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Story Publication logo August 2, 2007

Sailboat Island Odyssey Has Grim Message for Earth

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Jeffrey Barbee set off Across The Great Divide with boat maker/Captain Andre Watson and first mate...


By Alistair Thomson

(Reuters) - Alarmed at climate change and environmental destruction, photographer Jeff Barbee set out to sail half way across the Atlantic and chronicle the slow death of species on some of the most remote islands on Earth.

Despite having barely sailed before, Barbee got himself a berth on a racing yacht from Cape Town to St Helena in the South Atlantic Ocean, posting blogs, pictures and video on his Website via satellite phone along the way.

"When you look at what's happening to islands around the world and what we're doing to them, it's like a microcosm of what we're doing to the planet," Barbee told Reuters after his 4,440 nautical mile voyage to Senegal, where he was organizing the next stage of his odyssey to Cape Verde in the mid-Atlantic.

After the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, the British sent defeated French emperor Napoleon Bonaparte to St Helena to die, and since then many of the island's unique species of plants and animals have gone the same way, or risk doing so before long.

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