Another World Adventures

Adventure365 Blog Inspired Stories

Enriching People and Planet through Adventure

Original post: Another World Adventures

6mins read

To celebrate World Ocean Day we’re happy to report that a donation for every adventure seeker we helped find and set off on a great adventure in 2022 was been donated towards the development a new ocean conservation not-for-profit called Free Range Ocean and the first of its many exciting projects. 

Free Range Ocean is a UK-registered not-for-profit organisation founded in 2023 to inspire action for our ocean through adventure, science and storytelling. For every adventure seeker that found and booked a trip in 2022 through Another World Adventures we made a donation of £20, alongside a partnership arrangement which has seen us support Free Range Ocean with £6,400 this year already.

The first Free Range Ocean initiative took place this spring.

Project: TransPacific
Dates: 86 days between March and May 2023
Vessel: Freeranger (Beneteau 50 Celebration sailboat)
Passage: Sailing over 7,500nm across the Pacific Ocean, from Whangamata, New Zealand to Victoria, Canada via French Polynesia and Hawaii.

An international crew undertook two citizen science projects during a vessel delivery with the aim of contributing data from hard to reach places offshore to global research projects. 

Free Range Ocean
Skipper: Mark Griffiths
Crew New Zealand > French Polynesia > Hawaii: Bryce Thurston & Bernadette Marcon
Crew Hawaii > Victoria, BC: Elle Burke & Adam Eason
Onshore Direction & Logistics: Larissa Clark & Duncan Copeland

The projects they were able to support with remote data sampling included:

  1. During the whole passage: Global Oceanic Environmental Survey – A collaborative data collection project coordinated by the GOES Foundation.

Aim and background: More than 60% by mass of all animals and plants in the oceans are under 1mm in size and they have been almost completely ignored by climate scientists, this is surprising because they control our climate, atmosphere and are the life support system for the entire planet. 

By way of example, there are more cells of a plant call Prochlorococcus than there are grains of sands, and the mass of small animals called Copepods equates to the mass of 17 million jumbo jets. The animals migrate from a depth 400m every night to feed on the plants at the surface. This is the greatest mass migration on the planet, and their swimming action moves more water than the moon and tides. 

The biology of the oceans are critically important but the science emerging is telling us that because we have polluted our beautiful oceans so much over the last 70 years, we have collectively managed to reduce the numbers of tiny planktonic plants and animals by a staggering 50%. This destruction is continuing at a rate of 1% year on year. These tiny animals are munching on toxic microplastic (they can’t tell the difference between plant and plastic particles) and the GOES Foundation have created an observational study so that we can start to estimate the amount of toxic chemical in the deep ocean. 

Free Range Ocean Participation: 

The crew collected samples twice per day for the entire voyage (minus a handful of times when it was not safe to do so) taking photos of the samples using a microscope on board and documenting the results which were submitted to the project upon landfall. Over 100 at-sea water samples were collected.

This summer, an undergraduate marine scientist will conduct data analysis on the samples collected during the voyage to understand and they’ll share observations and findings.

The crew took a 0.5 litre of sea water, put it through a GOES filter (developed by Dr.Jesus Ramon Barriuso Diez), count plankton, microplastics (fibres and beads) and any other particles which are over 20 microns. By counting the particles, the microplastics and the plankton, the GOES Foundation will use machine learning to undertake the following, but the really exciting thing about science is that other patterns and relationships may start to emerge as the number of samples we all take increases: 

  • look for relationships and correlations in the numbers
  • present the data in ways that help us understand what’s going on in the deep ocean
  • add up the amount of toxic PCB that is in the deep oceans of our planet.

Watch this space for the findings…

2. North Pacific: Changes in the pelagic ecosystem

A multi-institutional project, funded by NASA and including the University of Hawaii, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Applied Physics Laboratory of the University of Washington, Smithsonian Institution and Canada Department of Fisheries and Oceans. 

Aim: The project is to study changes in the pelagic ecosystem induced by the growing amounts of man-made debris floating in the ocean. This debris provides a new, long-living substrate that creates a sustained “floating” ecosystem in the otherwise low-nutrients environment. The idea of the project resulted from the discovery of hundreds of Asian coastal species that crossed the North Pacific with the debris from the 2011 tsunami in Japan.

The project includes:

  • tracking real debris, 
  • deployment of a set of Lagrangian instruments, and 
  • collection of biological samples. 

Observations will allow us to improve drift models of various types of debris, from fishing nets to microplastics. Satellite trackers tagging large floating items will enable removal of these debris from the ocean and detailed sampling of biota colonizing these items.

Free Range Ocean participation:

The passage plan for Wild Thing III would take the crew through the North Pacific and close to or through the ‘Great Pacific Garbage Patch’ – the densest accumulation zone of marine debris in the world. With our support, they had an opportunity to support the research by carrying and if possible deploying up to two trackers if the conditions and opportunity are appropriate. 

In Honolulu ahead of departure the crew took on board two trackers and made plans to document phenomena as slicks and windrows (aggregations of seafoam, seaweeds, plankton and natural debris that appear on the ocean surface), bacterial blooms, assemblages of neuston (small aquatic organisms inhabiting the surface layer or moving on the surface film of water) and identifiable debris. 

The crew observed much marine debris during the voyage (which can be seen as micro plastics and micro fibres in the water sample data) plus larger floating items, but it was not possible to deploy the tracker due to the sea state and lack of opportunities for significant enough sized debris within the range of 30 – 38 degrees N.

It was a reminder of how difficult it is to get this kind of data at sea and why citizen science projects like these are so important.

Thank you to everyone who travelled last year helping to make this research contribution possible!

Many exciting updates are coming on this very soon including a report of the data analysis from the sampling.

Cover image: Crew member Bryce Thurston collects and documents water samples at sea for the GOES project (c) Bryce Thurston

Another World Adventures logo Larissa-Clark-sailing-across-the-Atlantic-Ocean

Hi I’m Larissa, Founder of Another World Adventures. Welcome! If you’re planning an adventure you’re in the right place. Get ready to discover epic travel inspo and a collection of hand-picked trips from my trusted network of experienced adventure experts. Think unusual destinations, expeditions, slow, solo and sustainable travel and epic journeys on land and at sea! Ever got a question? Just get in touch, I answer every enquiry myself. Enjoy!

Explore our trips
Get our best stuff sent straight to you!

Follow us on


Follow us on


Follow us on


Featured adventures

Discover your next adventure from our tried and tested adventure providers

As seen in

Explore our unique collection of trips and get inspired for your next adventure

As seen in

Responsible Tourism

We believe in ‘creating better places for people to live in, and better places to visit’ through a responsible approach to travel. Read how you can travel responsibly on your adventure.

Read more

Our Story

Our journey began on an ocean adventure sailing across the Atlantic ... find our more and get inspired for your next great trip.

Read more

Earn Rewards

We'll donate to a nature project in your name in thanks for using Another World Adventures to find and book a trip.

Read more
Get our best stuff sent straight to you!