Following the inspiring examples of only.one, beachcleaner.de, blue-awareness.com and many others, the Global Offshore Sailing Team also followed its long-standing tradition of standing up for the sea by supporting UNEP’s Global Goals during Expedition Andaman Sea 2023. The Expedition Corps consisted of Guido Zoeller, Jochen Werne, Benon Janos, Marco Schroeter, Sascha Adam, Sven O. Mueller, Sven Streiter, Christoph Impekoven and Viktor Metz.
On 19 April 2023, the team landed on the remote tiny southern beach of Ko Hi. Despite its remoteness, the beach contained an enormous amount of plastic waste that had accumulated there over the years. The team cleaned parts of the beach and brought everything possible to the base, where it is now sent to the recycling process.
UNEP’s Clean Seas Initiative and the Valiant Efforts of the Global Offshore Sailing Team
The United Nations Environment Programme’s (UNEP) Clean Seas Initiative is a vital global effort aimed at combating marine plastic pollution, a pressing environmental issue that threatens the health of our oceans and marine life. By rallying governments, businesses, and individuals to take decisive action, the Clean Seas Initiative is making significant strides towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly Goal 14: Life Below Water. A shining example of dedicated environmental stewardship is the Global Offshore Sailing Team (GOST), whose remarkable contributions have been recognized with the prestigious Bavarian States Medal.
Launched in 2017, UNEP’s Clean Seas Initiative has been instrumental in raising awareness and promoting effective solutions to tackle marine pollution. It engages stakeholders at various levels, encouraging them to adopt sustainable practices, reduce plastic production and consumption, and implement policies that protect the world’s oceans. As a result, the initiative has made considerable progress in fulfilling the targets set under SDG 14, which focuses on conserving and sustainably using marine resources.
The Global Offshore Sailing Team, a passionate group of sailors and environmentalists, has been a crucial ally in this fight against marine plastic pollution. Through their expeditions, GOST has taken the message of the Clean Seas Initiative to the most remote and inaccessible parts of the world’s oceans. Their dedication to raising awareness, conducting research, and collecting vital data on the impact of plastic pollution on marine ecosystems is unparalleled.
Throughout their journeys, GOST has engaged with local communities, schools, and institutions, empowering them with knowledge and resources to join the battle against marine pollution. They have also forged partnerships with various organizations, further amplifying the reach and impact of the Clean Seas Initiative.
In recognition of their unwavering commitment to environmental conservation, the Global Offshore Sailing Team was recently awarded the Bavarian States Medal. This prestigious honor reflects the immense value of GOST’s work in championing the goals of the UNEP’s Clean Seas Initiative and their broader contributions to the global sustainability agenda.
The achievements of the Clean Seas Initiative and the Global Offshore Sailing Team are a testament to the power of collective action in addressing the urgent issue of marine plastic pollution. Their inspiring efforts serve as a reminder that every individual, community, and organization has a role to play in safeguarding the health of our oceans and preserving them for future generations.
Following the 1951 Antarctic Treaty, the Convention on the Protection of Marine Biodiversity in International Waters is an important step towards achieving UNEP’s SDG targets and thus a better world for us all.
As members of the Global Offshore Sailing Team, which has been working to promote environmental awareness since 1999, we are very grateful to the dedicated diplomats for reaching such a milestone in history.
For everyone interested please read more on the “High Seas Treaty” here:
United Nations: UN delegates reach historic agreement on protecting marine biodiversity in international waters https://news.un.org/en/story/2023/03/1134157
In 1999, Guido Zoeller and Jochen Werne founded the Global Offshore Sailing Team (GOST). The mission: to challenge the seven seas to promote international understanding and create environmental awareness. The success was made possible by the highly committed team members and GOST supporters. Each is unique and has dedicated themselves to the set goals in dozens of expeditions from the Andaman Sea to the Arctic Ocean. Through its people’s diplomacy approach, GOST has created a network with the highest echelons of politics, business and diplomacy. In a One-to-One interview with with the highly recognised eco-book author Maurice Abbati, expedition leader Jochen Werne describes how this became possible and why passion, teamwork and inner fire are of utmost importance to achieve great goals.
