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Renowned non-profit organizations, Sailors for the Sea and the Pacific Science Center, have announced a one-year environmental sailing expedition and circumnavigation around the Americas. To launch this education-based voyage and awareness project, Sailors for the Sea, a national organization co-founded by David Rockefeller, Jr. that educates and empowers the boating community to protect and restore our oceans and coastal waters, has partnered with the Pacific Science Center, a Seattle-based science foundation and nationally recognized leader in informal science and environment education. "North and South America are surrounded by a large, complex, and frighteningly fragile ocean environment-and these oceans are changing in large part as a result of human activity," said Rockefeller, president of the board, Sailors for the Sea founder, and member of the Pew Ocean Commission. "The goal of this expedition is to build broad awareness among everyday citizens of the precipitous changes occurring throughout the world's oceans and the impact these changes have on various ecosystems and human life." Joining the crew will be journalist Herb McCormick, whose work is frequently profiled in Scuttlebutt, and will be charged with providing reports during this journey. Beginning in Seattle in May 2009, the crew will travel north through the formerly icebound Northwest Passage and continue along the coast, making 30 ports-of-call throughout the Americas before returning to Seattle in spring 2010.

Also involved in this endeavor is Around the Americas, an education-focused effort intended to bolster awareness of the ocean environment and to mobilize public support for local and national conservation programs. The oceans of North and South America are changing rapidly: fish stocks and other marine creatures are vanishing; acidity is rising; and the melting of the Arctic and Antarctic ice is raising the sea level and threatening low-lying areas. The world's oceans are at serious risk. This never-before-accomplished voyage is captained by renowned ocean sailor Mark Schrader and supported by science partner the University of Washington Applied Physics Laboratory (http://www.apl.washington.edu/about_apl-uw/about_apl-uw.php). "Around the Americas is unlike any sailing adventure I've ever captained, as we'll leverage its dramatic nature to bring public attention to something so utterly important," said Commander Schrader, the project's director who will preside over the boat. "This voyage will bring audiences throughout many parts of the world in direct contact with the health of our oceans through scientific observation and evaluation. Our goal is to provide a platform for scientists, researchers and educators to bring the urgency of the issues into the forefront for regular folks."

Together with key partners like initial underwriter The Tiffany & Co. Foundation, Sailors for the Sea and the Pacific Science Center will provide direct access to the project's progress through educational feeds to classrooms, after-school programs and homes. Media events at key ports of call will feature scientific experts discussing the relationship between larger patterns of global climate change and the impact on local ocean environments.

Sailors for the Sea was founded in 2004 and based in Boston, MA, Sailors for the Sea is an action-oriented, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing education, programs and resources to motivate and empower sailors and other boaters to preserve, protect, and enjoy the harbors, bays and oceans upon which they sail. For more information on or to participate in any of the Sailors for the Sea programs, or to become a member and support the organization, visit http://www.sailorsforthesea.org.

Pacific Science Center (http://www.pacificsciencecenter.org) is an independent, not-for-profit educational institution that inspires lifelong interest in science, math and technology by engaging diverse communities through interactive and innovative exhibits and programs in every county of Washington state and beyond. For more Information: Dan McConnell, Around the Americas, dan.mcconnell@sea.ddb.com, (206) 223-6466, Sailors for the Sea, Lauren Curley, lpcurley@comcast.net, (781) 383-6406.

UK-Halsey's animated rules quizzes have saved lots of racers from embarrassment in hearing rooms as well as from disqualification. But now there's a whole new set of racing rules to understand and master, new definitions, and far too many ways to go wrong. Not only is UK-Halsey redoing their on-line quizzes but Butch Ulmer is blogging on rules details. So, you can post comments or question him and get virtually personal answers. As always, UK-Halsey provides this information and help free: just log on and get smart. 800-253-2002. http://www.ukhalsey.com.

A bit of nautical trivia via the United States Sailboat Show in Annapolis: It appears that JF Kennedy's yacht, Manitou, was advertised for sale, and discounted $700,000 from its original price in June. This wooden 62-foot Sparkman and Stephens-designed yawl was built by M.M. Davis and Sons in Solomons Island in 1937 for a wealthy fellow who sailed it in the Great Lakes. The boat is nearly fully restored. Manitou was President John F. Kennedy's sailing White House. There is the famous photograph of him at the helm taken in August 1962 on Narragansett Bay, months after he selected Manitou from the sailing craft kept by the Coast Guard. Another photo has a young Sen. John Kerry, who was dating a Kennedy in-law, aboard for a ride. The president used it to relax, to get away on weekends rather than the 92-foot presidential power yacht he had dubbed the Honey Fitz after his grandfather.

Made of mahogany over oak frames and decked in teak, she was called a 'sweet sailor' by the Coast Guard skipper who oversaw her when she was introduced to the president off the coast of Maine. Retired Capt. Lawrence White, now living in Connecticut after moving there from Annapolis several years ago, said he had skippered the craft while at the Coast Guard Academy. 'We sailed her in a number of races at the academy,' Capt. White said. 'She was a delightful yacht to sail. We liked her appointments, but we never did use the fireplace.' That's right, fireplace. The boat is also graced with a beautiful interior made of butternut, icebox, propane stove, even a bathtub, though tiny. Her original equipment includes the brass Herreshoff steering pedestal and compass. It sleeps three forward, four in main cabin and the main stateroom aft sleeps two. If interested in Manitou, and if she is still available, contact Annapolis Boat Show, (410) 268-8828.

Next week: Full coverage of the Manhasset Bay Fall Series.


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