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Sailors and Scientists Work Together

In places like Papua New Guinea, where Oceanswatch is currently conducting conservation and education projects, sailors have to make do with what they have.

© 2008 Oceanswatch

"I have made four Pacific Puddle Jumps (2003, 2005, 2006 & 2007) and have wanted to find a way to help the islands I have visited on my passages," says Bob Bechler of the Gulfstar 44 Sisiutl. He found what he was looking for in a fledgling New Zealand-based organization called Oceanswatch.

Founded by professional yacht skipper Chris Bone, Oceanswatch is described as a rapidly growing network of sailors, divers, marine scientists and other marine and humanitarian activists focused on using its skills to help tackle the challenges of global warming, collapsing marine ecosystems and their effects on the coastal communities that they support.

More than simply a forum for discussion and networking, Oceanswatch will use sailing vessels and skilled yachtsmen to take volunteers, humanitarian aid workers, researchers and film-makers to the endangered marine ecosystems and struggling coastal communities on our planet. The group currently has projects in Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea, with future efforts being planned for Tonga and other South Pacific islands.

We encourage both active and armchair cruisers to check out the efforts of this well-intentioned group via the website (that’s oceans, with an ‘s’ and .org, not .com).

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At 58 feet, Neil Kaminer’s Tribute was about 15 feet longer than the average entry in last year’s Ha-Ha.