We left our homeport 3 years ago…

On March 26th, 2015, Aldebaran sailed out of Santa Barbara harbor heading south. That was exactly three years ago. As we sit inside our boat rocking in a Tuamoto lagoon, listening to the humm of the trade winds in the rigging, we dug up some nostalgic pictures from Departure Day…

March 26, 2015. Ed France rode his bike to the harbor to see us off.  He is cherished in Santa Barbara as the bicycle godfather of BiciCentro; but a little known fact is that, if it weren’t for his care of Aldebaran for 2 years (when we were boat partners), we wouldn’t be where we are now. Love you Ed!

In addition, we recently came across farewell messages that friends wrote to us, scribbled on blank labels taped to wine bottles, which we drank along the way (thanks Keri & Bryan for that incredible gift, that kept on giving!)

“Be sure to add some color to your cheeks! Until we meet again, Valle con Dios”
-Mark Weeks
“Dear Aldebaran crew y el Capitan
We hope each sip of this wine brings following seas, fair winds and fuzzy memories! We love you guys,”
-Krista and B.
“We wish we could all fit on the boat with you! All 50 of us !!”

March 25, 2015. On the night before departure, Alex gifted us this hard-bound journal to keep as the official Captain’s Log. It was a welcome touch of tradition, bringing a sense of mystique to our daily log entries on Season 1, sailing down Central America. Of the guys pictured, Alex and Ben joined us for long stints in Costa Rica and Tuamotos; Michael and Ryan were aboard 6 months the first year, and returned the second year (and even kept returning…) These guys have become family to us!


“Much Love and laughter and blessings to all who embark on this epic voyage. May hearts be filled with bliss over and over.”
 “Hi guys!
So excited for your adventure. Always remember that not all who
wander are lost. Enjoy every perfect moment, live each day to the fullest and of course, take lots of photos and post them on Facebook
so we can live vicariously through you…”
-love Michaela
“We are so inspired by your fortitude and vision and courage for taking on this impressive and important endeavor of passion and purpose. With great love and awe,”
-Kimber and Carter

March 23, 2015. Sabrina with a deck-full of provisions from Costco.  Oh, how wondrous are the bulk conveniences of Costco…

“Team Inspire,
How amazing it has been to see this idea go from a glimmer in our eye to
full manifestation. What amazing things you can accomplish with vision and community. Laugh in the face of fears and enjoy the adventures in this beautiful life you have created. Much love,”
-Katniss a.k.a. Sarah F.
 “Keep on
Keepin on!”

Santa Barbara Newspress, February 2015. We called it the “Green” Coconut Run because we wanted to bring back a little ecology into the world of modern cruising sailboats. Its been challenging to do everything we wanted, but we’ve managed a few things along the way: research in micro-plactics, distributing solar lights, and promoting innovative marine reserves (see www.greencoconutrun.com)

“May there be many amazing experiences! Be sure to drink this wine naked under a starry sky! xo,”
-Lindsey G. 
“Close your eyes,
smell the sweet sages
Feel the warm breezes
coming over the mountains
SB will still be here to welcome you back.
Now get out there and savor the tropics and the moment
in front of you.
Love you!”

Thanks to EVERYONE who has helped make this voyage a success for the last 3 years, in small ways and big ways! We are so blessed…

The winners of the raffle are…


Location: Fakarava Atoll, Tuamotos Archipelago


The biggest winners of our raffle were the Marquesan kids and their marine reserve: our community raised $2500 for them in just one week! THANK YOU to each one of the 22

participants of our raffle and everyone who helped spread the word. 

Want to support even though the raffle is over? Send money via Paypal to greencoconutrun@gmail.com with the note “kid’s reserve”. 

Thanks to our 22 raffle participants:

Matt & Diyana Dobberteen

Douglas Bagby

Spencer MacRae

Jackie & Jean-Claude Littee

Bob & Susie Beadle

Kristian & Sabrina

Adam and Kendra Goodman

Terri MacRae

Michael Payne

Stephanie Marta

Jay Seiden & Dionne Woods

Keri & Brian Hope

Melanie McCutchan

Juliet Wilkins

Deena Rosen

Brian Rossini

Sara DeMars

Connie Burdick

Eric Lohela 

Roxanne Larsen

Daniel Howard

Adam Weinberg



Red shell necklace: Matt & Diyana Dobberteen

Wooden Tiki Carving: Jay Seiden

Shell Lei from Reao Atoll: Adam and Kendra

Tapa of Tiki: Jean-Claude and Jackie Littée

Pandanus Goatskin hat: Roxanne Larsen

Black Pearls: Michael Payne

Congratulation to the winners and a big thank you to everyone who participated, and helped to give back a little bit to the amazing Marquesas Islands. 


