Exploration Science | San Diego – Channel Islands – Ensenada

Exploration Science | San Diego – Channel Islands – Ensenada

March 7 – March 15 | FINISHED

Limited Availability
Already Sailed  This Trip

This trip will be a week of sailing, science, and adventure.  We’ll visit the Southern California Channel Islands – San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa, Santa Barbara, and Santa Catalina.  You’ll learn about expedition planning, coastal navigation, sailing, and seamanship from the Pangaea team while practicing field skills.  Possibilities include ROV operation, underwater and terrestrial surveys, and more.  This trip is full – please consider another voyage!

  • Cost: $2200
  • Date: March 7 – March 15, 2020
  • Start: Chula Vista, CA, USA
  • End: Ensenada, Mexico
  • Length: 8 days, 7 nights
  • Focus: Field Research | Sail Training | Exploration


Contact Us

Call Us: +1 ‪(305) 330-4212‬



The greatest adventure you can have without years of training and experience – like climbing Everest without all the waiting in line.

– Stosh R.

Tentative Itinerary

Day 1:  Afternoon Arrival on  Sea Dragon

You’ll meet us on the dock in Chula Vista anytime between 1500 and 1700 and come on board to settle in. Everyone will come together for our first dinner on board and have the opportunity to chat with your fellow crew members. After dinner, your professional crew will go through life on board and safety procedures in preparation for departure the following morning. You’ll be fitted with your own lifejacket and assigned foul weather gear if you haven’t brought your own. We’ll spend the night on the dock.

Day 2:  Sunrise Sail to the Channel Islands

Just after the sun rises, we’ll cast off the lines and head for the Channel Islands. Our first voyage will be an overnight passage to Santa Cruz Island. We’ll run watch teams and schedules for this hop, so you’ll have plenty of time to get a feel for being at the helm and for trimming the sails, while keeping an eye out for sea creature friends as we sail to Santa Cruz. We’ll sail under the stars all through the night.

Day 3-4:  Exploring the Northern Channel Islands

From here on out, the schedule will depend on the weather.  A few must-dos will be a visit to the Painted Cave, snorkeling in kelp forests, and hiking ashore on various islands.  We’ll try to visit Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, and Anacapa, and if the weather cooperates, we might even get to visit wind-swept San Miguel. These nights will be spent on anchor.

Day 5:  Passage South

We’ll head back south, and depending on weather, may get the chance to stop at tiny, remote and inaccessible Santa Barbara Island.  If it’s too rough to land, we’ll continue on to Two Harbors at Catalina, where a tiny community has formed in the isthmus of the Island.  We’ll enjoy good hiking and great ice cream! We’ll spend the night on a mooring in Two Harbors.

Day 6: Onwards to San Diego

We’ll spend the morning ashore, then set sail overnight for San Diego to clear customs and continue to Mexico.

Day 7:  To Mexico

We’ll check out of the United States early in the morning during our brief stop in San Diego, then head down the coast towards beautiful Ensenada, Mexico.  Keep an eye out for any early migrating whales – last year we saw humpbacks, greys, and even two blues!  Dolphins are also omnipresent as we head south and love to escort Sea Dragon through the waves.  We’ll arrive in Ensenada late in the afternoon in time to enjoy fish tacos and a cold beverage.

Day 8: Departure

We’ll check into Mexican customs & immigration in the morning, then crew will be free to depart the vessel by 1300 hours.

What's Included

Contribution Includes:
– 7 nights accommodation on Sea Dragon
All meals (vegetarian), snacks, and drinks on board
– Sailing Instruction
– Safety equipment and foul weather gear
– Mask, snorkel, fins, weights
– Use of inflatable paddle boards

Contribution does not include:
– Transportation to and from San Diego and Ensenada
– Transportation to and from the boat
– Additional nights spent ashore
– Personal expenses while in port

Packing List  
Travel Details

You will join the boat in Chula Vista Marina between 1500-1700 on the first day.    You will depart the vessel in Ensenada at 1500 on the last day.

