Sunday, March 1, 2015

J/40 HERON REACH Sailing The Dream!

The J/40 cruisers, the Malmquists from Bellingham, WA (Bellingham, WA)- The J/40 HERON REACH, was recently completely refit by Jerry Schuster and Ginny Malmquist (from Bellingham, WA) and is now sailing south to join up with the Blue Planet Odyssey project founded by renowned offshore sailor Jimmy Cornell.

Formerly known as Mal de Mer III, J40 Hull# 33 was first built in 1986. After buying it as their first boat a little over a year ago, they renamed her as HERON REACH. Jerry, who has always been a build it/fix it person doing everything from R&D on the Apache helicopter, to running the greenest car mechanic’s shop in Washington State, completed a total refurbishment and after 15 months of hard work HERON REACH was ready to go to sea.  According to Jerry,

“We have actively worked to raise awareness about climate change in our community of Bellingham, WA and have been active in our local Transition Movement. Our log home sits on 20 forested acres, 10 miles from the Canadian border and 18 miles from the Salish Sea (aka, Puget Sound).

J/40 cruiser preparing for Pacific Blue Odyssey cruiseAll the systems on board are getting upgrades. We've added all new plumbing, supply and sewage, new hatches, re-wired the mast and navigation electronics, switched lighting to LED, new refrigeration system, new mattress, added some new sails and tracks, and, among many other upgrades, like new lines.

We will miss being so connected to the land, but we’re looking forward to a completely different and wondrous world on the sea.

We will be sailing to at least 33 countries!  It is considered common courtesy to fly the flag of the country you are visiting, so along with other provisions, we have gotten a flag for each destination.”

J/40 cruising sailboat- Heron Reach- ready for Pacific cruise The Blue Planet Odyssey is a round-the-world sailing event aimed at raising awareness of the global effects of climate change and the state of the ocean, conveying the message: “The Ocean– Our Future” by calling at some of the most endangered places on the planet:

    - San Blas Islands in the Atlantic Ocean;
    - the Arctic Ocean;
    - Galapagos Islands, Tuvalu and the Great Barrier Reef in the Pacific Ocean;
    - the Maldives and Andaman Islands in the Indian Ocean.

Starting from Europe in 2014, the route of the Blue Planet Odyssey has been chosen to take advantage of the most favorable weather conditions and to pass through some of the most attractive cruising areas in the world. Participants can start from a port on their own continent or join the event at the nearest point along its route, completing their circumnavigation in 2016-2017.

J/40 Heron Reach with national flagsHERON REACH is picking up their NOAA drifter buoys in San Diego and will then depart for the Marquesas Islands in the Pacific.  Blue Planet Odyssey yachts like HERON REACH help deploy satellite-tracked surface drifter buoys.  Working in partnership with UNESCO-IOC and NOAA, drifter buoys are being deployed for the first time from a sailing rally fleet. Drifters provide invaluable data to scientists about weather and climate.  Learn more about the project ( and participants.   Keep up with the Malmquist’s and their adventures aboard their J/40 BLUE HERON here on their sailing blog.