Team Sockeye Voyages is Tara,Watkins (“Spoons”), Olivia Lord (“Captain OZ”), and John Calogero (“Sockeye”). The 2022 Race to Alaska is a personal and team challenge through 750 nautical miles of the Inside Passage from Washington State, through British Columbia, to Southeast Alaska. Also, The Race is an opportunity to practice our craft as professional small boat sailors and maritime educators. And, we have offered our vessel as a platform from which to conduct research using our hands and our eyes for scientists interested in various aspects of this particular marine environment.
While we propel ourselves north, we will be conducting research for our scientific partners. Each day we plan to bring the experience to our followers through interactive social media. Watch and listen to us as we struggle with ocean currents while in the rain. Encourage us to overcome challenges. Join us for a plankton tow and when we see whales. Ask us questions.
After ringing the bell in Ketchikan, we will turn our bow south towards Washington State following a similar route while continuing our research yet with more exploration for a different experience.
Partnering with Dr. Deborah Giles, of Wild Orca, we will log marine mammal sightings for a database which will be available to the public. We can expect to see humpback whales, harbor seals, and stellar sea lions. There is a chance we may see other baleen whales, Pacific white-sided dolphins, and sea otters.
Partnering with Dr. Nathan Robinson, of Wild Blue Science, we will record video of what animals are in the water around our boat while underway and when we are at anchor. Dr. Robinson seeks records of behavior and evidence of species that are rare or perhaps never documented before.
Partnering with Dr. Robin Kodner, of Western Washington University, we will collect plankton samples en route. Dr. Kodner is seeking distribution and abundance of certain species and with the samples we collect she and her students will look for genetic variations.
Partnering with Dr. Leonid Moroz, of the Ocean Genome Atlas Project, we will collect plankton and jellies, specifically ctenophores. The OGAP is looking to collect and sequence many genomes to create a database of life in the ocean now, having witnessed and anticipating more species loss. When compared to the diversity found in tropical rainforests, there is many times that diversity in the oceans and much less knowledge about it.
In addition, we plan to conduct some comparative recordings of sounds in the water: our engineless vessel underway, in measured proximity with other engineless vessels, and in measured proximity with powered vessels. Knowledge about the effects of sound on species in the ocean has begun, but more is needed. And, we will collect water samples for a study of the distribution of microplastics along the coast. We are in discussions about partnerships with researchers on these subjects.
Based in Port Townsend, Washington, the Northwest Maritime Center runs The R2AK, and other adventure races. The Race Committee is crafting bios which poke fun at each team. Enjoy the bio for Team Sockeye Voyages and the other teams stepping up to this challenge.
Thank you for your interest in Team Sockeye Voyages, and we appreciate your support!