San Diego International Airport (SAN) is about 20 minutes north of Chula Vista, and Tijuana International Airport (TIJ) is about a 30 minute drive south, but border crossings can be slow.   It’s about a 70 minute drive from Ensenada back to TIJ, and 90-100 minutes back to SAN, exclusive of time waiting at the border.

All crew members will require a passport and visas from their home country that will allow them to travel to/from the USA and Mexico. Please ensure that you have the appropriate paperwork completed before joining the vessel or you will not be allowed to board.

Boat Tour

Your Crew

Eric Loss and Shanley McEntee have been with Pangaea Exploration since 2012. They have extensive experience working with scientific and non-profit research groups and enjoy running educational adventures for school groups. Eric and Shanley have taken Sea Dragon through the Panama Canal, up the St. Lawrence Seaway to Chicago, and to the Baltic, the Caribbean, West Africa, Central America, and the Central Pacific.

Shanley, born in 1987, grew up surfing and swimming in the Pacific in Del Mar, California. Throughout her youth, she worked with the Surfrider Foundation to protect California’s coastlines. She has a BA in Environmental Policy and Marine Science from Western Washington University. Her love and curiosity for the sea also extends underwater, where she is a PADI Rescue Diver.

After college she learned to sail, combining her passion for science, the environment, and the sea by spending several months aboard Sea|Mester’s schooners Ocean Star and Argo. Soon after she earned her Ocean Yachtmaster license. Shanley is the medical officer onboard Sea Dragon while on expedition and, alongside Eric, runs and maintains her both on and off program.

Eric, born in 1985, grew up in Laguna Beach, California. During his youth, he sailed dinghies, raced CFJ’s, Larks, and C420’s, and taught sailing to children in Dana Point, California. As a member of the Sea Scouts, Eric gained experience sailing and repairing cruising sailboats, 80’ to 130’ schooners, ketches, and brigs, locally and on several ocean crossings. He also earned the Sea Scout Quartermaster Award.

After graduating from Bowdoin College, Eric became a PADI Divemaster while working for ActionQuest and Sea|Mester, developing his teaching skills as he progressed from running summer programs on 50’ yachts to skippering 88’ and 113’ schooners throughout the Eastern Caribbean and across the Atlantic. In 2011, Eric took a break from professional sailing to buy and refit Odyssey, an Islander 36, to attempt a non-stop solo circumnavigation. Eight months later, he returned to Los Angeles, having sailed past the Great Capes of the Southern Oceans and back up the Pacific to his home port.

When not aboard Sea Dragon, Eric and Shanley have sailed throughout the Caribbean, across the Atlantic, and to the Arctic Circle aboard their own Pouvreau 42 Cutter, Fleur Australe.



Having always been drawn to the outdoor world, Janos has spent much of his life sailing, travelling and in the mountains. Growing up near Glasgow in Scotland, the highlands and islands of the Scottish west coast were a playground from young age. After a few years of dinghy sailing he was drawn to bigger boats and the sea. This led to spending time volunteering with Ocean Youth Trust Scotland, where he learned to sail Challenge 72’s and started gathering qualifications from the RYA.

Janos went on to study Geography with Environmental Studies at the University of Edinburgh. The long summer breaks were used for trips to explore the Norwegian mountains and to sail in the Baltic Tall Ships Races. However, a few years of civilisation were enough, leaving him with itchy feet and yearning for the ocean. So after graduating in 2017 he embarked on an Atlantic Crossing, sailing from the Canaries to the Caribbean. Once ‘across the pond’ he travelled on to the US, where experiences in the Tetons and Yosemite have rekindled a passion for climbing and mountaineering. Since then he has qualified as an Outdoor Instructor whilst also pursuing his aspirations of becoming a Yachtmaster.