All Aboard for the Youth at Sea Project!

by CapeNature

CapeNature is delighted to be partnering with the Swiss Embassy in South Africa (Science and Technology Division) to provide four school learners and one CapeNature official with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to spend a week on the Fleur De Passion sailboat which is currently on a four-year journey around the world to measure the impact that humans are having on the ocean. The Ocean Mapping Expedition is lead by Geneva-based non-for-profit, Fondation Pacifique. Their website can be found here.

The Fleur De Passion

The “Youth At Sea” project will allow the South African youngsters to experience life at sea and learn more about the marine environment while working as a team with crew members from other nationalities and cultures.

The learners were selected based on their excellent academic performance in Science and Mathematics as well as their interest in Marine Science, a new subject being offered in schools from 2019.


Edith Henn who administrated the partnership between The Swiss Embassy in South Africa and the Swiss Science and Technology Division, the Education Department, Gansbaai Academia, Generation Schools Hermanus, with Fleur De Passion’s newest crew members.

Meet the newest crew members of the Fleur De Passion: Phumelela Siweni (16), from Gansbaai Academia, Caitlin Van Eeden (15) from Gansbaai Academia, Zainabo Anzuruni (17) from Gansbaai Academia and Kyle Saville (17) from Generation Schools Hermanus.  Joining them is Edward Adonis, CapeNature Conservation Officer.  Here’s what they had to say about this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity:

Zainabo Anzuruni (16) Gansbaai Academia

I’m looking forward to seeing everything that’s going to happen so that I can take in the experience because this will only come once in my life.

Caitlin Van Eeden (15) Gansbaai Academia

I’m very excited and delighted. I won’t take the opportunity for granted.

Kyle Saville (17) Generations Schools Hermanus

I’m excited at being able to analyse the effects that human activities have on the ocean.

Phumelela Siweni (16) (Gansbaai Academia)

I’m very happy and this is big for me. It’s a great opportunity. Marine life has always fascinated me.

Edward Adonis, CapeNature official (joining the learners on the trip)

I am excited as this is my first time on a sailboat, engaging with a foreign nation, with a different culture.


First order of business was for the new cadets to get their sea legs and they were soon undergoing deckhand training.

The learners will have the opportunity to participate in some very interesting programmes in partnership with researchers and universities around the world.  For example, did you know that the noise created by humans and our machines can distract, confuse, and even kill marine life? The crew of Fleur De Passion will look more closely at the effects of sound pollution in the ocean.  They’ll also be monitoring greenhouse gases at the surface of the oceans as well as tracking coral health to gauge the effects of global warming.  Closer to home waters, the crew will assess the current state of the endangered Hippocampus capensis, more commonly known as the Knysna seahorse which is currently listed as an endangered species.

A special word of thanks goes to CapeNature CEO, Dr Razeena Omar, and General Manager: People and Conservation, Mr Melikhaya Pantsi, for their support and making funds available to the learners for accommodation, insurance, and equipment.

Zainabo Anzuruni (17) learning how to tie a sailing knot.

The learners set sail on 25 November 2018 from Knysna, and will disembark in Mosselbay on 2 December.  They will travel to Cape Town later in the month to be part of a press conference on 18 December at the Royal Cape Yacht Club. Media wanting to attend the press briefing can RSVP to Loren Pavitt at the following email:

Have fun guys!

Lift off for Fleur De Passion’s newest crew members!

One Comment

  • Nokuthula

    December 3, 2018 8:09 am

    Awesome Crew


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