Adventure Sailing & Science Expeditions

Adventure Sailing & Science Expeditions

We sail for adventure and science throughout the Caribbean, Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Northwest Passage, Patagonia, Arctic, Mediterranean, Asia, Alaska, Antarctica, and many other places - Don't lose your bunk! Book Now!

What We Do

Pangaea Exploration operates expedition and research charters throughout the world’s oceans. In between these voyages, we offer up our superb platform and our excellent crew to the public for sail training and adventure sailing voyages.

If you’ve ever dreamed of crossing an ocean, visiting remote tropical islands, or just taking an out of the ordinary sailing vacation, this could be the opportunity of a lifetime. Our guests are normally split 50/50 between sailors looking for a bit of blue water and adventurers who have never stepped foot on a boat in their lives. We offer adventure sailing voyages ranging in length between 1 and 4 weeks, anything from coastal cruising exploring islands to crossing oceans and learning celestial navigation.

In our work as a research vessel, we have worked with some of the world’s leading researchers and institutions. Work conducted on board has spanned from microplastics to coral, and water sampling to whales. We were an integral part of discovering the existence of microplastic pollution in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, have supported many diving trips, whether to find un-charted seamounts off the coast of Brazil or help in the search for “super reefs” in the Pacific. We have been a film platform for television programs on humpback whales and marine toxicology, as well as spending time in fresh water, sailing to the center of the North American continent through the Great Lakes.

Our Mission

At Pangaea, we strongly believe in the importance of connecting people with the sea. To that end, we have two main priorities: research expeditions and adventure sailing voyages. First, we provide a more affordable and eco-friendly platform for researchers to reach remote regions. Traditionally, these types of projects would need to be conducted on board large ships, costing up to 10 times more per day to operate and consuming more fuel in an hour than we do in a year. Secondly, we feel strongly that if people get a chance to get out on the ocean and experience it the way we do, they will better understand the importance of the sea. With this in mind, we offer adventure sailing voyages that provide this opportunity to people who range from complete beginners to experienced sailors.

Our Crew & Experience

We have been operating Sea Dragon throughout the Atlantic and Pacific for the past 10 years building an excellent reputation for safe, effective & efficient sailing voyages. Our experienced crew has covered over 185,000 nautical miles – not only developing a strong background in sailing education but also the skills to effectively and safely sail anywhere in the world. With sailing experience from Chicago to Stockholm, Africa to Patagonia, Greenland to Japan – our crew are excited to have you on board and share their knowledge of the world’s waterways.

The Sea Dragon

We sail throughout the world’s oceans aboard Sea Dragon, our 72ft expedition yacht. Sea Dragon was built as one of twelve steel ships for the British Steel Global Challenge, the toughest yacht race in the world. She has circumnavigated the world twice – both times upwind in the southern Ocean. Sea Dragon has gone through extensive refits in order to be more suitable as a teaching and research platform while maintaining her true rugged heritage. Sea Dragon can carry up to 15 people on unsupported voyages up to two months in length in any of the world’s oceans.

Ship's Log

Purpose Built Vessels

Purpose Built Vessels

As we get ready to return to Sea Dragon for her spring haul out, Shanley & I have thoroughly enjoyed sailing our own boat in the Caribbean. In a few weeks time we’ve covered countless islands and have had classic gorgeous trade wind sailing. One of the most fun things coming into a new bay and leaving another behind is seeing all the different boats along the way. From cruising cats, to traditional wooden boats, to strong well traveled hulls, we spend an awful lot of our time talking about boats. One common thread in all of this meandering is the importance of clearly defining what a boat will be used for, then designing it to that end. It really reinforces our respect for Sea Dragon’s performance, safety, comfort, and seakeeping when we take a look at all the other boats wandering the sea. We thought to share a few of the ones we’ve seen along the way, hoping to give you a taste of the many different stories in a small piece of this world. 

About a week ago we stopped in Carriacou, the smaller of the two islands that make up the nation of Grenada, for a few nights. I first came to the Caribbean 10 years ago, and from that first visit until now, one constant highlight has been the occasional sighting of locally built, brightly painted wooden sloops. Some are yachts, some carry tourists, some are rotting on their moorings, but almost without fail they have come from Carriacou, which is the center of boat building in the Eastern Caribbean. I’ve been to Carriacou half a dozen times, but never until this visit have we managed to get over the hill to Windward, where these boats are built. After a loud bus-ride up and over the hills from Hillsborough we got off at the end of the line, near a sign saying simply “Boat Building Site.” We followed the arrow along the sargassum-strewn beach to a quiet palm-shaded yard where a surprisingly massive vessel was nearing completion, her bow pointed to the sea as it beckoned the water to lap upon her hull.

