How Big is the Ocean?

By: Environmental

For many of us, the idea of perfection is defined by a day on the water. We leave the dock, raise the sails, and point the bow in a direction that efficiently utilizes wind energy. The hull of our boat is designed to assist in the movement through the water. The sail shape helps with harnessing the wind. The rudder manages our direction. 

Sailing is science. 

Sailing makes every sailor a master of geometry and physics. As the earth changes and people inhabit more and more spaces, sailors are slowly becoming biologists.  The water we sail on is changing and the large body of space that we call home is calling to be understood.

While the ocean is often described as five separate parts, it simply is just one. The Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Southern, and Arctic oceans all are part of the world ocean.

Ocean Facts:

  • The ocean covers 71% of the earth’s surface
  • 99% of the area that can be inhabited by life is found in the ocean
  • The largest mountain range, the Mid Atlantic Range can be found in the ocean
  • The largest waterfall is found in the Denmark Strait, you guessed it, in the ocean in the North Atlantic.
  • The tallest mountain is not Mt. Everest, it’s Mauna Kea in Hawaii. It rises from the ocean floor and dwarfs Everest’s 8805 meters with its 10,0000-meter height from the ocean floor.
  • The Challenger Deep is a canyon so deep that Mt. Everest could fit inside it, much deeper than any canyon on land.

The ocean is massive and it defines the planet. Yet, almost 50 percent of the earth’s population lives within 100 km of coastline and most of the remainder live near lakes, streams and rivers that feed the ocean.

Why Are Sailors Important?

Sailors are stewards of the ocean. We are out on the water and we can be the first line of defense as well as prominent advocates for conservation issues. Sailors for the Sea has released a Green Boating Guide to help boaters do their part with conservation.

Take a look at their Top Ten Checklist from the Sailors for the Sea Green Boating Guide. Also, go to their website and download a copy for yourself.

green boating

The Checklist for Boaters

  • Be Careful When Filling Your Fuel – Be mindful of spills. Use an absorbent bib or collar to keep fuel from entering our waterways
  • Prepare for Spills – Store methods for absorbing oil on your boat, just in case.
  • Lower Your Footprint – Sail more, motor less. Using less fuel helps lower your carbon footprint. Keeping the hull clean, reducing weight and proper engine maintenance can help too.
  • Pump, Don’t Dump – Use your head with a holding tank and don’t discharge blackwater into the ocean. Locate a pump-out facility and keep the marina clean.
  • Regulate Your Cleaning Products – Unfortunately, just because your cleaning products say non-toxic or biodegradable does not mean that they are actually okay to dump in the water. Figure out what you might be cleaning your decks with before they spill in the ocean. 
  • Don’t be Foul – Try antifouling paints that are non-toxic to marine life and plants.
  • Wildlife Awareness – Enjoy the wildlife but be aware of their habitat. Always remain 300 feet from wildlife and avoid collisions when at all possible.
  • Moor More – Choose a mooring ball if available over dropping anchor. You’ll want to avoid reefs and sensitive habitats if you have to drop a hook.

Check out more tips in the Green Boating Guide:

Ocean Awareness