MONACŒCOART® (MonacoEcoART, MŒA enPR= Monaco MyHeart) is a new media editorial project aimed at discovering sustainability from different angles with a special focus on projects, relevant figures, best practices and smart ideas linked to the Principality of Monaco and its vast network.
International expert in finance and blockchain, head of several private and corporate Banking divisions, keynote speaker, actively committed in diplomacy and economy transformation following the current shift to Sustainable Development as wished by United Nations and major political, technical and business bodies, he is extremely fond of communicating his passion for oceans and the virtuous interlink between human beings and nature. JochenWerne does believe in the importance of everyone’s potential diplomacy in contributing to keep peace and a balanced approach to preserve natural ecosystems. “Innovationandbusiness,societyanddiplomacy,oceanandpassionarestronglyconnectedandwe,togetherwithourdifferenttalentsintoday’sconnectedworld,canpushforwardwithpositivechangeforgoodeveryday”, in these words is enclosed the sense of his enlightened thought. His strong sense of adventure and respect for the scientific world at the service of Nature, led him to be involved in many ocean missions considerably appreciated by H.S.H.PrinceAlbertIIofMonaco and other major Head of States, notably the President of France and Austria. All that brought him to further increase his knowledge and experience. He also launched a targeted international group whose members from all over the world have relevant navalbackgrounds. This body aims at keeping live naval traditions and highlighting the role of ocean expeditions as a cornerstone of world balances.
MONACŒCOART® had the pleasure to collect a meaningful feedback directly from JochenWerne (J.W.), Co-Founder & Expedition Leader atGlobalOffshoreSailingTeam(GOST).
MONACŒCOART®: JochenWerne,how did your passion for the oceans and sailing comeabout?
J.W.:As a child growing up in the countryside on the border with Switzerland, the world outside my parents’ home always had a great attraction for me. Notably, the Sea with its magical sense of endless freedom, adventure and beauty has always been a trigger in my life. And this fascination still inspires me even though I have sailed the seven seas. Maybe it will never disappear. I had my first contact with sailing during school holidays onLake Constance. Then, I joined the navy, where I had the privilege to serve for almost twoyears as a navigator on the three-masted sailing ship ‘GorchFock. That finally ignited my passion for the oceans and sailing.
MONACŒCOART®: What values have you learned after so many years of shipping?
J.W.: The most important one is RESPECT. Probably every ocean sailor and mariner would confirm it. As a sailor you experience the marineelement in its most breath-taking calm and beauty and its most deadly and dangerous brutality. Respect helps to enjoy one side of the coin and survive the other. Respect leads to this deeper understanding that Nature is in many ways more important and also more powerful than ourselves. The fact that makes us feel humbly is to understand that Nature can always live without us, but we cannot live without Nature. Moreover, a sailor learns how to use Nature to benefit from its power in the best and most sustainable way and to emotionally experience its pure and infinite beauty.
MONACŒCOART®: Which marine expedition has shaped you more than others? Why?
J.W.: Every expedition has its uniqueness and therefore it is difficult to prefer one over the others. However, the ‘Arctic Ocean Raptor’ was very special to me. It took us from the northern Norwegian city of Tromsø across what sailors call the ‘devil’s playground’, the Barents Sea, to a spectacular natural habitat called Spitsbergen at 80° North. Despite its up-north location, the climate is quite mild due to the Gulf Stream. As our expedition approached Svalbard after three days of sailing through dense fog, we encountered a huge ice barrier that broke away from the cold eastern side of the island due to the warm conditions and drifted on with the current. This, combined with a 9-bft (= Beaufort scale) storm, made the voyage a real challenge, but also impressively demonstrated the fragility of our ecosystem.