We will transfer funds next week to the non profit Motu Haka, who is the driving force behind the rennaissance of Marquesan culture, and who are now supporting the creation of marine reserves in the archipelago. 

Read more about how we found the prizes during our travels: 


Learn about the Kid’s Reserve:


Why Funds are needed:



Our anchorage in Fakarava during sunrise. We are so grateful to our community for rallying behind this cause!


What are the Raffle Prizes? (Aug 19th)

Announcing our prizes for the raffle! Don’t forget to please share with friends. It is this weekend, August 19th, 3pm PST

These unique handicrafts from our travels could be yours with one ticket for $20, or 3 for $50 (send money via Paypal.com or Wellsfargo.com ‘Surepay’ to greencoconutrun@gmail.com ). Contributions of $100 or $250 automatically get gifts, as a big thank you!

NOTE: The raffle is to support an amazing project, a school children’s network of marine reserve in Marquesas Archipelago, read below.

About the Kid’s Reserve:

Why Funds are needed:


#1 Wooden Tiki Carving

Prize #1. Wood Carving

Origin: Hiva Oa, the main island in the southern Marquesas archipelago.

Story: Our local friend Mu, who guided us around the island and helped a bunch while we were hauled out at the boatyard, introduced us to a wood carver, who made us this cool little Tiki from rosewood (5 inches tall)

EMMA: This island’s marine reserve for school children (the “EMMA”, or Educational Marine Managed Area) is in the north coast, in a bay called Hanaipa, which we visited with Pierre, Lianna, and Chris during our stay in Hiva Oa.

Blog: Read about our visit to Hanaipa here…

Aldebaran’s Route Map of Hiva Oa:


#2 Tapa of a Tiki

Prize #2 Tapa

Origin: Fatu Hiva, southernmost island in Marquesas.

Story: This island has legendary status with sailors as having the most “beautiful bay in the world”, called Bay of Virgins (Hanavave). It is also famous as the home of Thor Heyerdahl and his fiancée for a year in a “back to nature” experiment, where he developed his theory of Polynesian migration which would eventually blossom into the Kon Tiki expedition. The Tapa is an ancient form of paper or clothing made from tree bark, which is pounded or “tapped” for many hours. This was given to us as a gift by Tahina and her family, who we met in the village of Omoa. It was our first landfall in the Marquesas islands, a seven day passage from the Gambier islands, along with our core crew Spencer and visiting crew Deena.

EMMA: The marine reserve for the school children is located in the bay of Hanaui, next to the village of Omoa.

Blog: Read about our visit to Fatu Hiva here…

Aldebaran’s Route Map from Gambier to Fatu Hiva:


#3 Red Marquesan Nut Necklace

Prize #3 Red Nut Necklace

Origin: Nuku Hiva, the main island in the northern Marquesas islands.

Story: We took an overland trip to the north coast of Nuku Hiva, which has magnificent bays with dramatic ridgelines, and powerful archeological sites. Our guide for the day was Josephine, who works with special ed kids on the island. We visited her family in the idyllic village of Hatiheu and she gave us this necklace as a gift at the end of a fantastic day with crew members Matt, Diyana, and Melanie.

EMMA: The marine reserve is in the bay of Anaho, next to the village of Hatiheu. It is famous with sailors as the “smoothest” anchorage in all the Marquesas.

Blog: We are yet to share our visit to Nuku Hiva island. Stay tuned!


#4 Pandanus & Goatskin Hat

Prize #4. Hand-woven Hat

Origin: Ua Pou, the center for the revival of Marquesan culture.

Story: The village of Hakahetau is in an incredibly scenic location: at the base of a valley with vertical spires of rock jutting into the clouds. This is where we met Pascal, who has been representing the EMMA project in the United Nations, and in discussions to expand the model throughout French Polynesian and all French territories. Pascal told us about the challenges they suddenly experienced to fund their trip to a global conference in Chile, to share their project with scientists from around the world. Living up the valley is Yvonne, a fiery and vivacious woman who makes hats and mats from Pandanus and Goatskin. Our friend Diyana purchased this hat, but then subsequently donated it to the raffle. Thank you Di!

EMMA: The marine reserve is in the bay directly in front of the village of Hakahetau, which is one of the most photographed locations in the Marquesas.

Blog: We are yet to share our visit to Ua Pou island. Stay tuned!


#5 Black Pearls

Prize #5. Marquesas Pearls

Origin: Gambier Islands, in the south-eastern corner of French Polynesia.

