In our current project, the "Running Downwind" film series, we are following the routes of the old seafarers. Along the way, we visit people who are working to counter the loss of animal and plant biodiversity caused by human activities. We document the different geographical regions through which we travel in a thrilling mixture of adventure, environment and conservation elements.
The journey began in northern Europe, from where we headed south. We sailed with the trade winds via Madeira to the Canaries. There we accompanied whale researchers at work and filmed pilot whales off the coast of Gomera. On Boa Vista in the Cape Verdes we visited nesting sea turtles as well as conservationists working to protect them. The first part of the film series ends in Barbados in the Caribbean. Things didn't always go as planned along the way - hence the film title "Hitchhiking across the Atlantic."
The Indiana, the boat for the first stages of the journey, in the waves of the Costa da Morte by Spain, photographed from the sailing yacht Karinya. Photo: V. Schofield
In the second film, we explored the Windward islands of the southeastern Caribbean from Trinidad to Dominica. We experienced another side of the Caribbean - its wild side. In The Wild Windwards, we met animals ranging from tiny hummingbird chicks who blinked directly into the camera lens to mighty sperm whales who inspected our boat from up close.
At the moment we are working on the third part of the documentary series. We visit the underwater world of Bonaire and the Christoffel National Park on Curaçao. Colombia is our first landfall on the South American continent. Our journey takes us into the mountains of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and to the world heritage site of Cartagena's old city. From Colombia we continue to Ecuador...
Corinthian became our new mode of transport, film studio and home in the Caribbean. With her, we've started sailing west.
The fourth part is in the planning stage. It will take us into the Pacific. At the moment we are researching the details. Without giving away too much, our protagonists will (hopefully) be sharks, manta rays, humpback whales and tiny corals. We are currently in discussions with producers about a potential collaboration.
A further project is also being planned. The Arctic ice - it is not only frozen water, but also home to many animals. The most prominent inhabitants are polar bears and walruses. The Northwest Passage leads through the ice. This route is a challenge for seafarers - in earlier times and still today. As a result of climate change, however, it is open more often and for longer periods. The ice that was once eternal is one of the most obvious indicators of climate change. An ecologist and an environmentalist and family travel by sailboat from Alaska through the Bering Sea, through the drift ice of the Northwest Passage into the Atlantic. Their mission is to collect information about climate change that will be used for education and outreach.
Regular project updates can be found on the Running Downwind project website.