UK to Falkland Islands voyage

Join the R/V Song of the Whale team on an expedition from the UK to the Falkland Islands, Southern Ocean, via the Cape Verde Islands

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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 UK to the Falklands Islands, Southern Ocean departing in early November 2017.

The team will depart the UK, initially bound for Cape Verde.  Arriving in Cape Verde in late November, MCR will be continuing ongoing conservation research work on Cape Verde humpback whales with local collaborators and will re-deploy an acoustic recorder from SOTW off the island of Boa Vista to record endangered humpback whales that breed and raise their calves there. This work is aimed at understand the species presence in the Cape Verde, and confirming the importance of CV as a breeding ground for both Northern and Southern hemisphere humpbacks.

There is also the chance to meet the boat in the Cape Verde Islands for the trip south to the Falkland Islands, or to join for the sail from the UK to Cape Verde and depart from SOTW in Cape Verde.

Following a few days in CVI, SOTW will depart to sail south through the South Atlantic, bound for the Falkland Islands. This expedition is not for the faint hearted, overnight sailing and potentially rough South 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 an area few people are able to visit while encountering some spectacular Atlantic wildlife. We are also hoping to undertake sampling for micro plastics, in collaboration with ongoing academic studies of this problem.

There is the possibility of another stop in South America (e.g. Brazil or Uruguay) if it is of interest either to break the voyage or for crew change.

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 who is a certified RYA Ocean Yachtmaster Instructor.

The cost is £3,500 per person for the whole trip (or pro rata for a shorter stay); the cost per participant includes full board and lodging on R/V Song of the Whale, three meals/day in a shared two or four berth cabins. Discounts are available for group bookings. The cost does not include travel to and from SOTW or Personal Accident insurance.  Participants will take part in all aspects of running the boat, including sailing, data collection and cooking.  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 UK will be in early November and the voyage is expected to take 6 to 8 weeks.

There will be a similar opportunity to sail from the Falklands north, probably to the east coast of the USA departing the Falkland Islands early April (2018).

Six berths available, £3,500 per person.

For additional information or questions please contact: MCRinfo@mcr-team.org