Story: After our three week passage across the Pacific (and a week-long visit to the Pitcairn Islands), Aldebaran’s first landfall in French Polynesia was Gambier. It might as well be Eden: it is an archipelago of 5 islands inside a large 10nm lagoon, with transparent turquoise water and lush hills with pine trees and other varieties. The lagoon is Gambier is ideally suited for black pearl farming, which is only found in Gambier, Tuamotos, and a few other select South Pacific atolls. We visited a pearl farm and purchased some of their pearls during our visit with Spencer and Deena.

EMMA: None yet.

Blog: Read about our visit to Gambier here…


#6 Shell Lei Necklace



Origin: Reao Atoll, Tuamotos.

Story: Reao is one of the most remote atolls in the Tuamotos, and is rarely visited by sailboats due to its lack of reef pass. It was a halfway mark between Gambier and Marquesas, so we paid a visit during our passage, without much expectation of success. The locals helped us anchor and we were blown away by their hospitality and the remarkable sights in the atolls (including a sunken sea plane in shallow water). Our host was the town nurse: Gautin, a French man married to Marguerite, a Reao local woman, who gave us this necklace that she made from local shells.

EMMA: None yet.

Blog: Read about our visit to Reao atoll here…

— > Want to join the raffle? One ticket for $20, or 3 for $50. Send funds by Aug 19th via Paypal.com or Wellsfargo.com ‘Surepay’ to greencoconutrun@gmail.com . Contributions of $100 or $250 automatically get gifts, as a big thank you.

Money received after Aug 19 will go directly to the children’s reserve project (via the non profit organization “Motu Haka” in Marquesas).

About the Kid’s Reserve:

Why Funds are needed:

Raffle for Kid’s Reserve!

We’ve discovered inspiring projects during our travels but this has been the most mind-blowing of them all: Marquesan school children managing their own marine reserves.

(See our previous posts, link at bottom… it’s the smartest way to protect the ocean that we’ve seen!)

To help fund this grassroots project – and their travel to an global conference in September to share their innovative ideas with scientists – we are asking you to help us raise a couple thousand dollars.

To express our gratitude to our donors we have selected handicrafts collected from our travels to raffle as gifts.

Kick down $20 towards 1 raffle ticket, or $50 for 3 tickets. We have 7 great items to raffle.

–> Raffle Date: Saturday, August 19 (in one week!)

–> Location and Time: 3pm PST, Facebook live, streaming from French Polynesia (internet permitting)

–> Cost: $20 for 1 ticket, $50 for 3 tickets.

–> 6 Prizes:





Paypal or Wellsfargo transfer to greencoconutrun@gmail.com
– $20 one raffle ticket
– $50 three raffle tickets
– $100 or $250 for a special gift

Please write “raffle” or “donation” in the note.


About the Kid’s Reserve:

Why Funds are needed:

Green Coco in the last 2 years:

Green Coco in Seven Seas Magazine

Check out the article in Seven Seas magazine about Green Coconut Run! They are a “Marine Conservation and Travel” publication. We were their featured article in the August 2017 issue.

“It all started seven years ago when Beadle purchased the 42-foot trimaran, Aldebaran, and set-up a cooperative model with 30 graduate school friends to allow for a rotating crew on the adventures.”

The Kids’ Reserves take on a challenge

Thanks to their success with the Educational Marine Areas, the group plans to present at an international conference,  so that other places around the world can benefit from the idea. The French environment ministry appears to be committed to spreading the model to mainland France and its overseas territories.

With huge smiles, elder ladies sang Polynesian songs to the strum of acoustic guitars, swaying in their sarongs and flowers tucked into their hair. They were amidst the July festivities, celebrating with a community lunch. Although lunch time was technically over, our host Pascal kindly asked the cooks to serve us portions of the traditional Marquesan meal they had prepared for their village members. 


To our surprise, a huge feast of poisson cru, fire roasted wild boar, taro and banana in various forms was placed before us. As we sat in awe of this generosity, Pascal shifted his immense body and offered a soft-spoken blessing to the meal: “We thank the sun for nourishing this food, may it bring you wonderful health.” 


Despite the revelry, Pascal seemed somewhat morose on this day. I asked him how were things with the kid’s marine reserve. 


“Well,” Pascal began, in a lumbering manner. “There’s an exciting thing happening in a month, we are taking 10 kids to a conference in Chile. They will share with scientists around the world what we are doing here in Marquesas.”