MONACŒCOART®: Which measures do you think are most important to preserve marine ecosystems? Why?
J.W.: There is no doubt that before starting a movement or action, awareness must be raised. This step is of utmost importance, otherwise one remains lonely and therefore a committed but silent to action interlocutor. The Principality of Monaco has a long tradition of identifying problems for our marine ecosystem and taking action to make many aware of them. H.S.H. Prince Albert I of Monaco immediately recognised the dangers of bottom fishing with the new means of steam technology. Jacques Cousteau not only served science but brought the beauty of the sea into everyone’s living room with his work behind the camera and inspired new projects to protect the oceans. Last but not least, H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco is the perfect example of how this has not only become Monaco’s heritage but a lived tradition. We are grateful that he has supported us in our expeditions to raise awareness and thus contribute to the conservation of our marine ecosystems.
MONACŒCOART®: You have already pointed out several times that scientific and fact-finding missions are particularly effective for intercultural and diplomatic exchange. What makes them instruments of dialogue?
J.W.: Our oceans are the fluid connection between our nations. And even though we are citizens of nations, we all belong to one Planet. As seafarers, we are directly dependent on nature and national thinking takes a back seat. In the daily challenge at sea, nationality, race or gender are not important. What really matters is to achieve our goals as a team, otherwise we will all fail. This also applies to us as a human race. The challenges before us are global challenges that no single nation can solve alone. We need a collective effort, and we have so many examples where the global community has done it together. One of my favourite examples is the Antarctic Treaty, which was negotiated at the height of the First Cold War and still provides the basis for joint peaceful governance of Antarctica today.
MONACŒCOART®: What place does the Principality of Monaco have in the international expeditions that you carry out as part of the Global Offshore Sailing Team (GOST)?
J.W.: We are more than grateful to H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco, the Yacht Club de Monaco, its Board of Directors with Bernard d’Alessandri, Gerd Ziegenfeuter, the staff and members as well as the press for their excellent support in our common tasks. Together we were able to achieve outstanding results. Starting with the expedition ‘Antarctic Blanc’ 2018, which resulted in a state act supported by 19 nations including the United Nations, to the Prince Albert I Memorial Expedition‘Navigators Heritage’. Together, we have succeeded not only in supporting science, but also in bringing people and nations closer together and raising awareness of the needs of our oceans.
MONACŒCOART®: GOST expeditions have been awarded the highest honours by heads of state and international institutions. What is the recognition to which you are most attached? Why?
J.W.: We are more than grateful to have been honoured with a State Medal for our commitment to environmental protection or with the Ancla d’Oro (Golden Anchor) of the Asociación para la Investigación y Difusión de la Historia Naval de Cuba and the Admiral of the Fleet the Lord Boyce Award for promoting international understanding. Among all the awards, the highest recognition for me is the fascinated smile on a young person’s face when one of the stories of the sea lights the flame of passion for marine elements. It is their spirit that will form the basis for future action. Just as others in the past like Jacques Cousteau have lit a fire in us for the Sea. It is the quote attributed to the brilliant Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, author of the beautiful novel Le Petit Prince, that probably describes it best: If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work and give orders. Instead, teach them to long for the vast, endless sea. ***
We mourn the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, who impressively dedicated her life to the service of people and the reconciliation of nations. Her Majesty was particularly supportive of third party international understanding initiatives, including on several occasions those of the Global Offshore Sailing Team. We join the people of the United Kingdom and all those around the world in mourning her loss. Her Majesty will always be gratefully remembered.
Jochen Werne on behalf of the Global Offshore Sailing Team
With pride GOST (Global Offshore Sailing Team) collaborates since years with the Asociación para la Investigación y Difusión de la Historia Naval de Cuba. The latest collaboration with respect to Expedition Blue Ocean is a living example, that despite the political state of affairs, organisations strongly focused on supporting international understanding can be instrumental in solving challenges which cannot be solved within the borders of just one country.
