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Expedition schedule

Leg 1: 20.04 – 27.04, Key west

Leg 2: 27.04 – 04.05, key west 

The approximately 1,700 mangrove-fringed islands of the Keys provide important nursery habitat for commercial and recreational fish species, as well as above-water nesting grounds for vibrant bird populations. Furthermore, the Keys are a major producer and supplier of all the seafood consumed in Florida. Up to now, research around Florida showed that a high amount of fish specimen and sea cucumbers  are contaminated with microplastics. However, there is no data available that focuses on submicron-sized plastics (< 0.3mm) found in the waters and seafood such as mussels around the Keys.

This expedition will be conducted in collaboration with the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation. The aim of this project is thus to detect, capture, and analyse submicron-sized plastic particles at sizes smaller than 0.3 mm within the Florida Keys, to examine uptake and concentration levels of these microplastics in seafood sources such as different types of fish, mussels, shrimps etc.  and  to partner up with local stakeholders to discuss and initiate mitigation measures and monitoring projects.The samples will be collected using a novel manta trawl system modified for the collection of submicron-sized particles, in-/ and off-shore of the Florida Keys and further processed and analyzed in the lab. In addition, we will get seafood samples such as mussels from the local fish markets and fishermen and determine their contamination levels.

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What is included in an expedition week ​

  • All participants will serve as crew and be integrated into the sailing routine as much as possible. This involves navigation, watch duty, setting sails, reefing, anchoring and kitchen duty

  • Get to know how to sail and make sailor knots or improve your existing sailing skills with our skippers with more than 20 years of sailing experience and sleep like a real crew and share beds/bunking with other participants

  • Assist with the sampling by using the Manta Trawl system, help to fill out the data sheets and conduct the first evaluations on board

  • Listen to our daily lectures on plastic pollution and its impact on the environment and human health as well as the structure of the marine ecosystem, plankton etc.

  • Learn how to take plankton samples and do the analysis of the samples on board to feed the NOAA plankton database to better understand the global occurrence and distribution patterns of plankton

  • Get the opportunity to get in touch with local researchers and learn from them what their research entails

  • Go swimming and snorkeling in the deep blue sea and explore the land whenever possible! 

The costs per expedition week are as follows

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The course costs are USD 1’850.- per person per week. There is a 10% reduction (USD 370.-) on the course costs for the additional week. The course costs for two consecutive weeks thus amounts to USD 3’330.-. The course costs for Students are USD 1’350.- per person per week. The participation costs cover the participants' board and lodging on board and help to finance the project.


Included in the price are

  • Shared room

  • Food, drinks (all-inclusive)

  • Board cash contributions (fixed) including harbor fees, diesel, marine park fee, cleaning, etc.

  • Carbon footprint removal, CO2 emission removal for the diesel exhaust gases produced 

  • A Sail & Explore Expedition T-shirt


​Not included in the price are 

  • Food and drinks on land are not taken over by the board cash. Participants pay these themselves.


  • You don't need any sailing skills or to have a scientific background


*The expedition will only take place if there are enough participants. The possible realization of the expedition will be communicated at least one month before the start.

LET'S CREATE A CHANGE TOGETHER!  Take action and become part of our expedition crew 

To get more information about the expedition and to register fill out the form on the right side "MORE INFORMATION & REGISTRATION".  We will get back to you with further information concerning the full registration, outward and return journey, boat details, what to bring etc. 



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