Join exceptional sailing expeditions to help marine exploration, conservation & education
Pangaea Exploration offers expedition sailing to enable regular people to join a front line team at sea to observe, document, learn and communicate about marine exploration and conservation.
On the expedition vessel, Sea Dragon, professional leaders work alongside visiting crew as one team, providing valuable manpower, skills and financial support for the broader mission.
Pangaea Exploration share a strong belief with marine conservation leader J.Y. Cousteau,
"Il faut aller voir"
- We must go and see for ourselves
Be an Earth Changer:
Join an Expedition
Trips include formal scientific and conservation expeditions as well as sailing voyages and occasional private charter. Many crew successfully fundraise the amount required to join an expedition, through friends and family or gaining local company sponsorship. Your contribution covers your board and also supports vital ongoing efforts in world marine conservation research.
Join exceptional sailing expeditions for typically 7-21 days’ duration.
Sea Dragon is a 72ft (22m), 90,000lb displacement steel hulled sailing vessel built in the UK in 2000. Formerly known as CB 37, she is one of 11 second generation yachts built for the Global Challenge Race, designed to safely handle the world’s worst sailing conditions, and set up for volunteer crew with limited sailing experience.
Accommodation for up to 12 guest passengers is a combination of sea berths and double bunks. There are two heads (toilets) with showers, a large well stocked galley, and a comfortable salon with seating for 14 people.
Air conditioning makes life down below very pleasant in the tropics, while a drying room sorts out any wet clothes. A refrigerator and freezer keep the crew in fresh food for the duration of the voyage. The vessel is equipped with twin iridium satellite phones, HF radio, and all the modern navigation equipment to keep you safe and connected despite being well offshore. There is extensive on board medical capability and remote expert support through Medical Support Offshore. The boat is equipped for coastal exploration with two Avon inflatable boats and a scuba compressor with diving equipment.
The boat is designed to support a full crew for months, can transit any of the world’s oceans and can travel to and operate in remote unsupported locations.
As a research vessel, there is lab space, dissecting microscope, surface net trawling capability, and working deck space. With extensive sails, on-board fresh-water making, extended fuel reserves and almost 1kw of wind/solar power long-range unsupported journeys are substantially lower cost than traditionally shared research voyages on large motor vessels and ships. Further boat spec.
Work has included remote island surveys of conservation issues, diving and underwater video, offshore plastics sampling and collection, water quality monitoring and student educational trips.
Pangaea Explorations works in partnership with several international organizations in marine exploration, research, training and conservation to improve the world’s water quality, wetlands, ecology, health, sustainable consumption, production and plastic pollution.
Pangaea Explorations seeks out areas with higher than normal garbage loads, and counts on beaches and transects - trawls the sea with a fine net – to analyse volume and categorise the plastic contents.
Plastic debris from our modern society accumulate on beaches and in great concentrations in the seas’ “gyres” - the centres of oceanic currents. The Sargasso Sea in the north Atlantic is the best known gyre, with a legendary ability to trap ships.
Sea Dragon is working long-term with organisation ‘5-Gyres’ and their partners to document the amount of floating debris in our world’s oceans.
Pangaea Explorations was founded by Emily Penn and Dr. Ron Ritter.
Two British RYA Yachtmaster certified crew lead the boat and create a strong learning environment.
Guests can see first-hand how high seas research, coastal conservation, education, marine filming and other work is done, build skills, and live a genuine adventure.
Attitude, team skills and commitment are the important pre-requisites. As a member of the crew, you are expected to join in all aspects of sailing and life aboard. You will be hands-on sail rigging, navigation, watches, route planning, weather analysis, radio communications, maintenance and all the basic duties of running an ocean sailing vessel. Prior sailing experience is helpful, but not required.
For existing projects, Pangaea Explorations can provide a tailored cost-effective support solution to teams of up to 12 on extended journeys and a wide range of objectives, either exclusively, or opened up to paying visitor crew providing valuable support and finances for the work.
Pangaea Explorations has a 2-part mission:
- To actively strengthen the health of marine life through exploration, conservation and education work.
- To inspire and develop a new generation of leaders in conservation science, communication, education, art and policy leadership.
