November 2013--March 2014, Heath, MA See the IR Facebook page for latest related news
We look forward to welcoming you as a community partner supporting this grassroots project. There are many opportunities to deepen your involvement if you're interested. We'd like to hear from you.
Also, if you know other folks who might be interested, please consider introducing them to Island Reach.
2014 International Year of Family Farming
"The International Year of Family Farming 2014 is an initiative promoted by the World Rural Forum and supported by over 360 civil society and farmers’ organizations. This worldwide celebration, declared by the United Nations General Assembly, aims to become a tool to stimulate active policies for sustainable development of agricultural systems based farmer families, communal units, indigenous groups, cooperatives and fishing families.
All this work is being made from the perspective of effectively combating poverty and hunger and the search for a rural development based on the respect for environment and biodiversity."
February 2014: Aqualung USA has made a large donation of snorkel packs to outfit RV Llyr's onboard educational kit and to provide additional sets to Vanuatu schools working on reef and ocean ecology. Aqualung has a storied history of conservation support dating back to their foundation by Jacques-Yves Cousteau and engineer Emile Gagnan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aqua-lung
is their Eco-support page at their home website:
November 2013, Heath, MA
New collaboration with
The Ocean Foundation
We're thrilled to announce that Island Reach is collaborating with The Ocean Foundation (TOF), who will serve as our fiscal sponsors, enabling us to receive tax-deductible donations and apply for grants. This is a great opportunity for Island Reach and we thank The Ocean Foundation for welcoming us!
We are in discussions with Vanuatu based Live & Learn.org and the Vanuatu Farm Support Association (FSA) who run numerous projects in the archipelago. They have been very kind and indicate a wide array of projects they may like to use Island Reach resources for in 2014.
We are also in discussions with members of
Pacific Organic & Ethical Trade Community
(POETCom) who work with the FSA as well as with
who also work in Vanuatu.
Over the next months, we'll be working hard in Heath, developing our new volunteer service entity, Island Reach.
BSG-Farm suffers the second year in a row of a below-average harvest related to strong and unstable weather patterns and early warming during the late Winter harvest.
Salem, Massachusetts to Panama
We departed from Salem, Harbor, and headed out across the Gulf Stream for our first port of call, Bermuda. Cold weather on departure and a gulfstream storm ahead! We're happy to arrive in Bermuda 8 days later, having made our first offshore passage aboard Llyr. Our 2013 passage-making took us through the Mona passage to the southern coast of Dominican Republic.
We worked with Dr. Ruben Torres at La Caleta Marine Park who trained Connor and Brooks as Caribbean Reefcheck Trainers and introduced us to the Blue Flag program and coral park management. On to the southern coast of Haiti where we were joined by Dr. Greg Hodgson, Reef Check executive director, and two team members to conduct surveys of reef systems for possible establishment of marine protected areas along 200 miles of Haiti's rugged South and windy lee shore. Investigations continued through July in Providencia, Columbia, at Co-op Tarcoles, Costa Rica and in Bocas del Toro Panama where Llyr went into Winter storage and refit.
April--Crewed aboard sv Samana Virgin Islands to Trinidad offshore passage
Brooks, Janis, Connor and Rowan certify as Reef Check Caribbean Ecodivers. Trained by Cpt. Jessica Pulfer at Marine
Llyr moves from Kittery ME to Salem Harbor, MA for a Winter slip and sailtraining in Massachusetts Bay.
Purchase "Mother of Perl" (Llyr's first name) in Portsmouth NH from Captain Ben Smith who took us on for a time as students. Extensive boat refit by our family gets underway in Kittery, ME. Doyle Sail produces Llyr's four custom heavy weather Dimension Polyant sails.