June 1, 2009
The expedition ended as planned on May 16, 2009 in Tromsø with 21,687 nautical miles (40,164 km) traveled over the course of one year. As we were approaching Tromsø, all my thoughts were going to my team and my crew-members, without all of whom this adventure would not have been possible. We share in Laurent's feeling of victory : leading Southern Star for a whole year from one stopover to the next, without a single time falling behind schedule, was no small task. But the true victory, the success of the expedition "Around North America" belongs to the entire team.
Beyond the sports challenge, whose purpose was to carry the message, the expedition has already fulfilled its mission in terms of field investigation and public awareness. Many school children followed the journey through the pedagogical programs, while the conferences and interviews given during expedition raised the awareness of adults. We filmed 110 interviews with experts on climate change.
Getting back to Tromsø means the navigation campaign is over, but that doesn't mean that everything comes to a stop. The schedule for the several months to come is full : there is much work to be done and the mission is urgent. We have learned a lot duing this year of investigation and questioning, and it is our intent to share widely the experience gained. For now, we are working on writing and editing the material (text, video, photo) we've tirelessly assembled over the course of the past 12 months.
The times we're living in are fascinating because they are unheard of in human historyistoire de l'humanité. For the first time, we rae reaching the limits of biodiversity and the limits of our sole vessel and carrier : the Earth.
We must manange the Earth globally and we must do so in cooperation, rather that in a spirit of competition.
Climate is changing in the four climate zones of the northern hemisphere. Most aspects of this change are alarming, yet we have met everywhere an enormous individual, and incresingly collective, will to protect our environment. From the Inuits to the Kuna Indians, from Silicone Valley to New York, from Vancouver to Miami - everywhere and all along the 40,000 kilometers of our journey, we have witnessed various initiatives whose purpose is to find solutions.
The environment is formidable challenge. Innovation and news technologies will bring solutions, but man must imperatively remain at the center of the debate.