This is the time of year when the Bay Area gets visited by many sailors heading north to south. We sailed with one of those visitors on Saturday aboard the 72-ft cutter Sea Dragon. When you jump aboard a big boat in the midst of circling the oceans, the Bay can begin to feel a little small. Then, when you meet captain, crew and guests the world suddenly, dramatically expands again.
The Sea Dragon is in the Bay Area for a few days to exchange crew and host some of the organizations that utilize the boat as part of their ocean research programs. Captain Eric Loss and his wife Shanley run an easy-going and well-managed operation aboard a very well-maintained boat with hundreds of thousands of miles under her keel and many fascinating stories to tell.
All the crew and guests were committed ocean patrons inspired to help understand and solve many of the challenges faced by the world’s oceans. Orestis is a Bay Area sailor building small imaging satellites, which, among many things, can help track the health of coral reefs from space. Stiv lives aboard a Catalina 30 in Berkeley, but has sailed 30,000 miles with the Sea Dragon as part of the 5 Gyres ocean plastics campaign, and now works ‘upstream’ with ‘The Story of Stuff‘. Katie has worked aboard numerous boats, has also sailed many miles with Sea Dragon, and now lives aboard an Islander 30 in Sausalito while doing science communications with the California Academy of Sciences. Another associate Christina, who’s a diver and was out for her first sail, is helping to study coral reefs.
While talking to Eric, we learned a bit more about his solo, one-stop circumnavigation from Southern California aboard an Islander 36, and how he and Shanley spend their ‘leisure time’. Last summer, that included sailing their 42-ft aluminum sloop Fleur Australe to Greenland. Needless to say, there’s more to tell. We’ve also left out Vicky, who does shark research, and Mary, who’s earned her PhD looking at toxins and marine mammals. We’ll have more about these fantastic people in our October issue.
In the meantime, if you want to learn more, you can hear Eric and Shanley speak at the Spaulding Marine Center this Wednesday, August 29. We love connecting with all the sailors who are ‘passing through’ so, if you’re on your way south, drop us a note and let us know when you’re in the Bay. Or even better, stop by our Crew List party next week in Sausalito. There’s nothing more interesting than connecting with sailors on sailboats.