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, panexplore.com