Oceana booth, and were treated to a presentation by special guest speaker, David de Rothschild.
As you probably know, earlier this year, de Rothschild sailed from San Francisco, California to Sydney, Australia, on the Plastiki, a 60-foot catamaran made out of 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles. He spoke to the crowd about the voyage and reflected on the problem of plastic pollution in our oceans.
Whatâ€™s your dream? Playing in the Super Bowl? Winning an Oscar? Sailing around the world?
If itâ€™s the last one, take a hint from Oceana supporters Catherine and Neville Hockley, and go for it.
The Hockleys met the boat of their dreams in 2000 and immediately began planning the journey of a lifetime. After seven years of preparation, they set sail for their epic adventure around the world. They are still at sea (currently in Fiji) and plan to remain on their global voyage forâ€¦well...as long as they want!
You may have read about the around-the-world Volvo Ocean Race on our OCYC blog, but here's a first for the race: as the NYT reported, the seven remaining yachts had to make a detour to go around a whale sanctuary near Boston this weekend. The boats, which can reach 30 mph, sailed around the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary and the North Atlantic right whales that are feeding in the area. Due to the boats' speed, a collision with a whale can be disastrous for both parties -- the animal may be killed and crew members could be thrown into rigging (that's the sailing apparatus, for all you non-sailors). Marine mammal collisions are increasingly a problem. Several sailors in the recent VendĂ©e Globe race sustained severe damage to their boats after hitting what they believed were marine mammals. And one sailor in the Artemis trans-Atlantic race last May had to abandon his boat after he reported striking a large sea mammal.