The Sea Dragon sails out of Hamilton. *Photo by Simon Jones
The Sea Dragon sails out of Hamilton. *Photo by Simon Jones

The Sea Dragon dropped lines this morning under grey skies as she headed out for the first of two Sargasso Sea research expeditions.

She was joined by a handful of other boats as well as the Spirit of Bermuda as she sailed out of Hamilton at around 10am in light rain.

Over the past two years Pangaea Exploration's Sea Dragon has sailed a staggering 50,000 miles over the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans carrying out important research on the state of our shared marine environment.

While in Bermuda, Sea Dragon will make a three-day and a five-day exploration of the Sargasso Sea.

The trips will be supported by two weeks of shore-based laboratory/public awareness/education activities, concluding with a one-day “summit” to chart the path toward a Sargasso Sea conservation strategy.

Focusing on the Sargassum seaweed community — plankton, mid-water fishes and squids and seabirds — scientific teams [made up of Bermuda and visiting scientists, with the assistance of student interns, teachers, decision-makers, advocacy groups and film makers] will record, collect, photograph and preserve some of the most iconic Sargasso Sea biodiversity including their genomes.

The “Sea Dragon” is a 72-foot steel hulled sailing vessel built in the UK in 2000.

One of 11 second generation yachts built for the Global Challenge Race, she was purchased in late 2007 by Pangaea Exploration LLC, with a mission to learn about different parts of the world and how they are being affected by, and subsequently dealing with, the changes in the global environment.