Excerpt from EL Faro, June 2022 – Author: Maximino Gomez Alvarez – translated with deepL
AIDHNC SUPPORTS EXPEDITION BLUE OCEAN AND COMBINES IT WITH THE 30TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE FOUNDATION OF THE HEMINGWAY INTERNATIONAL YACHT CLUB OF CUBA”.
Despite the many difficulties faced, including the COVID 19 pandemic that we have been suffering for more than two years, the Association for Research and Dissemination of the Naval History of Cuba has not rested in its arduous work. 2022 has been an illustrative year of the progress made by this organisation, achieving great objectives in its growth and organisation. Several collaboration agreements have been signed, including one with the Hemingway International Sailing Club of Cuba, and support has also been given to various activities carried out by the prestigious international organisation Global Offshore Sailing Team.
Two events stood out in the month of May, Expedition Blue Ocean and the celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the creation of the Hemingway International Yacht Club of Cuba, in both activities the AIDHNC has been present.
In the case of the support given to the North Sea Endurance Expedition within the framework of the Blue Ocean event, several voyages were made, the one made by GOST, two others leaving from the port of Miami to Key West with the vessel La Caña (as the flagship of the AIDHNC) and another one made in Cuban waters to the north of the Province of Havana, with five vessels of the CNIHC. Thus, the flag of our organisation flew in the waters of the North Sea, until reaching the English coast, the Mediterranean Sea, as well as the Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico and Cuba.
Extensive publicity work was carried out to publicise the Expedition Blue Ocean. Another of the activities programmed was a Children’s Drawing Competition with the slogan “For a clean and beautiful ocean” in greeting and support of the Blue Ocean Expedition and the 30th Anniversary of the CNIHC.
In the case of the Hemingway International Yacht Club of Cuba, with which a Collaboration Agreement had previously been signed, a complete collection of naval-themed works published by the AIDHNC was donated to this institution, and a Diploma of the AIDHNC was presented to Commodore José Miguel Díaz Escrich, who has directed this illustrious and renowned Cuban nautical institution since its foundation and up to the present day. Likewise, we supported the activities of celebration of the 30th Anniversary of this renowned Cuban Yacht Club, participating in the regatta held also in salute to this anniversary, as well as in the Reception held as a culmination of the activities held in the framework of these celebrations.
A generation that has experienced peace as the status quo might easily tend to forget that war has historically been more of a status quo than peace. Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institute and historian Niall Ferguson’s books are full of examples. The long period of peace in historically hostile Europe was due to the hard work of visionary figures after the Second World War. They worked on a European concept of unity and cooperation. An idea that was unthinkable in the past but is a reality today. For all the shortcomings we may experience, it is of the utmost importance to always remember what a great goal has been achieved over such a long period of time: PEACE.
It would be of utmost importance to create even more initiatives like this as a basis for addressing the global challenges that lie ahead. Challenges that we can only solve on a global basis.
GOST has made it a priority to support INTERNATIONAL UNDERSTANDING through its missions by teaching history and raising awareness of issues of global importance. We are proud to have achieved this again with Expedition Blue Ocean ( www.ExpeditionBlueOcen.org ).
The list of supporters is long and we would like to extend a special thank you to
The House of Lords
Admiral of the Fleet, Lord Boyce
The City of London
The Police of the City of London
The staff of the House of Lords
St. Katharine’s Dock Marina
Asociación para la Investigación y Difusión de la Historia Naval de Cuba
London, May 16, 2022 It was a great honor to receive an invitation to the House of Lords from the Admiral of the Fleet, Lord Boyce, Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. The hospitality extended during this visit will be unforgettable. The members of the Global Offshore Sailing Team are very grateful to Lord Boyce for the opportunity to gain an insight into the daily operations and passion with which the honorable members of the House of Lords conduct their debates. As a special end to the visit, Lord Boyce presented the Expedition Blue Ocean Corps of the Global Offshore Sailing Team with a special despatch to be sailed by sea from London to Dover – celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club. The mission was successfully completed with the delivery of the shipment to RCPYC Commodore Judith White on May 18. The welcome for the crew in Dover was beyond compare. Special thanks are due to the members of the RCPYC, not only for their extraordinary cordiality, but especially for their untiring efforts for international understanding.
