Climate Odyssey Year End Report!

Happy belated New Year from Fort Myers, Florida!

We spent the holiday soaking up the Florida sunshine and record heat with friends and family, both on the Wildcat and off. It was wonderful to have some time to catch up with loved ones and reflect on how far we’ve come this year!

Here’s a quick review of all we accomplished in 2015:

$14,015 : Amount raised in 2015

1,512 hours : Time spent restoring the boat

3,000 miles : Distance sailed between Manitowoc, WI and Everglades City, Florida

5 (possibly 6) months : Number of months we spent on the water that were the hottest on record globally!

Our proudest achievement is getting ourselves and this 30 year-old craft safely all the way from Wisconsin to the Gulf of Mexico. Through engine failures, oppressive heat waves, voracious mosquitoes, and a near miss from hurricane Joaquin we sailed on. For our perseverance we were rewarded with surreal days spent weaving between granite islands in Ontario, a few nights anchored in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty, a recent astonishing sail with some gregarious wild dolphins, and a front row seat to countless sunsets reflected on calm water.

While sailing I also blogged about and photographed numerous examples of climate change impacts seen along the way. The most visible included massive cypress trees killed off in the Carolinas due to increasing salinity in the groundwater, erosion on the sandy shores of Georgia, and of course the slow drowning of tiny Tangier Island by rising seas.

Finally, I also spent hundreds of hours learning Adobe Flash in order to create a preview of the interactive map that will combine climate change science resources and our blog posts in a collaged map containing images from our travels. Next I hope to find a developer who can help me make the map more accessible and interactive. Stay tuned for more in the coming months!

What’s next?

We’ll be taking the remainder of the winter and spring to hunker down and finish the Climate Odyssey project from a single location. This means fewer miles on the water and more hours working on the interactive map, community and classroom visits, and completing campaign perks! During the month of January we’ll be sailing to northern Florida where we can dock the boat affordably while we live aboard and work. We’ll also drive our car out in March, giving us better access to communities and schools in the Southeast.

Look out for new community profiles, classroom visits, updates to the interactive map, and campaign perks coming out in 2016! In the mean time, check out the photo essay from November and December. As always, we’re so grateful for your support.

Happy new year!

Lucy and Zion