Pelican1 is due to arrive in Cooktown soon for the start of the 2013 Hope Vale /Pelican project. We have a lively sea program planned that will involve many people from Hope Vale in their Sea Country. This year we are very proud to announce a new partnership with Healthscope. Healthscope have come on board specifically to support the Hope Vale/Pelican project. You can follow the project on our facebook page and twitter.

After the Two Bays project this year Pelican1 headed to South Australia to work with the International Fund for the Welfare of Animals. IFAW has been conducting research into whale movements in an area that has been mapped for seismic testing. There is a critical need for more research into these marine environments before industrial activities on a large scale can occur and unfortunately our knowledge of these areas is very poor. One of the highlights of the trip was a sighting of the Shepherd's beaked whales- a very rare event (only seen ten times previously).

Pelican1 had her annual check up in her home port of Bermagui during the Winter months.

Two Bays 2013 will run over most of February. The program has been an initiative of Pelican Expeditions, Saltwater Projects and major partner Parks Victoria. This year we are partnering with VACCA, Catholic Department of Education, Kingston City Council, French Island Landcare, Nautilus Education and various schools. In-kind support from the EPA is enabling the project to be collecting continuous water quality data of Port Phillip and Western Port Bays. The program should be changed to Two Bays and an Inlet, as this year we are also including Corner Inlet and Wilson’s Promontory. This year the focus will be been on the schools and education program. Please check out the Two Bays facebook page for updates and information.

Natalie (and daughter, Aurora) participated in the IPMEN 2012 conference in Chile last November. IPMEN has been set up to facilitate connection between marine educators across the Pacific. This year’s conference enabled participants to travel to Santiago, Chile and Patagonia, to exchange ideas, projects and inspiration from our respective marine worlds It is energising to hear stories from around the Pacific and the focus on Traditional Knowledge and Science is right up Pelican’s alley. Here is our group gathered in a traditional structure in Patagonia where we had a wonderful meal put on by the Mayor of Tortel and the organisers of the conference. The chief conference organiser was Prof. Luis Antonio Pinto from Chile. Thank you to all the organisers from around the Pacific who made this gathering possible.

The second half of 2012 was a very busy one. Much of the time and energy was expended to ready the boat for a journey to Tuvalu. Unfortunately the climate change film project we were preparing to work on, lost their funding. So Garry McKechnie and Pelican team (you can read more about this in the Captain’s Log) decided to continue with a plan for a Pacific journey and meet up with me (Natalie) in Vanuatu. I was there exploring a cultural project based on the Short-finned Eel’s ancient journey between Australia and the deep trenches to the West of Vanuatu, in the Coral Sea. With the help from hardy sea passengers, Pelican1 made it safely to Vanuatu after experiencing some pretty fierce conditions at sea. On the way they stopped at Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island. We are now working on ideas to get us back out to the Pacific Islands again soon.

Pelican1 returning to Bermagui harbour after a day sail.
May 2012.
Photo: Jem Dragon

Pelican1 is having her annual check up and maintenance work on the slip in Bermagui. The vessel has been continuously improved since she was launched in 2004 and this year work was done to improve the central deck area.

Natalie is participating in the first Indigenous Watercraft conference NAWI, over two days. She will be in Sydney with Samia Goudie from ANU and Jazzmin Bowen from Hope Vale community and together they will present Sea Stories - Building Renewal, Strength and Healing.

Here’s a picture from the magical opening night as canoes were launched into Darling Harbour for the first time in a very long time.

Pelican1 has arrived home in Bermagui after a three week journey down the East coast and over a months engagement in projects along the east coast of the Cape. She has now been overhauled and is heading down to Melbourne for Two Bays 2012.

Two Bays provides a unique opportunity for bay managers and stakeholders to build knowledge, engage coastal communities and form partnerships to better understand and protect bay values, and to highlight our links with bay health. The program is designed to develop deeper cross-collaboration and knowledge sharing within the agencies that manage the bays, connect the local communities to their marine parks and fit in as much science as we can. We are looking forward to involving some local Primary schools from both bays this year. The program has strong partnerships in the local Aboriginal communities and has gained a deeper understanding of the powerful connections of the Kulin nation to their sea country. Two Bays curriculum has been developed for Primary and Secondary that has marine science embedded in the deep-time traditional knowledge that has been shared by traditional owners.

We are going to try to keep up with the pace of the program and share each day through blogs and tweets.

If you live or travel near the bays, have a look out to see if you can spot Pelican1, making her annual rounds of Port Phillip and Western Port Bay. We will be measuring water quality continuously and getting as many people on the water as we can comfortably contain. We will be out and about between the 21 January and 10 February, 2012.

This is a partnership program that could not be sustained without the support from agencies, organisations, universities, schools, councils and individual scientists and researchers. In particular, the ongoing support of Parks Victoria has enabled the program to develop, mature and continue into its seventh year.

For further information please contact Natalie Davey via


Pelican1 has emerged from her Winter cocoon in Bermagui with a brand new coat of paint and all her annual maintenance done. The boat has been busy too, offering tours to see the migrating whales and exploring the Sapphire Coast. This has been a fantastic way for us to connect with many of the wonderful people who live, work or visit this beautiful stretch of coastline.

The Pelican team are sailing now for Cape York, heading North for our annual project with the Hope Vale community.

Vic Coastal Award 2011

This will be our 8th year and we are all looking forward to spending time in Guugu Yimmithirr Sea Country. You will be able to follow our progress on the Cape through daily updates on our blogging pages. Following the Hope Vale project, which runs during the September school holidays, we are travelling further North to work with the Wuthathi people. We will be travelling with Traditional Owners out to their islands and Sea Country. They will be assessing the health of their Sea Country and working on TUMRAs. Both projects are in partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

s v pelican
Pelican 1 - photo Sandy Scheltema

Pelican 1 is 63ft sailing catamaran designed as a platform for marine research, environmental, social, and educational projects throughout the Australia Pacific region. Read more

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