A round the world sailing rally, spearheaded by Jimmy Cornell, aiming to raise awareness of the global effects of climate change, has begun in fitting style, with Jimmy Cornell himself poised to take his new yacht Aventura, built specially for the task, through the North West Passage.
There are so many routes on this ambitious world voyage that one can become reasonably confused trying to choose a way to be involved. But the adventure beckons, in a way that cruising rallies which are merely joyful experiences rarely do.
Jimmy Cornell about to transit the North West Passage - .. .
The rally begins in the knowledge that rising sea levels threaten to extinguish island communities such as Tuvalu and the Maldives by the end of this century, and will call at some of the most endangered islands:
San Blas Islands in the Atlantic Ocean;
Tuvalu, Tokelau, Tuamotus, Micronesia, Kiribati and the Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean;
the Maldive and Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean.
This global sailing event will also endeavour to highlight the effects of climate change on the Arctic icecap, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Galapagos Islands, all of which lie on the Blue Planet Odyssey route.
The route of the Blue Planet Odyssey has been chosen to take advantage of the most favourable weather conditions and to pass through some of the most attractive cruising areas in the world. The route also includes stops or detours to some of the areas where the effects of climate change are already affecting the lives of their populations.
In line with the overall aim of the Blue Planet Odyssey, participants are expected to take an active part in some of the projects associated with the event.
There will be scientific programmes whereby participants will gather data from the oceans as they go, educational programs where participants are encouraged to get their local schools involved in their progress and aims, and Community projects, where participants will take part in local projects for essential work needed in the communities that are visited.
Participants in this global event will be able to start from a port on their own continent or join the event at the nearest point along its route.
Blue Planet Odyssey will sail westabout around the world along the classic trade wind route via the Panama Canal and Torres Strait. For those who prefer to sail a more challenging route, there will be the option of a northern route via the Northwest Passage, such as the one the Jimmy Cornell himself is undertaking, or a southern route via Easter Island.
To give an idea of the breadth and scope of the rally, below is the provisional routing map, followed by some of the critical dates, from 2014 to 2016:
12 July 2014 London* – Lanzarote (Canary Islands) (sailed as part of the European Odyssey)
3 October 2014 New York* – Annapolis
9 – 13 October 2014 Annapolis rendezvous
1 November 2014 Norfolk, VA – St Martin
16 November 2014 Lanzarote* – Martinique (sailed as part of the Atlantic Odyssey)
28 December 2014 Miami* - Havana (sailed as part of the Pacific Odyssey)
11 January 2015 Cuba or Martinique – Porvenir (San Blas Islands)
Jan. – February 2015 San Blas stopover – Cristobal – Shelter Bay Marina (Panama) stopover – Transit Panama Canal
(4 February 2015 San Diego* – Baquerizo Moreno (Galapagos))
Feb. – March 2015 Panama to Baquerizo Moreno (Galapagos) : pursuit – rendezvous with fleet – stopovers in Baquerizo Moreno and Puerto Ayora
[March - May 2015 Easter Island alternative route]**
March – May 2015 Galapagos – Hiva Oa (Marquesas) – Cruise Marquesas – Taiohae (Nuku Hiva) rendezvous 15 April – Cruise Tuamotus
14 April 2015 San Francisco* – Papeete (Tahiti)
5 May 2015 Papeete (Tahiti) rendezvous
May – June 2015 Tahiti stopover – Cruise Society Islands – Bora Bora rendezvous – Bora Bora – Palmerston (Cook Islands) – Palmerston stopover 28 May – 3 June
[May - August 2015 Tokelau-Tuvalu alternative route]***
June – Sept. 2015 Palmerston – Niue: pursuit – Niue stopover – Niue – Vava’u (Tonga) – pursuit – Vava’u stopover – Savusavu (Fiji) – Cruise Fiji – Musket Cove (Malololailai) rendezvous – Tanna (Vanuatu) – Tanna stopover – Cruise Vanuatu – Luganville (Santo) rendezvous – Mackay stopover – Cruise Great Barrier Reef
26 September 2015 Thursday Island (Torres Strait) rendezvous
Sept. – Dec. 2015 Torres Strait – Saumlaki (Indonesia) – Cruise Indonesia – Singapore rendezvous – Cruise Western Malaysia – Phuket (Thailand) rendezvous – Thailand stopover
January – April 2016 Phuket – Port Bair (Andaman Islands) – Galle (Sri Lanka) – Malé (Maldive Island) – Cochin (India) – [Proposed stop at Uligamu] – Salalah (Oman) – Djibouti – Port Sudan – Port Ghalib (Egypt) – Transit Suez Canal – Port Said
For more information about the rally go to their website