Nearly 500 years ago, Ferdinand Magellan circumnavigated the world. In the wake of his expedition, a sailboat under the Swiss flag is off to a four-year expedition to map out and measure the human effects on our oceans. They began in 2015 in Seville, Spain and are ending their journey in 2019 back in Seville.
Fleur de Passion, the sailboat’s name, used to be a German Navy Boat, built to be a minesweeper. Fast forward to now, a sailboat to carry out scientific and socio-educational programs, they have partnered with several organizations to accomplish all their goals, namely LAB, Ocean Eye, Great Barrier Reef Foundation, Remote Sensing Research Centre, University of Queensland, and Fondation Pacifique.
The journey carries out three different missions: a scientific project to map out the ocean’s current state, measuring the human impact since 500 years ago; to offer a socio-educational program for adolescents and young adults; and to open cultural exchange opportunities around the world.
They have a team on board to help out measure the gases in the air, the noise pollution in the ocean, and the plastic found in the ocean. In the video above, there is a tour by the captain of the equipment they have on board to use for their scientific project.
Fleur de Passion welcomes aboard adolescents and young adults who would like to volunteer to join the voyage under the Youth at Sea program. “They are part of the crew. They develop self-esteem and specific skills,” says Samuel Gardaz, Fondation Pacifique’s Vice-President. Each volunteer can stay up to four months. Manon, one of their current participants under the Youth at Sea program, is on her second time on board the boat.
Lastly, they also participate in activities that promote cultural exchange between them and the country they are visiting. In Cebu, they are joining the Sinulog Fluvial Parade in January 2018, just right before they sail off to their next destination – something different you can look forward to in Sinulog 2018!
Between now and January, the sailboat is welcoming divers and enthusiasts to join their short trip to Leyte, departing on the 8th of January and back on the 14th. If you’d like to join, visit their website to find out about the requirements and fees.
To track their voyage, you can also log on to their website. Maybe they’ll be where you live in the next two years and you can check out the boat yourself! They also have really cool clips you can listen to of animal sounds recorded underwater.