Pangaea Explorations works on projects across many areas of marine conservation to protect the fundamental health of the world’s oceans which make up the biodiversity of 75% of the planet’s surface and ecosystem services.
Our increasing world population and rise in living standards is pushing species to the brink of collapse. As the world’s production and consumption increase, so does chemical and debris pollution, plastics in particular, interrupting foraging and breeding, and destroying habitats.
“The trash we throw in our neighbourhood gutter can devastate rare wildlife half a world away”
Where the local appearance of issues may vary, underlying threats are common worldwide:
- Chemical pollution and debris, from toxics to the famous ‘garbage gyres’ of the open sea.
- Water temperature changes and acidification due to increased atmospheric CO2 disrupting life-cycles in key marine species like corals.
- Sea level rise inundating and changing coastal habitat (and land based pollution/ debris).
- Over exploitation and destructive harvesting techniques, depressing natural populations.
- Increasing separation between our daily lives and the health of marine ecosystems.
People eat fish which eat smaller fish which, along with other plants and animals at the bottom of the food chain, absorb toxic chemicals trickled into the environment from sources such as factories, farms, homes, cars and plastics from every country: Fish studies are thus relevant to environmental and human diet and consequences, including birth defects and toxicity in adults world over.
Marine plastics threaten the existence of birds and wildlife, which are caught up by or killed by consumption. The scale of the problem is huge – one estimate is more than 70 million pounds of plastic are spread throughout the world’s gyres, with a million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals die each year from getting tangled up in, and/or eating plastic.
As Co2 in the planet’s atmosphere grows and is absorbed by the oceans, ocean acidification increases, damaging marine ecosystems and threatening species and food chains with likely extinctions.
Awards & Accreditations
2010 Practical Boat Owner Green Award - Winner
Co-founder Emily Penn was the youngest and only female recipient of Yachtmaster of the Year
If you represent a group and would like to create a private trip, get in touch for a bespoke expedition designed with you!
Sea Dragon has been working hard for months sailing tens of thousands miles across 2 oceans, The Atlantic and The Pacific and 3 seas, Caribbean, Sargasso and Irish supporting important marine conservation work. She and her crew have completed scientific surveys of all these waters – in areas that concentrate marine debris into “garbage patches” and the effect that this build up of waste in our waters has on our ecosystem. Additionally, she will have aided in the research and survey of community and natural habitat impacts in the Pacific’s, Phoenix Islands.
25 Feb – 15 Mar 2018 Almost Spring | Panama to Cabo San Lucas 19 days, 18 nights | Discounted to $1600 from $3200/£2580 - + Panama Canal optional extra inclusive price $2532/£1880.
Depart Panama up the west coast of South America, crossing the dreaded Gulf of Tehuantepec before arriving in Cabo San Lucas. Sea Dragon is en route to Hawaii for a rendezvous with science, so will be moving fast! The crew will get a chance to gain some serious ocean miles in the Pacific, and up a coastline that is rich in fish and birds – maybe you’ll even get to catch a tuna! This trip can count as a qualifying RYA Ocean Yachtmaster passage – contact to discuss!
+ If you’re interested in going through the Panama Canal, join in Colon for the transit then continue on to Cabo.
18 Mar – 6 Apr 2018 Luau Express | Cabo to Hawaii 20 days, 19 nights | Discounted to $2500 from $3450/£1556
Join Sea Dragon’s expert team for a beautiful trans-pacific trip – sailing under the stars, surfing down waves, and warm, friendly waters sailing to Hawaii.
Fast, fun adventure sailing, whether you are a first-timer wanting to see what it’s all about, or a seasoned pro wanting to feel some adrenalin… an excellent opportunity to practice sailing skills, on this incredible leg from Mexico to Hawaii, learn or hone celestial navigation, build your sea miles, experience an ocean crossing, and enjoy the best sailing has to offer. This trip can count as a qualifying RYA Ocean Yachtmaster passage – contact to discuss!
