From November 13 to December 4, 2011, aboard the Mercedes-Benz powered sailing vessel, PANGAEA, Mike Horn and seven selected young explorers representing five different nations lead the first and only PANGAEA project expedition to U.S. territory for dynamic study of the Gulf of Mexico’s fragile aquatic eco-system and exploration of the Everglades– the largest subtropical wilderness in the United States of America.
Château-d`Oex, , SWITZERLAND. — South African, Mike Horn, is acknowledged as the premiere eco-explorer of the modern world. For more than two decades, Horn has undertaken exceptional feats of adventure and environmental analysis that have extended the boundaries of human achievement, natural discovery and ecological education. His latest endeavor, the PANGAEA Project, is a 4-year circumnavigation of the world through a series of 12, tri-annual expeditions each to different climates and biospheres including mountain, desert, ocean, rainforest and tundra.
This November marks the tenth of twelve expeditions (from 2008 and 2012). Horn will depart from Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, U.S.A. with seven young explorers chosen in September 2011 at an exacting two-week selection camp held in Mike Horn Expedition world headquarters of Chateau d’Oêx, Switzerland. On PANGAEA Young Explorers Program Expedition No. 10, Horn and his students, will initiate ecological exploration and data collection regarding biodiversity, water salinity and turbidity, aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, wildlife study and protection, waste management, petroleum, and coral preservation.
Horn and the young explorers will depart Port Everglades and sail 90 miles (145 km) to Key Largo — an exposed, fossilized remnant of a coral reef uncovered during an ice age. From Key Largo, the team will embark on a six-day/six-night 120-mile (nearly 200 km) wilderness waterways kayak excursion around the southern tip of Florida, paddling through the many tiny island keys of Everglades National Park.
Next, Horn and his young explorers will sail PANGAEA 100 miles to Key West – the “Diving Capital of the World” to examine coral reef structures and stability in the waters of the southernmost point of the continental United States. They will participate in a rehabilitation, research and release workshop at The Turtle Hospital (Hidden Harbor Marine Environmental Project, Inc.) in Marathon, Florida. The group will also explore the National Wildlife Refuge in Key West — one of the United State’s earliest refuges, it is home to more than 250 species of birds and encompasses over 200,000 acres.
The group will sail 70 miles (113 km) west of Key West to the Dry Tortugas — a series of islands continually changing in size as wind and waves reshape them. Some of the smaller islands of the Dry Tortugas have disappeared and reappeared multiple times as a result of hurricane impact.
The expedition will conclude in the Bahamas to explore and appreciate the unique nation consisting of 29 islands, thousands of islets and over 600 keys (A.K.A. cays) small, low-elevation, sandy islands formed on the surface of coral reefs).
The Pangaea USA Expedition is led by seven young explorers:
Aya Anholt, 15 – North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Daniel Cullum, 19 – Auckland, New Zealand
Ann-Kathrin Geiger, 19 – Stuttgart, Germany
Jule Holland, 17 – Ochsenhausen, Germany
Theresa Kaiser, 16 – Leutenbach, Germany
Livio Knoeri, 19 – Versoix, Geneva, Switzerland
Rick Kotze, 20 – Pretoria, South Africa