Falkland Islands to the Azores and Portugal, Spring 2018

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Marine Conservation Research are offering an exciting opportunity to join the team on a research expedition sailing on R/V Song of the Whale from the Falklands Islands, Southern Ocean departing in early March 2018 to Portugal, arriving early May.

MCR International is a unique not-for-profit organisation conducting practical conservation projects on vulnerable marine wildlife and habitats, and investigating human impacts including threats such as underwater noise, disturbance and marine debris. R/V Song of the Whale is the team’s purpose built sailing research vessel.

The team will depart the Falkland Islands, initially bound for Uruguay.  Song of the Whale will then sail north, making a short stop in Salvador, Brazil, and possibly at the scenic volcanic archipelago and World Heritage site of Fernando de Noronha, before crossing the Equator and setting a course for the mid-Atlantic archipelago of the Azores. The team will arrive there in late April. Following a short stop off in the Azores, with some time to explore these beautiful, mountainous sub-tropical islands renowned for their breath-taking scenery, marine wildlife and walking opportunities, SOTW will depart to sail east, bound for Portugal. The exact itinerary may vary depending on prevailing weather conditions; the vessel is en route to a scientific project in the Mediterranean Sea.

This expedition is not for the faint hearted, overnight sailing and potentially rough South and North Atlantic seas are expected. However, you will get the chance to contribute to ongoing conservation research, including using underwater hydrophones to listen to and document the whale and dolphin species encountered, experience some exciting offshore ocean sailing, and explore remote areas that few people are able to visit, while encountering some spectacular Atlantic wildlife. The team will also be undertaking sampling for micro plastics, in collaboration with ongoing academic studies of this problem, and collecting environmental DNA samples.

Blogs from the team and participants who have just completed the trip south bound from Europe to Falkland Islands are available here. The expedition is limited to maximum of six participants who will get involved with sailing the boat under the watchful eye of our experienced team on board.  You will learn about the scientific and photographic techniques the team use to study wildlife at sea and contribute to the important ongoing conservation work of the organisation. The voyage is a great opportunity for the keen sailor to log ocean miles and experience while benefiting from the experience of the highly experienced Skipper and crew.

The cost is £3,850 per person for the whole trip (or there is the possibility of joining for separate legs); the cost per participant includes full board and lodging on R/V Song of the Whale, in a shared two or four berth cabins and three meals per day. Discounts are available for group bookings. The cost does not include travel to and from SOTW for embarkation and disembarkation, or Personal Accident Insurance.  Participants will take part in all aspects of running the boat, including sailing, data collection, cooking and cleaning.  There will be a professional crew of three on board, and a scientist running the data collection protocols.  Food will be plentiful and vegetarian.

Departure from the Falkland Islands in early March and the voyage is expected to take 8 to 10 weeks weeks.

Contact Anna Moscrop amoscrop@mcr-team.org for more information.

Six berths available, £3,850 per person for the whole expedition, or

if you are interested in joining for a specific leg of the voyage please contact us, stops may include:–

Uruguay, Brazil (Salvador and possibly Fernando de Noronha), and the Azores.