Outward Bound Launches Odyssey Expedition - Sailors for the Sea

Outward Bound Launches Odyssey Expedition

Press Release

Florida to Maine Voyage Will Provide Instructor Training and Environmentally Focused Service


Garrison, NY – April 9, 2009 – Outward Bound USA (OBUSA), the nation’s leading provider of experiential education programs, is preparing for the April 17th launch of “The Odyssey Expedition.” This 50-day sailing expedition will include two crews of Outward Bound instructors and will begin at the organization’s winter basecamp in Key Largo, Florida. Along the 2,500 mile voyage to their final destination in Spruce Head, Maine, the group of 24 experienced instructors will gain additional hands-on instructor training, engage in community service initiatives and host local outreach events in various east coast ports of call.

The Odyssey Expedition, which was once a rite of passage for Outward Bound sailing instructors, promises to include rough seas, sleepless nights and long periods of rowing in light winds. However, a handful of Outward Bound instructors took the initiative to bring back the Odyssey Expedition in an effort to hone their expedition and instruction skills in a way that would spread awareness of Outward Bound’s sea programming. “The Odyssey Expedition is about pushing the edges,” explained Eric Denny, Outward Bound’s Maine Program Director. “Just like the young men did off the coast of Wales 70 years ago during the first Outward Bound courses, where they would set off in open boats on crashing seas, test their mettle and discover their true potential.”

The crews are scheduled to make stops in select cities, allowing sailing enthusiasts, Outward Bound alumni and prospective students along the eastern seaboard to meet the crew and view the Rodger Martin Design Sharpie Schooners. These vessels, known as the “Outward Bound 30,” are new to the sailing program and have replaced the distinctive wooden “pulling boats” that Outward Bound had previously used on its sailing courses for youth and adult students since 1965. Events are currently scheduled in Jacksonville, FL; Baltimore, MD; Greenwich, CT; New York, NY and Newport, RI. However, thanks to donated camera equipment and computers, interested individuals who are not located near these ports of call can follow the expedition online at www.outwardboundodyssey.com. Event details can also be found online.

The expedition, which is funded primarily through charitable contributions and private donations, has attracted support from two non-profit organizations, Leave No Trace and Sailors for the Sea, which will help the expedition reach its goals around providing service, an integral component of all Outward Bound programming. Odyssey crew members will use their unique vantage point to educate school groups, educators and interested individuals on environmental issues along the east coast through essays, photos and video that will be uploaded to the expedition’s website. Leave No Trace and Sailors for the Sea have committed to helping spread awareness of this valuable resource.

Outward Bound Contact: 
Jenessa Connor, Marketing and PR

Sailors for the Sea Contact:
Lauren Curley
781 383 6406

David Rockefeller, Jr., an avid racing sailor and deeply committed to the environment, founded Sailors for the Sea as a direct result of his work on the Pew Oceans Commission that identified profound and alarming ocean health issues. The list of these issues is extensive and includes marine debris, overfishing, habitat alteration and degradation, non-point source pollution, invasive species and inconsistent ocean management policies. Sailors for the Sea educates and empowers sailors and boaters to protect and restore our oceans and coastal waters.

Outward Bound, founded in 1941 by educator Kurt Hahn, is a non-profit educational organization that serves people of all ages and backgrounds through challenging learning expeditions that focus on character development, leadership and service.

Outward Bound inspires self- discovery and helps individuals and teams achieve their potential and develop the leadership skills needed to serve others in their community and care for the world around them. Outward Bound serves 70,000 students annually and has a nationwide community of more than 1 million people.www.outwardbound.org

For more information, contact the Outward Bound media line at 720-497-2372.