It was late afternoon, and Anthony McLawrence, the boat-builder, was cleaning up fallen branches and leaves from the yard in the shade of the trees. We chatted for a while, admiring his new build, and Anthony told us how when he was a child, this strip of beach would have up to a dozen boats being built at a time, some of them cargo schooners topping 80′ in length. Times have changed, and today there are only a few families with the skills to build these craft, and only Anthony has a boat being built right now. When we first walked through the gate we didn’t realize how large she was, but after getting a bit closer we realized that this wasn’t a small sloop or yacht – this thing was huge! The 65′ hull stretched back into the trees, and Anthony told us that he was not only the builder but the owner – this boat was going to carry cargo, sailing the islands of the lesser Antilles between the BVI and Trinidad. He and his crew been working on her for over two years now in his time off from his day job doing yacht repairs on the other side of the island, and is hoping to launch her this spring. Anthony pointed to a beamy, low-slung sloop sitting on a mooring just offshore with a towering rig and told us he had built her as a race boat for his brother, who regularly saw speeds over 10 knots while crushing his competition. Anthony’s cargo vessel, while built with different goals, shared her lines and inspiration with the race boat and should easily carry a load with a much less racy sail plan. Oh the different boats built on this one stretch of sand!

At a nearby boatyard on Carriacou, in Tyrell Bay, we happened across Iron Bark II, a slightly different take on traditional sailing craft but definitely purpose built. She’s a 31′ steel cutter with a full keel and gaff mainsail and topsail on an aluminum rig – a nice blend of traditional designs with modern materials. What really sets Iron Bark apart from other boats blocked around her is her voyaging career. Iron Bark belongs to Trevor Roberts, a determinedly little known Australian voyager who has spent his life at sea. This tough little cutter has spent at least two winters locked in the ice of the Antarctic peninsula and another in Greenland, and together with Trevor has racked up countless miles upon the world’s oceans. A whole fleet of similarly sized boats has been racing around the southern ocean this year in the Golden Globe race, racking up an impressive number of failures, sinkings, injuries, knockdowns, and withdrawals in the process. While racing certainly isn’t cruising, Iron Bark is resting peacefully in the yard after countless drama-free miles, while a fleet of repurposed fiberglass cruisers, not intended for anything like this kind of use, has been disintegrating across the Southern Ocean.

Here in Grenada is another example of just what can go wrong when a boat intended for one use unexpectedly finds another. This Catana charter catamaran was unceremoniously deposited on the rocks last weekend after, rumor has it, her mooring failed. With her speed, weight, and shallow draft, this was undoubtedly a wonderful boat for taking tourists on sailing holidays in the Caribbean, but Safari was never intended to spend five days being bounced on a rocky shoreline, and it’s sad to see her breaking up while salvage efforts get under way – this morning her port hull appears to be almost completely broken up. While no one willingly subjects their boat to this type of abuse, the pendulum of strength vs. weight is much more likely to swing one way for a vessel built for sailing alone in the arctic and another for one looking for sun and rum in the tropics.

These boats have been built for very different purposes: efficiently carrying cargo, unsupported solo voyages to the far ends of the earth, and luxurious sun-drenched holidays in pleasant anchorages. All of them fulfill their goals admirably, but when put into a situation that was never intended, like Safari, they may not be the best of options. One thing we really appreciate about Sea Dragon is that she was designed to safely carry a large amateur crew through the roughest oceans of the world. She certainly wouldn’t be great at cargo, and with our deep draft we can’t creep into shallow anchorages in chase of an idyllic patch of sand, and she is too big and powerful to be an easy boat to single-hand. However, she’ll make good time across oceans, keep her crew safely onboard while waves are sweeping across her decks, claw off a lee shore in 50 knots of wind, and provide comfortable, quiet bunks to keep her crew well rested through all of it. Sea Dragon is a wonderful platform, more than tough enough to handle anything that comes our way.