The challenging tides, rough weather and dense ship traffic of the North Sea will be the first chapter within the Global Offshore Sailing Team‘s Expedition Blue Ocean. In 2022, GOST will undertake various missions to all Seven Seas to learn about and promote the most exciting #CLEAN ENERGY & #CLEAN SEAS projects and the driving forces behind them.
Inspired by the great Prince of the Sea Albert I and his strong commitment to international understanding, the environment and our oceans, we will carry out various missions with our supporters around the globe to promote international understanding and environmental awareness around #cleanseas and #cleanenergy
I’m proud commanding the 1st Mission with an outstanding experienced team:
NORTH SEA ENDURANCE 600+nm Offshore (Expedition Blue Ocean) Departure Zeebrugge, Belgium – 14 May 22: Into the Night – 271 nm Offshore to Wilhelmshaven/Bremerhaven – Meet the drivers of the #CLEAN SEAS initiatives of the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence, Beach Cleaner and many more. Sail from Wilhelmshaven North-West to the major offshore wind farms. Meet Northern Helicopters and others who keep these breathtaking #CLEAN ENERGY projects running in such challenging conditions.
It has always been a primary goal of Global Offshore Sailing Team (GOST) to promote international understanding. Since GOST and the Channel Dash Association first met 10 years ago, the two organizations have worked together to deepen Anglo-German friendship. Through joint expeditions and commemorative events, we kept history alive and created new connections between so many people. Together we accepted the challenge of a global pandemic which closed our borders and distanced us physically. We found new ways of staying in touch. And now – for the 80th anniversary commemoration – we have the great opportunity to finally meet again and create new relations for a peaceful future.
Peter Nixon, former Chairman of the Channel Dash Association, who established the contact with the Global Offshore Sailing Team, once summarized the effort perfectly with the words:
The Channel Dash, (codenamed Operation Cerberus by the Germans),was a major naval engagement during World War II in which a German Kriegsmarine squadron consisting of both Scharnhorst-class battleships, and heavy cruiser Prinz Eugen along with escorts, ran a British blockade and successfully sailed from Brest in Brittany to their home bases in Germany via the English Channel.
On 11 February 1942, the Kriegsmarine‘s ships left Brest at 21:14 and escaped detection for more than 12 hours, approaching the Straits of Dover without discovery. As the German ships passed through the straits and on into the North Sea, British armed forces intercepted them, and attacks were made by the Royal Air Force, the Fleet Air Arm and Coastal Artillery. The attacks and bombardment were unsuccessful, and by 13 February all the Kriegsmarine‘s ships had completed their transit.
‘The Channel Dash’, is also known as the heroic but futile attempt by six Swordfish torpedo bombers to stop the German Warships breaking through the Dover Strait and reach safety in their home waters.
Vice-Admiral Otto Ciliax, who commanded Operation “Cerberus” commented the attack of the slow and outdated Swordfish crews as follows:
The Channel Dash remains the only occasion since the Spanish Armada in 1588 that ships belonging to an enemy of Great Britain (other than the Dutch in the Anglo-Dutch Wars) have successfully traversed the English Channel
PROGRAM: 80th Anniversary Celebrations
12th February 2022: Thanks to the excellent work of Channel Dash Association Chairman Malcolm Godfrey, CDA Secretary Sheila Howard and all CDA members and supporters, a major commemorative event will also be held on the 80th anniversary on 12 February 2022 at the former Royal Airforce Base Manston.
13th February 2022: On this day, the Global Offshore Sailing Team will set off from Dover in a joint mission with the Royal Cinque Ports Yacht Club Dover to the English Channel for a commemoration at sea. We are grateful for the excellent organisation by Bernard Sealy.