Turanor, PlanetSolar, The First Solar-Powered Boat Circumnavigated The Earth, 2010-2012

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Dear Readers & Friends,

Often time it is as much for the interesting people that I meet as for the exotic scenery or places that I get to visit that holds the fascination for my journeys.  This time, it is during my visit in Costa Rica that I’ve encountered an interesting lady from San Francisco Bay area,  in her 80’s, with an amusing name Wacky Jacky, who is still the captain of her salmon fishing boat.  Jacky inspired me to research and write this particular piece/post on the solar-powered boat that had recently circumnavigated our planet earth.

Turanor PlaentSolar boat trip map 2010-2012

Solar Boat Turanor PlanetSolar (Wikimedia Commons)

The PlanetSolar solar boat, Turanor, sailed around the world in 584 days (covering over 32,000 nautical miles of travel), started from Monaco on Sep. 27, 2010 (headed West for  Atlantic Ocean, Panama Canal,  Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, Suez Canal, before returning to Mediterranean), and ended on May 4, 2012.  The journey was initiated by Swiss engineer Raphael Domjan, developed by a team of physicists, engineers, boat builders, and environmental scientists, following the path as closely to the equator as possible to maximize the boat’s exposure to the sun. On this boat there are over 500 square meter of solar panels and the biggest lithium battery in the world at the time (meaning they could store over 1 megawatt-hour of energy), common room, kitchen, and bedrooms for the six crew members. At various stops along the journey, the crew stopped to promote sustainable/solar energy.    Now, let’s take a close look at this First Solar-Powered Boat That Had Circumnagivated The Earth, in this video clip.

Below, you’d find information contained in Wikipedia about the Turanor:

On 27 September 2010 Tûranor PlanetSolar started on a journey around the world in Monaco. With this expedition, the iniatiors of the project would like to focus the public awareness on the importance of renewable energies for environmental protection. The crew of six will circumnavigate the globe solely with the aid of solar power. Captain of the expedition is Frenchman Patrick Marchesseau. Other participants are Christian Ochsenbein (Bern, Switzerland) and Jens Langwasser (Kiel, Germany); as well as project initiator Raphael Domjan (Yverdon-les Bain, Switzerland). On the first leg across the Atlantic Ocean technician Daniel Stahl (Kiel, Germany) and first mate Mikaela von Koskull (Finland) were part of the crew. On 27 November 2010 the solar boat reached Miami. A significant stopover was Cancún, during the United Nations World Climate Conference.

At the centerline of the world tour, the French Canadian Captain Erwann Le Rouzic took over in New Caledonia mid May 2011, for the further circumnavigation sharing the master’s responsibility with Captain Patrick Marchesseau.

End of May 2011, the boat docked at Brisbane, where in an official ceremony the “PlanetSolar Relay for Hope” was launched, a global relay children and young people can take part in and present their visions and hopes for a solar energy driven world through essays, videos, music, drawing and models.

On the first solar boat expedition around the globe, the Tûranor PlanetSolar has reached two records: fastest crossing of the Atlantic Ocean by solar boat and longest distance ever covered by a solar electric vehicle.

After 584 days, Tûranor PlanetSolar returned to Monaco on 4 May 2012 after sailing around the globe. Technical problems with the propeller system had forced the vessel to stay in an Asian port for two weeks of maintenance. The vessels is now scheduled for a refit so it can be chartered to tourists in the Mediterranean Sea. Cruises are planned with 12 passengers and 4 crew on board.

An earlier sustainable energy boat designed by LOMOcean Design, Earthrace, had attempted to set a round-the-world record powered by Bio Diesel.


So, dear Wacky Jacky, despite all concerns regarding energy crisis, the human spirit will prevail, in continuing women’s/men’s spirit of adventure or exploration. We will continue to push forward in unveiling a new era of renewable/solar energy.

~have a bright and sunny day~

Gathered, written, and posted by sunisthefuture-Susan Sun Nunamaker

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