Why are they taking part in the Blue Planet Odyssey

From the very moment the Blue Planet Odyssey was launched at the end of 2012, what has always stood out are the reasons sailors have given for wanting to take part in this event.

Topping the list have been a real concern for the environment and a desire to give something back to the remote communities we sail to – which just goes to show that sailors have understood very well the ethos which underpins this unique event.

See also: the complete list of confirmed participants.

John & Linda Andrews
S/V Suilven
Benjamin Ridle &
Joseph Richardson

S/V Whirlwind
Octaaf & Alma Bulterys
S/V Living for Wind
The Smart family
S/V Khujada 2
Robert &
Andrea Schwamberg

S/V Strangetrader
Eric & Patricia Franguel
S/V Gemeaux
Pablo Aguilera
S/V Odyssea
Jimmy Cornell
S/V Aventura IV
Lou & Trish Reynolds
S/V FarAway
Terry & Dena Singh
S/V Libby
Dick Bower
S/V Gusto
Richard Lednicky
& Andrea Van Hoven

S/V Imagine
Bill Hickson, Tim Liveright and Zeke Holland
S/V No Regrets
Phil Goymour
S/V Pearl Fisher
Tim & Ceci King
S/V Ransom
Bill & Laurey Stanley
S/V UrsaMajor
Manuela Bachmann
& Dani Amman

S/V Frangimaran

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John and Linda Andrews were among the very first to join, and got in touch wanting to sail the northern route before we had even officially launched the Blue Planet Odyssey.

UK based and sailing on Suilven, an Oyster 47, they are already experienced sailors, having most recently sailed the Beagle Channel and cruised extensively in the Caribbean, Atlantic and east coast of South America.

They are planning to join in Bergen and sail the Northwest Passage to Vancouver.

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Choosing the southern route are Benjamin Riddle and Joseph Richardson from California in their 50 foot German Frers Whirlwind.

Benjamin should receive the laurel for being our most enthusiastic participant so far, writing:

We are incredibly excited about this, it comes at the perfect time in our lives. This event is my dream come true…I have told people my entire life that I wanted to sail the world and couple that with a higher purpose. And this is truly it. I would love to help this cause both by being a participant and by helping to raise awareness both of the event and of its aim.

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Also sailing the southern route, with a plan to take the start from Cape Town, are Octaaf and Alma Bulterys.
Octaaf is about to take his retirement and has given a good deal of thought about the most suitable boat to sail in the Odyssey. Alma suffers from seasickness so an early choice was to go for a multihull, eventually opting for a Leopard 48 catamaran called Living for Wind.

Octaaf writes that he decided to join the Blue Planet Odyssey because he has been dreaming for a long time about sailing around the world with nature’s powers, being as carbon neutral as possible.

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The Smart family from the UK are one of several families with children.
Julian is British, Albane is French and they have three children; Hugo 10, James 9 and Daisy 6. Albane writes,

We are very excited by the whole project and we are kitting up our boat for the long voyage. We hope that several other families will join the Blue Planet Odyssey, so it would make the experience even more unforgettable for the children!! Our children are quite excited by the whole concept and understand why we are joining. We are happy to share notes and ideas with other families on preparations and getting ready. We hope to see you on the water!

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From the other side of the globe are Robert and Andrea Schwamberg.
Robert and Andrea live in Byron Bay, Australia, and for the last four years have spent their summers sailing in the Mediterranean.
“A very exciting project and worthwhile cause” is how Robert has described the Blue Planet Odyssey.

We are now starting to look at commencing a circumnavigation, and the Blue Planet Odyssey seems perfect for us as our boat is in France at the moment and we will be cruising Spain and the Balearics this year. Andrea has yet to experience blue water cruising so we are looking for an experienced sailing couple that do not have a vessel to join with us and share some expenses.

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Eric and Patricia Frangeul will sail their Fountain-Pajot 44 catamaran Gemeaux along the southern route of the Odyssey.
They plan to start in the Canary Islands and finish either in the Mediterranean or back in their home port of Concarneau in Brittany.