“That’s fantastic. They are actually presenting at the conference?” I asked, still wondering how this could be getting him down.  “Yes, in fact, our EMMA model [educational marine managed area] is being considered as a new, official protected area format. There are six types that are recognized, ranging from “limited entry” to “no-take” to “managed use,” Pascal continued.


“The IUCN (international union of conservation of nature) is the body that regulates this, along with other things like ‘how endangered are species’.  The EMMA would be the 7th type of marine protected area. Although it isn’t about enforcement, we see the EMMA as a natural way to weave communities into the fabric of protected areas.”

Felix is the director of the school in Vaitahu (island of Tahuata) and also a teacher there. Recall our blog post when Pierre (Sabrina’s brother) was a visiting teacher at Felix’s classroom !

“What a great idea! I know many people in the States who would be very interested in the EMMA model. So plans for the Chile conference are solid?” I prompted. 


“That’s the thing,” Pascal said, looking slightly uncomfortable. “We had all our funds for the trip, in fact we have the airline tickets already, so we are going. 


“But the French Polynesian education ministry just told us that our choice of accommodation wasn’t approved. We were invited to stay at a school in Chile, and also at a school with our ancestral cousins in Easter Island, which we will visit enroute, so costs were kept low. But now we need to stay at a hotel or bungalow, an “approved tourist facility”, Pascal intoned with mild disgust, referring to the bureaucrats’ terms. 


“I am sad and angry that they only told us this with so little time left. But tomorrow on Monday I will start the day with a clear head and start looking for the money we need,” Pascal nodded solemnly. 


I probed Pascal further and he shared that they are short US$7000, which they actually need by mid August ideally, or soon after. The funds need to go to Motu Haka, the non profit organization in Marquesas. 


The crew aboard Aldebaran met and discussed whether we can help out. The Green Coconut Run was originally born with two goals: as a community sailing adventure, and as a way to promote ocean conservation.


Here was a perfect example of what we hoped to achieve:  come across amazing projects along our travels, which we can help support and share with the world.  


We want to work together to help the Marquesan school children and the EMMAs. Want to learn how?  Read below.


—->  Here’s how we plan to help the school kids fund their trip to Chile to share their model with scientists from around the world; while supporting the EMMA program and marine reserves in Marquesas. 


  1. Share this post with your friends
  2. We ask you to contribute $100 or $250 via paypal to greencoconutrun@gmail.com ;  the first 20 donors will receive special Marquesan gifts.
  3. Green Coco will match up to $1500 in funds via our crowdfund site Patreon.com

Hanaipa, in the north coast of Hiva Oa (which we visited with Pierre, Chris, and Lianna), is one of the EMMA locations. School children manage a small reserve just outside their village in this bay.


Marine Reserves Start with Kids in Marquesas

We met Pascal during an extraordinary slideshow presentation about the school children in their village.

“Our kids have an important task,” Pascal had said in his resounding voice. “They are managing the marine protected area in front of our village.”

I raised my eyebrows. Come again? 

“Our coastline in Marquesas is precious,” Pascal had explained. “We’ll need marine reserves, as other nations have done, but instead of starting with the adults, we are starting with the kids. They are our future.”

The Marquesan name of the network of Marine Areas (which the kids manage) is “Pukatai”

Continue reading

What we found in 2 years of micro plastic sampling

Hello Friends:   We’ll be LIVE on facebook on Friday Feb 3, 1pm PST talking about our participation with Adventure Scientists during the last few seasons… tune in at their page.  Learn in this blog post — originally published on Adventure Scientists “Field Notes” — what we discovered from sampling micro-plastics from Mexico to Ecuador along our sailing voyage.

Continue reading

From Seahorses to Uprooted Lives: Cruising with a Cause

The solar light recipients at Albuergue "Fuerza Sucre" - thanks to Unite-to-light.org !

A few of the solar light recipients at Albuergue “Fuerza Sucre” – thanks to Unite-to-light.org

From our sailboat, the city looked bombed, as if gone through a war. Seven story buildings are cracked in half. Concrete is fractured like massive stitches in wounded white elephants. We sailed into this dystopian landscape – resort beach town meets mayhem – which is the entrance to Bahia Caraquez, mainland Ecuador. Our trimaran Aldebaran was armed with a shipment of solar lights to give away to people living in tent camps, homeless from the massive earthquake of April 16, 2016.  Continue reading

Bringing Solar Lights to Ecuador’s Earthquake victims


Four months after the earthquake in Bahia Caraquez, where we plan to moor Aldebaran from September-January, hundreds of inhabitants are still homeless and have to live in the emergency structures called “albergues”.  The coastal town was 60% destroyed by the April earthquake (see NBC videos or BBC pictures).  Continue reading