On the way down the eastern coast of South Africa the Voyage for Cleaner Energy yacht, skippered by Conor Fogerty, elected to stop in Port Elizabeth as a safe haven to wait out the particularly bad weather pattern expected to hit our coastline to-morrow, 18 May 2012.
2041, a company dedicated to the preservation of the Antarctic was founded by Robert Charles Swan, OBE, FRGS – the first person to walk to both Poles.
In 2002, at the 2nd World Summit on sustainability held in Johannesburg, World Leaders gave Robert Swan a global 10 year mission: to inspire young people, industry, and business on the issues of energy conservation, renewable energy, and to promote the positive roles individuals and business can play in the road to world sustainability. Robert will report back at the June 2012 World Summit in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Yacht ‘2041’ and the Voyage for Cleaner Energy were born from this mission to inspire people throughout the world.
Conor and his crew are on their way to Rio De Janeiro and need to be there by 20 June 2012 – less than a month in a steel 50 ton, 67 foot, ex-Clipper yacht that has a rated speed of 7.5 knots presents a tall order and some hard sailing ahead to make the deadline.
According to Conor the voyage through Africa’s pirate infested waters was ‘interesting’ and full of warships and helicopters monitoring the danger areas. Unlike most of the other craft passing through who were motoring, Conor sailed at a slow pace which, combined with the tacking back and forth attracted a lot of attention from craft and helicopters – not such a bad thing, methinks!
The Voyage for Cleaner Energy yacht relies on a bank of eight solar panels, two wind vanes, a biodiesel fueled engine and alcohol stove to run all the electronics, fridge, freezer and leisure items onboard. At scheduled stops the Voyage for Cleaner Energy yacht will take school and other interest groups onboard for a short sail and point out the energy saving measures onboard that allow them to live off grid.
The 2041 has circumnavigated Africa and sailed to Antarctica, Rio de Janeiro, England, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, and San Diego, racking up 60,000 nautical miles. During that time, the boat has been through a series of refits to keep her updated and safe.
Robert Swan acquired the yacht in 1994. He christened the boat 2041 in recognition of the 50-year anniversary of the year the Protocol on Environmental Protection to the Antarctic Treaty was signed and the year in which the protocol is subject to renegotiation. This agreement prevents development on Earth’s last remaining unspoiled continent and provides for the protection of the Antarctic environment as a wilderness area. The contract among 27 nations currently prohibits all but scientific activities relating to mineral resources.
The 2041 is currently moored against the Dom Pedro Jetty and is viewable from the deck of the Algoa Bay Yacht Club.
Better yet, have a meal at The Chartroom and then treat Conor and his crew to a drink on the deck at ABYC!
Conor had the privilege of being interviewed by Jurie Blignault on the lawn of the ABYC, earlier this afternoon for a live SABC News interview.