Sabra Crossing: An ecological adventure in the North Atlantic (Marine Conservation)

 
9781879269033: Sabra Crossing: An ecological adventure in the North Atlantic (Marine Conservation)
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Sabra's Atlantic crossing is a family adventure with an environmental theme. The travelogue is sprinkled with marine conservation sidebars which reflect man's changing relationship with the sea from the genesis of early myths (were mermaids really manatees?) to the destruction of ocean resources in modern times ("The Scourge of Driftnets or Curtains of Death"). A constant through five centuries of Atlantic crossings is the wonder inspired by nature's diversity, the surprise of such oddities as the right and left handed Portuguese man-of-war.

The 32-foot Chinese junk-rigged schooner traveling from Washington, D.C. to Sevilla, Spain, down the Potomac, across the Atlantic, and up the Guadalquivir, provides an expansive setting for reflection on the Ocean Sea and how it has changed, and remained the same, over the past five centuries. "I feel so small in an immense body of water - the distances were so great, I was going so slow, the wind and waves were at times so awesome, the depth of the water seemed infinite - and yet one small (and endangered) sea turtle swimming by became as important and as much a part of my life as the huge waves pushing Sabra around or the distant sun pointing the way to our destination."

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From the Publisher:

THE CENTER FOR MARINE CONSERVATION

The Center for Marine Conservation, established in 1972, is a non-profit organization dedicated wholly to the health of the marine environment. The Center is a membership-based organization with almost 100,000 members nationwide. They have initiated a number of citizen coalitions across the country, organized to focus on specific, regional issues. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Center maintains offices in Virginia, Florida, Texas, and California.

The Center's five main program areas illustrate a broad approach to conserve and protect the Earth's marine ecosystems:

The Protection of Critical Marine Habitats;
The Prevention of Marine Pollution;
The Protection of Endangered Marine Species;
The Management of Fisheries for Conservation;
The Conservation of Marine Biological Diversity.

Over the past twenty years the Center has conducted policy-oriented research, promoted public awareness and education, encouraged citizens to voice their concerns through the political process, and supported domestic and international conservation programs.

1972 - 1992: Twenty Years of Protecting Marine Wildlife

From the Author:

I started sailing about 20 years ago. From the beginning I knew that my enjoyment would come from cruising to far off places. I wanted to combine living aboard with adventure travel. An Atlantic crossing, a Holy Grail among many sailors, was a perfect opportunity for an extended live-aboard cruise and a chance to further the cause of marine conservation.

Several years before the crossing, I developed an admiration for 15th and 16th century sailors, particularly Christopher Columbus and his four voyages to the New World. I saw my crossing as an opportunity to get a first-hand feeling for his navigational feats and a closer glimpse of the untamed environment he experienced. A small sailboat voyage across the trackless Atlantic using a sextant for navigation was the closest I would ever get to what the world was like for this intrepid explorer, adventurer, and extraordinary navigator.

I hope my story of Sabra's crossing will inspire others to similar adventures, or at least to a greater awareness of the ocean environment. The oceans epitomize the unfortunate adage "Dilution is the solution to pollution." With the exception of a piece of floating plastic debris here and there, and noticeably fewer fish and marine animals, the open oceans appear untouched. Closer examination, especially of coastal areas, however, reveals a much more disturbing story.

In 1492, humans were an insignificant part of ocean life. Now, 500 years later, we have the capability of wiping out whole species and destroying entire ecosystems. But we also have the capacity to join together and find solutions to the many problems facing our oceans today. What our future will be is our decision.

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Michael L. Frankel
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Michael L. Frankel
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