Sebastien Schwarz, first mate, Amelie Cencig, second mate, Victor Melero, crew, and Pietro Godenzi, captain, on board the Fleur de Passion. Photo: Courtney Africa / African News Agency (ANA)
Cape Town – Swiss yacht Fleur de Passion, on a four-year journey around the world to scientifically measure human impact on the oceans, has docked at the Royal Cape Yacht Club.

The former World War II German minesweeper, which has been converted into the biggest sailboat under the Swiss flag, is next scheduled to berth at the Waterfront from January 3-25 when she will be the focal point of a wide range of outreach activities.

Having sailed from Durban after crossing the Indian Ocean during its 6 000 nautical miles leg from Jakarta, scientists on-board performed the longest sailboat mounted longitudinal greenhouse gases monitoring of the ocean’s surface.

A purpose of its nearly three-week stay in the Waterfront is to invite the public to share the spirit and achievements of the expedition.

The public will be offered free guided visits on-board the vessel at Quay 6, free visits for Our Spice Islands exhibition in Luggage Hall on Jetty 2, as well as workshops with Swiss cartoonist Alex Baladi and his South African counterpart Anton Kannenmayer. 

There will also be talks, meetings and networking sessions between the expedition’s scientific partners and their local counterparts.

In January, Fleur de Passion will be lifted out of the water for annual maintenance in a shipyard before setting sail again from Cape Town to St Helena and Dakar by mid-February.

Organisers of the expedition are the Geneva-based Fondation Pacifique and the University of Geneva.