Eric explained that he wanted to join the Odyssey because he “had been looking for an event of this kind for a long time.”
So much so, that he was the very first to pay the registration fee.

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Pablo Aguilera first learned about the Blue Planet Odyssey at a presentation given by Jimmy Cornell at the SSCA Gam in Melbourne, Florida last December.

I was immediately hooked. I made the commitment right there and then to become a participant and to assist Jimmy in any way that I could since the climate change theme of the rally is so critically important and timely. This will fulfill my dream for a circumnavigation and I can’t think of a better reason for doing so!

With my ocean engineering background and being located close to the University of Miami’s Rosentiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, I decided to see how the program goals of the rally could be developed. Jimmy and I met with graduate students to explore the feasibility of setting up monitoring instruments to record marine, atmospheric and possibly ambient sound data while the vessels are in transit. I certainly look forward to participating in some of these programs.

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For Jimmy Cornell, the opportunity to face the challenges of the Northwest Passage proved irresistible, so he commissioned a new Aventura from a leading French boatyard.

Aventura IV will be the embodiment of all that I have learnt in four decades of cruising; a safe, comfortable, functional and fast yacht perfectly suited for both the tropics and high latitude sailing, a proper expedition boat. Having searched all my life for the ideal cruising boat, I believe that Aventura IV will come as close as possible to that ideal.

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Lou and Trish Reynolds have a combined 30 years of sailing experience in the Pacific Northwest.
They left Seattle in October 2012 to make The Big LeftTurn. They are currently living aboard FarAway in Ensenada, Mexico.
In October 2013 they will explore more of Mexico and Central America and will meet up with the Blue Planet Odyssey in September 2014 on the west side of the Panama Canal.

Our cruising plans originally included the South Pacific, Southeast Asia and the Mediterranean. When we read about the Blue Planet Odyssey and the purpose of the event it sounded like a perfect fit. The thought of being able to give something back to those in need by sharing our skills and talents would just enhance our cruising experience that much more. Trish is a nurse practitioner and I am a data/systems engineer and with our combined skills we hope to contribute to the communities we visit.

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Also joining in Panama will be Terry and Dena Singh, who plan to leave San Diego in the fall of 2014.
Their Amel Super Maramu Libby is their third cruising sailboat and they have already logged many miles sailing down the west coast of North America and Mexico before returning to their homeport San Diego.

We are now busy getting Libby and our lives ready for a life away from the dock. We are wrapping up work and everything else that goes with the transition from North American culture into the cruising world. We are lining up 1-2 schools now for the education portion of our commitment and are so excited to see what this endeavor will bring to the lives of so many children all over the world. On the side, we are also studying how to produce a documentary of this trip as we are deeply into photography and both of us come from the video technology industry (a.k.a. cable television). This kind of project is a culmination of our lives and careers. We are looking forward to everything the Odyssey has in store for each of us, especially creating new friendships with everyone involved in the Blue Planet Odyssey.

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One of the five yachts taking the Northern Route from London is Dick Bower’s Gusto, pictured here on Penobscot Bay in Maine.

Here I am with my son Billy and his friend Jenny. They’ve graduated from medical school so I am free to retire from orthopedic surgery and join the Blue Planet Odyssey. I am looking forward to it very much, and also finding an adventurous lady who would like to come along.

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Starting from New York will be Richard Lednicky and Andrea Van Hoven on their Beneteau First 47 Imagine.
They both have been sailing for over 40 years on the Eastern Seaboard and in the Caribbean and have a wide range of qualifications, both academic and nautical.

Currently, we live and work at Shelburne Farms in Vermont. Shelburne Farms is a non-profit education organization whose mission is to cultivate a conservation ethic for a sustainable future. The campus is a 1,400-acre working farm and National Historic Landmark. We care about the sustainability and quality of life on earth and about young people having hope for the future.

We were planning to move to our boat in May of 2014 to sail around the world. After reading about Blue Planet Odyssey, we realized what a perfect fit it was for our values. We will also involve our local schools which encompass one high school and four elementary and four middle schools. We are also very excited about collecting the scientific data and helping the communities we visit in whatever capacity needed.

