Friday, June 18, 2010

OCEAN WATCH: Seattle-area Sailors Complete First Circumnavigation Of The Americas


Courtesy of
 (N3) - A sailboat from Seattle will finish a history-making journey Thursday. The crew believes it's the first to circumnavigate the Americas, a feat made easier by arctic warming. KPLU's Tom Banse reports. 

Full story
Just over a year ago, a 64-foot steel hulled sailboat named the Ocean Watch and her four person crew left Seattle. They set course for Alaska and then sailed a big circle clockwise around North and South America. Previously, the barrier to such a trip has been the ice-packed Northwest Passage across the top of Canada. Arctic warming makes that more passable now. Captain Mark Schrader says he's ready to trade the blue of the ocean for the green of his small farm north of Seattle. 

Mark Schrader: "It's the end of the voyage, a completion of something that we don't think anyone else has ever done -- not that that is terribly important. But we've had the most amazing opportunity to talk to people at both ends of the world and everybody in between." 

Schrader explains the adventure had a larger purpose, to raise awareness of threats to ocean health. He says he was particularly discouraged by the amount of trash and plastic debris in the Pacific, which he says could so easily be prevented with just a little care and consideration. I'm Tom Banse in Olympia.

More Information

Event: Flotilla welcoming and shoreside arrival ceremony 
Details: The Ocean Watch crew returns to Seattle after a 28,000 nm circumnavigation of the American continents. Free and open to the public. Preceding the shoreside ceremony boat owners are welcome to join the homecoming flotilla which will include a Seattle Fire Department fireboat. Contact with questions. 
Date: Thursday, June 17th, 11:30 am - 12:30 pm 
Location: Shilshole Bay Marina Plaza (adjacent to the marina offices and I dock), 7001 Seaview Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98117 

Event: Dockside open house 
Details: Meet the crew, tour S/V Ocean Watch, learn about onboard research and participate in hands-on marine science activities led by the Around the Americas Education Team from the Pacific Science Center. All ages welcome, no cost to attend. 
Date: Sunday, June 20th, 12:00 pm - 4:00 pm 
Location: Fisherman's Terminal Guest Dock, 3919 18th Ave W, Seattle, WA 98119 

Event: Public presentation featuring David Thoreson's images from throughout the Expedition 
Details: Led by Ocean Watch Captain Mark Schrader and Onboard Scientist Dr. Michael Reynolds. All ages welcome, no cost to attend. Seating is first come, first serve. Enter at main gates on the north side of the center starting at 6:30 pm. 
Date: Sunday, June 20th 
Time: 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm (doors open at 6:30 pm) 
Location: Pacific Science Center Eames IMAX Theater, 200 2nd Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109

Around the Americas Website

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