Hello Ocean’s inaugural research-under-sail expedition, in partnership with The Moorings, featured in SAIL Magazine.
Science and Sailing Come Together in a Research Project
It had been months, but the email I was waiting for finally came in. “I think it’s going to work out … Will confirm Monday,” was all it said, but I jumped to my feet. Hello Ocean, our research foundation, was about to launch Expedition Underway, its very first research-under-sail expedition. Thanks to a partnership with the charter company The Moorings, we were headed to Belize for some pioneering ocean research.
I’ve been a sailor, both professionally and recreationally, for two decades. Sailing provides me with an opportunity to escape, to explore and to experience new environments. Places where I can witness amazing examples of nature, like leaping dolphins, colorful coral reefs or thunder holes on a rocky coast. Recently, however, I find myself wanting more—to give back and ensure that future sailors have the same opportunities I have. This was the inspiration behind Hello Ocean, a foundation that strives to expand ocean conservation and research through citizen science and educational media.
Our goal with this expedition was to gather data on cetaceans (marine mammals, like whales and dolphins), and see if and how environmental changes are affecting them. My husband, Ben, and I were joined by Dr. Nataly Castelblanco and her assistant, Benito Hernandez. Nataly, originally from Colombia, is a research scientist at the University of Quintana Roo in Mexico. She joined the expedition to collect dolphin skin and tissue samples for a genetic and toxicology study. “This expedition is invaluable for us,” she said. “Studying marine mammals is expensive and time-consuming. That’s why you don’t see too many studies like this.”
To read the full article click here.