The Blue Planet Odyssey: Around the World with a Purpose - Sail Magazine

The Blue Planet Odyssey: Around the World with a Purpose

Jimmy Cornell has led five separate fleets around the world. In 2014, he sets sail again, this time for the Blue Planet Odyssey. But this rally is more than just a challenge to be conquered—it's a call to action for the future of the planet.
Author:
Publish date:
MOBoraBora7_1

Jimmy Cornell has sailed around the world five times, always aiming his sights on the bigger picture: understanding the world as a single community in which one person’s actions impact all.

So when Cornell began envisioning the upcoming Blue Planet Odyssey, which sets sail from London on July 20, 2014, he says he wanted to find a way to better to connect the sailors taking part with people in the parts of the world they’d be visiting.

Cornell says he also wants to increase awareness of how these people and places are being impacted by the increasingly noticeable effects of climate change.

"The Blue Planet Odyssey project could not have been launched at a more opportune moment as it coincided with a spate of natural disasters that have affected several parts of the world," Cornell says. To name a few: record flooding in the UK, prolonged droughts in Africa, and Hurricane Sandy's effects felt from Haiti to New England.

“With the large-scale devastation these disasters have caused, public opinion (and public policy) about climate change has shifted. People are realizing that it can "no longer be denied," Cornell says.

During the Blue Planet Odyssey's three-year span, Cornell hopes to draw attention to two specific effects of climate change: the melting of the Arctic icecap and loss of land in low-lying Pacific islands due to rising sea levels. With this in mind, among Blue Planet Odyssey's routes and detours is an optional transit of the Northwest Passage, which has only recently been deemed safe to sail through thanks to the effects of climate change. The rally will also make stops at a number of islands, like Tuvalu and The Maldives, where land mass is being lost to rising sea levels.

The main southern route—which is expected to be the more popular choice—will follow the normal trade wind path around the world, with starts at cities on all the continents other than Antarctica and many islands. See the route map here.

Blue Planet Odyssey will also include an optional visit to Easter Island, which Cornell says he chose as a fascinating alternative, while several return routes are planned once the fleet has reached Gibraltar in 2016. The rally is scheduled to finish up in London in July 2017.

Throughout Cornell’s almost 40-year career, his round-the-world cruising has grown into more than just a childhood dream fulfilled.

"Be part of a great adventure and grasp this opportunity to do it before it is too late," Cornell says, urging those involved with BPO to fulfill their sailing dreams while simultaneously seizing this opportunity to be part of a meaningful global project.

Drawing from past experience and a flawless track record, Cornell assures that the Blue Planet Odyssey—which kicks off 40 years to the day after the start of his first voyage, Aventura, in 1974—will run just as smoothly as his past five circumnavigations and 20 trans-Atlantic trips. Cornell's past voyages, like the 1998-2000 Millennium odyssey, carried similar messages about the oceans as a "heritage for the future."

With a little over a year to go before the London start, Cornell and the rest of the BPO team are already busy laying the groundwork for the event. Preparations will really pick up in the winter of 2013-14 when organizers hold a number of seminars to address such topics as the logistics of a long voyage and emergency and communication procedures.

For more on the rally, visit blueplanetodyssey.com.

Photos courtesy of Cornell Sailing

Related

daviscards

Davis Instruments: Quick Reference Cards

CHECK THESEIf you’re sailing with new crew this summer or your kids have suddenly and inexplicably started to look up from their phones and take an interest in the finer points of cruising, these Quick Reference Cards from Davis are a great way to further their boating education. ...read more

01-rbir18-596

Another Epic Round Britain Race

There are basically two kinds of offshore sailboat races out there: those that take place annually, like the Fastnet and Chicago-to-Mackinac races; and those that take place every other year, like the Transpac and Newport-Bermuda race, in part so the competitors have sufficient ...read more

01b_WALKING-KEDGE-OUT-cmykpromo

Getting More Use From Kedge Anchors

If you are cruising, you need at least two anchors on board for the simple reason that you must have a backup. Imagine having to slip your anchor on a stormy night with other boats dragging down on yours, or having your rope rode severed by some unseen underwater obstacle, ...read more

SailAwayCharter

How-to: Navigating on a Bareboat Charter

So you graduated from navigation class where you practiced dead reckoning, doubling the angle on the bow and maybe even celestial nav, and you now feel well prepared for your first charter trip. Well, you won’t be doing any of that on vacation—not past the first day, anyway.Most ...read more

04-Turtle-rescue

Turtle Rescue in the Vic-Maui

Strange and often wonderful things can happen in the course of an offshore sailboat race, and one of the strangest and most wonderful things we’ve heard of recently took place during the 2,300-mile 2018 Vic-Maui race, from Victoria, British Columbia, to Lahaina, Hawaii.It ...read more

dorcap-open-blue

ATN Inc: Dorcap

COOL SLEEPYou’re fast asleep in a snug anchorage, forehatch open to catch the breeze, when you’re rudely awakened by a sneaky rain squall. Now you’re not only awake and wet, you’re sweltering with the hatch closed. Sucks, right? That’s why ATN came up with the Dorcap, an ...read more

HIGH-RES-29312-Tahiti-GSP

Ask Sail: Who has the right-of-way

WHO HAS RIGHT-OF-WAY?Q: I sail in Narragansett Bay, which is a relatively narrow body of water that has upwind boats generally going south and downwind boats generally going north. When sailboats are racing, the starboard tack boat has the right-of-way over the port tack boat, so ...read more