Writing at Sea | Dominican Republic to Florida

Writing at Sea | Dominican Republic to Florida
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Apr 4th – 13th, 2015

Depart: Dominican Republic
Arrive: Palm Beach, Florida
Length: 10 days, 9 nights
Focus: Creative Writing, Sailing, Ecology, Snorkeling, Beach Combing


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We currently have a $500 grant available towards this expedition! Please click here for more details.

 “…no one could write truthfully about the sea and leave out the poetry.” – Rachel Carson

Would you like to join us for …

  • An adventurous ocean voyage aboard a 72-foot yacht, Sea Dragon
  • A nature-inspired writing journey that takes you out of your comfort zone
  • Sailing between the Dominican Republic and Palm Beach, Florida
  • Stopovers on secluded beaches in the Bahamas
  • Discussions about incorporating place and ecology in your writing
  • A writers’ retreat at sea – plenty of opportunities to write and workshop
  • An exchange of ideas about solutions to pressing environmental problems

‘Writing at Sea’ offers the remarkable opportunity to expand your creative writing skills while sailing through some of the most breathtaking parts of the Bahamas. During this 10-day voyage aboard S/V Sea Dragon, you will be provided with a unique space to create new writing that cultivates an awareness of our marine environment and takes into regard the ecological challenges humans place on the oceans.

This expedition will combine facilitated discussion; hands-on sailing experience; and practical workshops on writing fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, and environmental journalism.

Come aboard, and get published in Whole Terrain!

Whole Terrain, Antioch University’s award-winning journal of reflective environmental practice, will be publishing three pieces of writing from participating crew members in their online and print journals. For more information about publishing opportunities on this trip, please contact Elizabeth at info@elizabethclairealberts.com

‘Writing at Sea’ is suitable for people of all writing levels – you can be a beginning writer, or a professional with thirty years writing experience. This is a wonderful chance for you to develop your writing with a crew of like-minded individuals, and to discover how your writing can be a powerful tool to create awareness and change.

Use crowdfunding to get on board!

Several people have successfully raised money through crowdfunding to join previous expeditions on board Sea Dragon. The possibilities for this are endless, but we have resources and a few examples available here.

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Elizabeth Claire Alberts – Mission Leader

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Elizabeth Claire Alberts is an American-born poet, journalist, and a creative writing instructor at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. She has always had a passion for the oceans, and spent many years volunteering for non-profits like Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and the Two Hands Project. Elizabeth is a contributing writer of Stories of the Great Turning (with a foreword by Joanna Macy), a book that celebrates the written word as a powerful tool to create environmental change, and recounts the journeys of grass roots activists who have responded to the challenges of our time. Elizabeth’s writing has also appeared in publications like Audubon, The Ecologist, Resurgence, Alternatives JournalWild, and Earth Island Journal. She will be awarded her PhD in creative writing in 2015. Her doctoral thesis and creative writing project focus on the relationship between narrative and poetry in verse-novels for children and young adults. You can visit Elizabeth’s website at http://elizabethclairealberts.com



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Background & Expertise
BA. Honours (English), B.S. Communications
Working for the last years as an Independent Writer,  Write on travel, literature, culture, environment, politics, gender, life around me etc.

Expedition Goals
Have a knowledge about environment issues on land but am less informed about the degradation of marine life.  Hoping to improve my knowledge about these issues and disseminate them as far as possible through my writings.Planning to maximise my learning curve on this trip, both through theoretical knowledge and practical exposure.


Steven Lansky

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Background & Expertise
Social work background with severely mentally disabled adults.  BA, MA, and MFA in creative writing.  Poet Laureate of Over-the-Rhine Cincinnati 1984-1985. Wrote and produced One-Act Play: HARD NOSED, about suicide in 1991.  Radio personality with weekly broadcast on NPR affiliate in Greater Cincinnati 1989-1998.  Traveled for writing workshops or conferences to St. Petersburg, Russia 2000, Kenya 2004, Montreal 2010, Lisbon 2011, France, Athens, Vilnius 2012, Mexico 2013.  Studied with Natalie Goldberg in Taos, Atlanta, and Villefavard, France.  Created digital texts which have been shown at international conferences in London and Athens.  Experienced teacher.  Musician and artist.

Expedition Goals
Currently at work on novel which has chapters set on Caribbean cruise.  Themes include cli-fi agitprop radio, espionage, robotics, drones, alien technology, and animism.  Interested in observing natural phenomena, weather, sailing, and enjoying imaginative possibilities while on expedition.  Interested in theme of “trust” as described by Elizabeth Claire Alberts.  Hope to participate in creating blogs, and other nonfiction as part of the expedition.  Looking for adventure in remote region.



