Adapted From the Vineyard Gazette – Heather Hamacek
TotalBoat Ambassador Brock Callen is a pro sailor, avid kite foiler and all around ocean lover. Along with his father, Brock Callen senior, the father-son duo has already made a name for themselves on Martha’s Vineyard where they live year round. As the head of Sail Martha’s Vineyard, Callen senior shares a healthy love for the ocean with his son, and soon they will be sharing much more – a cabin on the 272-foot ocean research vessel, the Falkor.
The Callens depart on December 27 the to board the Falkor and cover 4000 miles from Guam to Honolulu, mapping 3-4 seamounts in the Pacific to assist in planning for a 2017 ROV exploration trip to the same area. Their ship, the Falkor, is the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s prized research vessel. Since 2012 the Institute, also parent to 11th Hour Racing, a sponsor to Brock Jr and many other pro sailors and watermen, has used Falkor to cover more than 150,000 kilometers of ocean exploration and research in over 30 cruises.
From the MV Gazette: Brock junior, a professional ocean athlete, has been involved with the Schmidt Family Foundation as an 11th Hour Racing ambassador. As a member of the 11th Hour racing team, he raises awareness about sustainability through sailing. Last year, he attended a presentation about the ocean institute and the Falkor and it piqued his interest.
“The more I saw about it, the more I thought I want to go on this trip, it looks too cool,” Brock junior said. He’s spent a fair amount of time at sea before, competing in the Transpac race from Los Angeles, Calif. to Hawaii, but that was only 2,400 miles. This next trip will add another notch in his ocean exploration belt.
“This will be kind of cool because that’s a good portion of the Pacific to have crossed,” he said.
Artists, students, engineers, scientist and educators regularly join the crew aboard the Falkor, and young Brock pitched doing the trip with a group of ocean athletes. But for the Guam-to-Honolulu cruise, there were only two berths available. The institute asked him who he thought would be a good fit.
“I put out a couple names, including Senior here, and they immediately came back and said yeah…you guys have to go do this together,” he said.
After all, they are a good team.
“We’ve done so much together,” his father said.
Over the years, as executive director of Sail Martha’s Vineyard, Mr. Callen has introduced countless kids to sailing and life on the ocean. He also teaches a class in maritime sciences at the regional high school. As an educator, Mr. Callen immediately saw the benefit his joining the Falkor crew could have for his students. The Callens won’t be promotional accessories on the ship; they will be absorbed into the crew and assigned to the major mapping project.
You can take a virtual tour of the Falkor, thanks to Google, a little company that is part of the Schmidt empire of great things offered to humanity. And you can watch some of the amazing technology going on aboard the Falkor on the Schmidt Ocean Institute’s YouTube channel.
We are so pleased to have Brock Jr. as a TotalBoat Ambassador as he takes to the ocean in a new mode, ocean researcher. Go Brocks!