Inspired by the man who discovered the Philippines, Swiss boat Fleur de Passion sails the ocean and follows Ferdinand Magellan’s trail 500 years ago to map the ocean’s condition and how people’s impact the pollution underwater. This expedition is presented by The Fondation Pacifique, a non-profit organization, based in Geneva.
The Ocean Mapping Expedition sailed for over 4 years now to observe, understand and map the state of oceans and the influence of human beings on this vital environment and to help rise awareness about sustainable development issues in the wake of the expedition headed by the famous Portuguese explorer.
Since it’s departure, OME has set up to significant milestone of its mission. Here are some of the main scientific programs’ initial results from April 2015-December 2017:
Micromégas: 132 water samples have been collected by the crew, packed on board then sent to Switzerland for analysis. All samples have shown the presence of plastic particules, according to preliminary results.
20,000 Sounds Under the Seas: hours of recordings have been made, especially in the Strait of Magellan and the Pacific Ocean, a unique contribution to mapping the noise pollution in the oceans.
CoralWatch: more than 1,000 observations of the state of health of the coral have been carried out by the crew.
Live Habitat Mapping of the Great Barrier Reef: 12,000 pictures have been taken on 17 reefs as part of a vast project involving some of the major oceanographic institutions from Australia.
The great thing about the OME is that it encourages young adults to witness and join the crew. Over 34 teenagers ages 14 and up have joined the expedition as members of the Youth at Sea, a socio-educational program. The volunteers can be on board up to 2 months which is a great opportunity for them to explore and learn.
They also persuade certain cartoonists to be on board the boat. The first 8 cartoonists of the cultural program In the Mirror of Magellan have shared their impression of the expedition, available on the website: Zep, Matthieu Berthod, Tom Tirabosco, Pierre Wazem, Peggy Adam, Isabelle Pralong, Ambroise Héritier, Pierre Baumgart, Alex Baladi and Mirjana Farkas.
This Sinulog 2018, Fleur de Passion will join the seaborne procession for the first time this January. In fact, they are looking for volunteers from Cebu who can sail with them all over the Philippines for their field researches to get what they need as data. Then, they’re off to Japan and the rest of Asia.
So if your heart yearns for that kind of adventure and compassion towards our planet, this might be a good opportunity for you.