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For those who like to add sci­en­tific learn­ing, en­vi­ron­men­tal re­search and ma­rine con­ser­va­tion ef­forts to their sail­ing, Pan­gaea Ex­plo­rations has much to of­fer. A 12-mem­ber mix of sci­en­tists, jour­nal­ists and sailors will teach you about the health of the world’s oceans as well as hands-on sail­ing skills. The trips vary from one to three weeks and take place on parts of the Caribbean, At­lantic and Pa­cific Oceans, from Ire­land to the Azores and Ber­muda to Hawaii via the Panama Canal. The sci­en­tific cur­ricu­lum fo­cuses on oceanog­ra­phy, ma­rine ecol­ogy, ocean chem­istry and ma­rine de­bris, as well as how they all re­late to cli­mate change.

The ship is in­ter­est­ing as well. Sea Dragon is a 72ft steel-hulled cut­ter built in 2000. For­merly known as CB 37, she is one of 11 sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion yachts built for the Global Chal­lenge Race, the brain­child of Sir Chay Blyth. A de­mand­ing race that went west-about (up­wind and ar­guably the “wrong way”) on a 20,000-mile cir­cum­nav­i­ga­tion, the Global Chal­lenge was ac­tively raced in the 1990s and early 2000s. Pre­vi­ously named Bar­clays Ad­ven­turer, Sea Dragon won sec­ond place in the 2004/5 race be­fore she was sold and put to work as an ex­plo­ration and char­ter ves­sel. “Two Bri­tish RYA Yacht Mas­ter-cer­ti­fied crew lead the boat and cre­ate a strong learn­ing en­vi­ron­ment,” says Anita Barr-Wat­son, pro­gram and op­er­a­tions di­rec­tor for the group. "At­ti­tude, team skills and com­mit-ment are the im­por­tant pre-req­ui­sites. Prior sail­ing ex­pe­ri­ence is help­ful, but not re­quired."

Sea Dragon will be sail­ing through the Caribbean un­til April 2018 and then head­ing down to the South Pa­cific and even­tu­ally up to Canada. Reser­va­tions can be made up to six months in ad­vance and Pan­gaea even of­fers sev­eral all­women’s trips a year via a part­ner or­ga­ni­za­tion. Pan­gaea Ex­plo­ration, pan­ex­

You can have a great sail­ing ad­ven­ture and help study the oceans at the same time

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