20 Apr – 30 Apr 2018 Gathering Place | Oahu to Kiritimati 10 days, 9 nights | $2560
Join the last leg before coral research in the Central Pacific. This should be a fast, fun, reach across the trade winds to the remote islands of Kiribati – there’s only one flight a week out of Kiritimati so you have to get there before the flight leaves! Whether you are a first-timer or a seasoned pro wanting to get that Pacific notch on your belt and feel some adrenalin… this is the leg for you! An excellent opportunity to build your sea miles, experience an ocean crossing, practice celestial navigation and enjoy the best of all sailing has to offer at the start of an awesome exploration of the remote central Pacific nation of Kiribati. This trip can count as a qualifying RYA Ocean Yachtmaster passage – contact to discuss!
1 May – 30 May 2018 WHOI | Phoenix Island Full
30 May – 9 Jun 2018 Reverse Place Kiritimati to Oahu 10 days, 9 nights | $2560
Classic Pacific Tradewinds Sailing: Join the return from the central Pacific. This should be a fast, fun, reach across the trade winds back to Hawaii! En route you can hone your passage making skills, practice your celestial navigation or learn the basics in a warm, welcoming environment. If you’ve always wanted to go to Kiribati, schedule a visit then sail back to the US with this trip, culiminating in awesome of Hawaii! This trip can count as a qualifying RYA Ocean Yachtmaster passage – contact to discuss.
23 Jun – 15 July 2018 Girls eXXpedition North Pacific 2018 | leg 1 | Hawaii to Vancouver 21 days, 20 nights | $7,990 USD
Adventurous women on this eXXpedition join in the Pacific to sail into the heart of the North Pacific Gyre and explore remote coastlines for plastic pollution, for sailing and science. This is a great opportunity, whether you are a first-timer wanting to see for yourself the issues facing our oceans, or a seasoned pro wanting to get that Pacific notch on your belt and feel some adrenalin. No experience needed, a passion for adventure a must!
21 July – 28 July 2018 Girls eXXpedition North Pacific 2018 | leg 2 | Vancouver to Seattle 8 days, 7 nights | $3,990 USD
Adventurous women on this eXXpedition join in the Pacific to sail explore remote coastlines for plastic pollution, for sailing and science, island hop to Vancouver Island, off Canada’s Pacific Coast, to find out how plastic pollution is impacting local communities. This sail will also involve cleanup projects where possible.
This is a great opportunity, whether you are a first-timer wanting to see for yourself the issues facing our oceans, or a seasoned pro wanting to get that Pacific notch on your belt and feel some adrenalin. No experience needed, a passion for adventure a must!
1 Aug – 7 Aug 2018 Tale of Two Cities | Seattle to Vancouver 7 days, 6 nights | $1,990 / $1890 Early bird for first 4 places
Sail through breathtaking Puget Sounds, and travel past the San Juan Islands and Bellingham, with the resident crew introducing guests to the remarkable ecosystem and its wildlife. Transient orcas are sometimes spotted hunting the harbor seals and porpoises that make up their preferred prey: Orca, Minke, Grey and humpback whales may be seen. Partake in documenting sightings of these magnificent creatures, to share findings with sailandwhale.com a pilot project collecting long-term, useful cetacean migration data.
13 August – 23 2018 Maple Gate | Vancouver to San Francisco 10 days, 11 nights | $3900 / $3500 Early bird for first 4 places
Sail out through beautifully forested bays and into the open Pacific. From there, you will experience Sea Dragon in her true element – sailing on the high seas, trawling for microplastics and sampling waters. Having passed down the coast for what should be an excellent sail, Sea Dragon will enter San Francisco under the Golden Gate.
24 Aug – 23 Sept 2018 West Coast Tour | San Francisco to San Diego 31 days, 30 nights | POA
This West Coast Tour will be promoting adventure sailing & science expeditions for all, demonstrating how expeditions can be tailor-made for Research Institutions, Corporate clientele, Colleges and Universities, Social groups and Charities and highlighting how easy it is as an individual to get involved in expeditions, as guest crew. A unique opportunity to learn, find out how to go sailing, cross an ocean, and be a part of something bigger. Contact if you’re interested in participating!
28 Sept – 1 Oct 2018 Vamonos A Mexico! | San Diego to Ensenada 4 days, 3 nights | $800 / Early Bird: $720 for 1st 4 places
Want a taste of offshore sailing in an easy to digest package? Join this weekend dash down to Ensenada from San Diego. You’ll get to sail overnight, stand watch, and look out for whales and sharks, all within easy sight of the coast. A great intro to ocean sailing.