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Bill Hickson, Tim Liveright and Zeke Holland formed a boat partnership to purchase No Regrets and plan to merge their combined 75 years of sailing experience into honing the yacht to the sharpest edge possible.

A magical bit of synchrony brought us together and culminated in our registering for the BPO. Remarkable were the facts that we had never met, that we lived in different parts of the US, had a fascination for the same catamaran model (the Chris White designed Atlantic 42), had circumnavigation on our bucket lists and… were looking for partners to share these nautical interests. I guess we could say the BPO was the glue, the icing on the cake that made our partnership finally happen. Our additional life long commitment to progressive social and environmental causes has found the perfect compliment to our sailing passion. We are almost beside ourselves knowing that we will have the opportunity of contributing to such a worthwhile mission, which may just shake a few folks loose from their complacent non-activist moorings. In this respect we have begun to draft plans for alerting our communities of the BPO and our involvement.

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Phil Goymour is still undecided where he will join the Blue Planet Odyssey.
He has sailed some 6000 miles since he purchased Pearl Fisher in 2006.

I used to be an electronic engineer. I sold my business in 1998 and emigrated with my wife and son from the UK to Sydney. The business designed and built offshore survey instruments to determine the nature of sea-bed, depth of pipelines and so on. So I spent much time offshore during my business life, but only learnt to sail in 2000. My electronic skills have long since expired, but I still love practical tasks, fixing & building anything.

Especially close to my heart will be to seek the opportunity to enhance the life of children in some small way, by improving medical or educational facilities or simply by improving home infrastructure such as sanitation or irrigation. I hope to be able to bring enthusiasm, energy, suggestions, basic IT skills and shovel-wielding.

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Tim and Ceci King will be sailing Ransom, their 39 year old Hinckley 49’along the Southern Route starting from Norfolk, Virginia and ending up who knows where?

This is the opportunity of a lifetime that many sailors will never have a chance at. Aside from the adventure of it all, raising awareness for how disrespectfully we are treating our oceans (among other natural assets) is important to us. Mother Nature is not pleased. We can’t wait to get started.Thankfully, we have a year to get ourselves and Ransom ready. P.S. As the Scottish are fond of saying, “Be happy while you are living, for you are a long time dead.

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Starting in Miami will be Bill and Laurey Stanley on Ursa Major.
Bill started cruising at the age of 7 with a boat he built himself out of an old door and a few scraps of lumber, while Laurey grew up in Iowa and did not see the ocean until she was in college.

We plan to spend our retirement cruising as long as we can and then a little more.We have cruised the U.S east coast from Key West to Long Island Sound, with the majority of our experience in the Chesapeake Bay. Circumnavigation had been a thought, but not a serious one until we heard about the Blue Planet Odyssey. What an opportunity and for such a meaningful cause! We hope to bring our passion and some useful skills to this event. We are so looking forward to this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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Manuela Bachmann and  Dani Amman will take on the Blue Planet Odyssey challenge with their sailing vessel Frangimaran, a Lagoon 52, which is currently under construction in Bordeaux.

Both of us were very excited when we first stumbled across the Blue Planet Odyssey project. The unique combination of sailing the seven seas and sailing for a higher purpose is a very exciting endeavor. Both of us always felt the desire to become Globetrotters someday, but we never thought it would happen that soon. We like the idea of visiting fascinating places and marvel about the amazing diversity of nature, meeting foreign cultures and receiving an insight in their everyday life.

Although we are toddlers in terms of blue water sailing, we are investing a lot of time and effort in our nautical education to gather the best possible preparation for this event. We will have a team of professionals assisting us on behalf of Segel Sport Resch based in South Germany.

Axel Silgmann will be the first skipper in charge of Frangimaran. Since Frangimaran is not exactly a singlehanded sailing boat, we would like to invite interested sailors and volunteers to join us on their favorite passages and give them the chance to enjoy the family experience of the Blue Planet Odyssey in exchange for a helping hand.”