World Water Day and Green Sailing

water and sunsetSail power is one of the oldest forms of transportation in existence, and it has lasted for a reason: It’s as green as it gets. Sailing more, and motoring only when necessary, is not only fun and a mark of good seamanship, but also a smart environmental decision.

Today is World Water Day, a “holiday” of sorts designated by the UN General Assembly in 1992. The purpose the day is to raise awareness about projects going on around the world having to do with clean water and other related issues. Check out their map of the world and you can see that things are happening on all six of the globe’s inhabited continents.

But they aren’t the only ones stumping for this cause. Some friends of the American Sailing Association doing important water work include:

Sailors for the Sea is “a nonprofit organization that educates and empowers the boating community to protect oceans and local waters.” They work to set up clean regattas, among many other projects, and just introduced a new membership level for dogs(!).

The people at Sperry Topsider (yes, the shoe) have made a cool interactive page with 10 simple things you can do in your daily life to help out the ocean. Well worth a look.

Some of our instructors based in Japan are working on a project called Electric Seas, which outfits boats with electric motors as opposed to diesel or gasoline. This conversion procedure is rapidly gaining in popularity. Among landlubbers you’ll find folks with beautiful old diesel Mercedes-Benz sedans (you know, the kind with comfortable seats and elegant curves that also weigh 10 tons and belch green smoke) converting to diesel-electric, a one-time expense that saves them money and guilt in the long run. The same can be done for sailboats, and the more headway this idea gains, the better!

turanor
Photo courtesy of PlanetSolar

Lastly, I want to point out an incredible boat, pictured at right. Yes, it looks like the Starship Enterprise, and no it’s not a sailboat, strictly speaking. It’s actually a boat unlike any other. It is called Turanor, which is an extremely dorky reference to something from “Lord of the “Rings,” (and I mean that in the best way possible), and it is run by a team called PlanetSolar. Turanor is a 102 foot catamaran currently attempting to become the first boat to ever circumnavigate the globe running ENTIRELY on solar power. It departed from Monaco on the southern coast of France and is currently wending its way through the stunning Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia. The boat has stopovers planned in major cities around the world, so check their website to see if you might have an opportunity to see this thing in action!

We can go to a sailing school, get our ASA certification, and become good sailors, but we should always remember that the water is our ultimate teacher. It’s crucial that we do what we can to protect it. So happy World Water Day to all of you!