May 1, 2019

Tradition meets future

The Okeanos Vanuatu team had the pleasure of meeting the captain and crew of Breguet Explorer from the Race for Water Foundation in Port Vila, Vanuatu. Race for Water are sailing around the world in 5 years to offer solutions to preserving the oceans from plastic pollution.

The teams of Okeanos Vanuatu and Race for Water onboard the ‘Breguet Explorer’, Picture: Peter Charaf

Since the creation of the foundation in 2010, in order to maximise the impact of its actions, Race for Water has drawn up the LEARN – SHARE – ACT program:

LEARN

Gather together the scientific community in order to understand the impact of plastic pollution. Contribute to the advancement of scientific knowledge regarding the pollution of water via plastics.

SHARE

Alert decision-makers, raise awareness among the general public and educate the young generations. Rally together around the importance of preserving water. Inform about the consequences of plastic pollution of the oceans.

ACT

Take action before waste enters the marine environment. Promote and implement solutions with a sustainable environmental and social impact.

The boat itself is managed by 5 crew and propelled by three sources of energy:

  • 512m2 of solar panels
  • 40m2 of kite
  • 200kg of hydrogen

During the day, when the Race for Water boat is underway, solar energy is produced and it is used to get the boat making headway and recharge the batteries. At night, the latter will supply the necessary energy to sustain life on-board and power the boat. When the boat is docked, the surplus solar energy is used to produce hydrogen, which is stored in high-pressure tanks for later use.

Race for Water just celebrated their second anniversary on 9 April in Vanuatu as they started their journey in 2017 from France. Find out more about Race for Water here.

The Race for Water boat ‘Breguet Explorer’ in Port-Vila, Vanuatu, Picture: Christine Biesgen

Both crews visited each others ships on a rainy afternoon and whilst the ships could not be more different on the first look, both are propelled by renewable energy and are advocating to protect our precious oceans. 

Okeanos Vanuatu crew member John Damilip talks about traditional navigation and sailing, Picture: Christine Biesgen

Women power onboard the vaka motu ‘Okeanos Vanuatu’, Picture: Peter Charaf

Crew members of Okeanos Vanuatu get an introduction on board the ‘Breguet Explorer’, Picture: Peter Charaf

The Okeanos Vanuatu crew inside the Breguet Explorer’s control room, Picture: Christine Biesgen

The Breguet Explorer departed Vanuatu on 14 April 2019 to continue her journey to the Solomon Islands. She was escorted out of Port Vila Harbour by Okeanos Vanuatu.  

Bon Voyage!


By Christine Biesgen, Head of In-Country Operations & Development at Okeanos – Foundation for the Sea, April 2019