Eric Loss – Skipper

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A native of California, Eric has been on the water since an early age. He has sailed more than 55,000 offshore miles, and has sailed everything from windsurfers to 115′ schooners, and recently he completed a single-handed circumnavigation by way of the great capes. He enjoys teaching all aspects of sailing, from boat handling and dinghy racing to navigation and seamanship. He is always eager to share his knowledge of celestial navigation. Eric has been involved in sail training for most of his life, and is an US Sailing instructor. He holds an IYT Master of Yachts Ocean with commercial endorsement and a USCG 100 ton master’s license. Eric is also an experienced diver and PADI Divemaster.

Shanley Mcentee – First Mate

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Shanley was born and raised in San Diego, CA and graduated with a BA in Environmental Policy and a minor in Environmental Science from Western Washington University. Having grown up by the sea, she holds a deep passion for Mother Ocean and our ever-growing need for protection and awareness of the problems our environment is facing. She enjoys anything having to do with the sea, from surfing to scuba diving to sailing, and loves offshore passages. She is PADI Rescue Diver certified and holds an IYT Master of Yatchs Offshore with commercial endorsement.

Megan Evans – Deckhand

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Megan was born and raised in Wales, UK and was on the water from a young age. The marine and coastal environment has played a huge part in her life learning to sail at age 7 she took that onto compete internationally representing Wales and Great Britain. Megan is a qualified sailing instructor having worked at home and in the UAE and spends most free time surfing, wake boarding and windsurfing. Recently graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Geography and Environmental Management from the University of the West of England Megan is now keen to take this onto a career in marine research and conservation to help protect the environment she is most passionate about to ensure irreversible damage is not done.

[/tab] [tab title=”Itinerary”] Day 1 (April 4): Arrive on board Pangaea’s 72-foot yacht, Sea Dragon, in picturesque Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic at 4pm. Take some time to stow gear on board, settle in, and get to know each other. Evening session with Elizabeth, including a critical discussion on creativity, writing spaces, writing about place, and ecological writing. We’ll discuss how we’ll use Sea Dragon as a writing space during this journey, and how the marine environment may inspire and influence our writing.

Day 2 (April 5): A safety briefing from Skipper Eric Loss and First Mate Shanley McEntee. Then we set sail for the Bahamas! We’ll spend the afternoon learning the ins and outs of sailing aboard Sea Dragon under the expert guidance of Eric and Shanley. We’ll also keep our eyes peeled for humpback whales as we sail past their sanctuary in the Dominican Republic.

Day 3 (April 6): First day out in the open ocean! We’ll get to enjoy the wonder of 360 degree ocean views as we head deeper into the Atlantic Ocean. We’ll look out for seabirds, dolphins, and whales. This day will be an opportunity to test out our sea legs, and to get our creative writing juices flowing. We’ll put pen to paper and write about our initial observations/feelings/ideas on this first day out at sea. Tonight we’ll also commence our evening sharing sessions, which will give crew members the opportunity to share something they’ve written or observed or thought about over the course of the day.

Days 4-8 (April 7-11): As we sail towards Palm Beach, we’ll discuss the human relationship with the marine environment, and the ecological challenges humans place on the oceans, and think about ways to address these issues in our writing. We’ll explore different triggers to kick start our writing, including the use of plastic objects collected from the open ocean and shorelines. We’ll be stopping in two remote places to snorkel, beach comb… and also to write! Writing workshops will be held each day, along with evening sharing sessions.

Day 9 (April 12): Sail towards Palm Beach in Florida. Writing workshops and sharing sessions will continue before arriving in Palm Beach in the evening.

Day 10 (April 13): After clearing customs and immigration in the morning, we’ll spend the afternoon discussing ways in which we will develop our writing after this trip, and how we can use our writing to make a difference in the world. After a scrumptious lunch, we’ll say our goodbyes to our fellow writers.

*Itinerary subject to change based on weather. [/tab] [tab title=”More Information”] Travel documents: Crew will require a passport from their home country that will allow them to travel to Dominican Republic, Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, USA. Non US Citizens will require a B1/B2 visa for entry into USA by sea.

Contribution Includes:

  • 9 nights accommodation on board Sea Dragon
  • All meals, snacks and drinks on board
  • Sailing instruction
  • Safety equipment and foul weather gear
  • All workshops, personal development and one-on-one sessions

Payment does not include:

  • Transportation to Dominican Republic and home from Palm Beach, FL
  • Transportation to and from the dock
  • Personal expenses while in port

Kit List

Please see our Travel Kit List.

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