Adventure is the pursuit of life -- often with an unknown ending. Meet these extraordinary and yet everyday people who have experienced adventures either of a personal nature or to far-off locations. Programs are held the third Thursday of each month from October through April, with topics ranging from living life to the fullest from a wheelchair, piloting off Sandy Hook, trekking the Camino Real in Spain, sailing around the Americas, and climbing Baffin Island's rugged peaks. Mystic Seaport has hosted the Adventure Series for more than 65 years.
Afternoon tickets: $12 ($14 for non-members), evening tickets: $13 ($15 for non-members). Call 860.572.5322 to purchase. Students are admitted for free.
All at Sea: A Growing Family, A Small Boat, A Big Dream
Ben and Danielle Zartman
April 18, 2013
In the heart of the Sierra Nevada foothills, miles from the sea, Ben and Danielle Zartman built an ocean-going sailboat with which to cruise with their growing family. Having no definite plan, they simply sailed away to see how far they would get. What comes is a wonderful three-year, 7,500-mile cruise from California to Rhode Island through Central America, the Panama Canal and the Caribbean.
Life on the Vertical
March 21, 2013
Mark Synnott is renowned in the climbing world for his many big wall and alpine climbing adventures. His travels have taken him on more than 25 expeditions to places like Alaska, Baffin Island, Greenland, Iceland, Patagonia, Guyana, Pakistan, Nepal, India, China, Tibet, Cameroon, Chad, Borneo, and Pitcairn Island. One of the first climbers to explore Baffin Island's remote east coast, Mark has been on five trips to the island, and has pioneered four big wall first ascents in the area, including a grade VII on the 4,700-foot north face of Polar Sun Spire -- an epic wall that required the team to spend 36 nights in portaledges. Two years later, Mark returned to the same area with a team of North Face Athletes to produce a big wall climbing documentary for the National Geographic Society -- one of six National Geographic-sponsored expeditions he has participated in. Copies of Mark's book, Baffin Island: Climbing, Trekking & Skiing, will be available for purchase and book signing.
R/V Hero: The End of the Wooden Ship Era in Antarctica
February 21, 2013
Until the mid-1980s, the Research Vessel Hero, a wooden-hulled, Maine-built, New England side trawler, was the primary platform for U.S. marine studies in the area of the Antarctic Peninsula, Cape Horn, the Scotia Arc, and Patagonia. She was the namesake of the historic Stonington, CT vessel that was among the very first to establish the existence of the Antarctic continent in the early 1800s. Connecticut native, Richard Wolak, spent 10 years with the U.S. Antarctic Program and was responsible for the operation of R/V Hero for four years. Richard will take us from the exploits of Captain Nathaniel Palmer and the original Hero that sailed from Stonington to more current tales of harrowing voyages across the Drake Passage, Hero's encounters with the solid world of polar ice, her unique ability to provide support for polar science, and the ship's major role in rescuing the crew of a destroyed Argentine research station in Antarctica.
The Voyage around the Americas: An Environmental Adventure
January 17, 2013
In June of 2009, the 64-foot cutter Ocean Watch set sail from Seattle with a crew of sailors, scientists, journalists, and conservationists on a quest to learn more about the health and well-being of the world's oceans. Thirteen months and 28,000 nautical miles later, they returned to the Pacific Northwest after a voyage around the Americas via the Northwest Passage and Cape Horn. The journey's premise was simple: The continents of North and South America are a single island surrounded by a common ocean and what happens in any one place ultimately affects us all. But while that notion was straightforward, what the crew ultimately discovered during their travels was anything but. A former yachting correspondent for The New York Times and editor-in-chief of Cruising World magazine, Herb was one of the four full-time crew aboard Ocean Watch and is the author of the new book about the expedition, One Island, One Ocean.
Harbor Pilots in New York: Past and Present
Captain F. Eugene Reil
December 20, 2012
Have you ever wondered who has the courage to step off a motorboat and jump onto a rope ladder to clamber up the side of a much larger vessel, like a freighter, tanker, or the Queen Mary? Hear Gene Reil talk about his 36 years of piloting more than 5,400 ships in and out of New York Harbor. Listen as he describes taking command of small coastal freighters to the biggest container ships in the world of more than 1,000 feet, sometimes with many people, high value, or even hazardous cargo in a densely populated area. The job: To maneuver the vessel through traffic, sharp turns, strong tidal currents, reefs, shoals and narrow channels and reach a safe destination. Besides piloting responsibilities, Gene sailed his own 35' wooden yawl for 22 years, cruising Nova Scotia to Maryland, and raced in the Trans-Atlantic and Bermuda Races. He is a member of The Corinthians, New York Yacht Club, and Cruising Club of America.
Buen Camino, Peregrino! Along the Ancient Spanish Path
November 15, 2012
Imagine waking up before dawn to the sound of whispering and zipping backpacks as the night's chorus of snores turns to yawns. You aren't getting up to work, and neither are the 10 to 80 people sharing a sleeping space with you. You are getting up to walk. That's all, just walk. Carrying your life on your back through the Basque region of Spain, that walk is what El Camino De Santiago (the Way of St. James) is all about. An ancient pilgrimage from east to west, through the Spanish vineyards, olive groves, mountains, plains, cities and villages, the Camino is more about the journey itself than the ultimate destination. From the history of the Camino, to a typical day in the life of the peregrino (pilgrim), Laurel Schultheis, a recent graduate of Northeastern University, will lead you through the triumphs and pitfalls of following your shadow.
Pushing the Boundaries to Engage Life
Sarah Everhart Skeels
October 18, 2012
Sarah Everhart Skeels has been fortunate to fully engage in all that life has to offer. She sustained a spinal cord injury after being hit by a car while riding her bicycle and has been paralyzed from the chest down and living life from a wheelchair for 22 years.
However, determined not to let her misfortune impair her enjoyment of life, she concluded life doesn't end after disability; it just continues in a different way. Since the accident she has hand-cycled across the United States, swum across the span of the Newport Bay Bridge, voyaged off Guadeloupe, and has gone scuba diving in Bonaire. She is a volunteer adaptive-skiing instructor and is an avid sailor. Skeels will discuss her adaptation to her disability, living life on her terms, and how pushing boundaries helps to determine character.