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About Us

 
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Our Story

A Voyage Unlike Any Other

In 2017 Howard Rice stepped out of the rat race for a well planned short break. He had been planning and preparng a small boat voyage for nearly ten years. He set sail down the Strait of Magellan aboard a small wooden boat he had built and what an amazing voyage he had. He explored from Patagonia deep into the forbidding wildrness of islands and windswept channels of Tierra del Fuego, arguably the roughest ocean environment on the planet.

"My voyage was in a sense a true “song of my soul” endeavor" he says. "I sailed quietly, unsponsored and with simple purposes. I wanted to fulfill my curiousity about the region, explore where few people have been, experience personal challenges and share the experience with others." As a former college professor he believes in the importance of inspiring young people through experiential or out of classroom educational opportunites.

For the year before and during his voyage he shared his experiences with elementary school classrooms through web based interactive voyage updates, satellite phone classroom broadcasts and live course tracking.

Chile was to have been a one time experience but on hearing the positive impacts teachers were reporting in classrooms Howard decided to sail on and continue to influence and ignite young minds and inspire friends and followers of the Little Ship Southern Cross.

Now the “Little Ship and Her Best friend Howard” will continue on around the world on a voyage unlike any other, bringing the world into classrooms and into the lives of thousands of students of all ages from aorund the world.

 

An Educational Opportunity

In the run up to the voyage Howard engaged with three school groups presenting live streaming topics and updates. He was joined in several of these by John Welsford, the designer of Howard's boat. These live interactive sessions were communicated directly to and with students and teachers in their classrooms including a home school group. This act off giving proved to be unique, engaging, highly effective and most importantly fun.

 

The Proof of Concept Is In

According to the teachers who utilized the opportunity it has proven to be a way to bring the world, a sense of adventure and possibility into the classroom. The first voyage (Chile) of this unique program has been a successful proof of concept. 

Howard believes the teaching program he offered from Chile was a compelling and engaging educational opportunity and provided a way to help teachers teach more effectively. After numerous broadcasts he realized the classroom live stream updates were one of the highlights of his voyage, giving special meaning both to him and to the hundreds of students he continues working with.

 

The Crew of Southern Cross

   Southern Cross      The Little Ship          Souther n Cross is a John Welsford designed SCAMP. She is actually SCAMP hull #2 but that is just about where SCAMP ends and Southern Cross begins. From the day her keel was laid down she was developed using only the finest materials and with an extreme voyage in mind. Virtually every aspect of the standard boat was closely examined for acceptability or modification. By any measure Southern Cross is a SCAMP but a highly modified version. She was purpose built to voyage through Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. She is small but ideally suited to the tasks and varied places she will visit.   Southern Cross is a gaff rigged yawl  11' 11" length on deck, 15' 11" Length Overall Her beam is 5' 4" Draft (board up) 7" Water ballast- 173 pounds Weight including rig- 480 pounds  Here is a partial list of her modifications: Kevlar lined hull Yawl rig Live aboard tent system and wood stove for heat. Positive flotation Self rescue able Fully equipped with waterproof cameras and live streaming gear  Southern Cross has just been shipped back to the United States after her maiden voyage down the Strait of Magellan and deep into the southwest islands of Tierra del Fuego and is the star of the upcoming documentary film "Below 40 South."  We think she has earned her stripes and are excited to see how many young lives she can touch.   

Southern Cross

The Little Ship

 Southern Cross is a John Welsford designed SCAMP. She is actually SCAMP hull #2 but that is just about where SCAMP ends and Southern Cross begins. From the day her keel was laid down she was developed using only the finest materials and with an extreme voyage in mind. Virtually every aspect of the standard boat was closely examined for acceptability or modification. By any measure Southern Cross is a SCAMP but a highly modified version. She was purpose built to voyage through Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego. She is small but ideally suited to the tasks and varied places she will visit.

Southern Cross is a gaff rigged yawl
11' 11" length on deck, 15' 11" Length Overall
Her beam is 5' 4"
Draft (board up) 7"
Water ballast- 173 pounds
Weight including rig- 480 pounds

Here is a partial list of her modifications:
Kevlar lined hull
Yawl rig
Live aboard tent system and wood stove for heat.
Positive flotation
Self rescue able
Fully equipped with waterproof cameras and live streaming gear

Southern Cross has just been shipped back to the United States after her maiden voyage down the Strait of Magellan and deep into the southwest islands of Tierra del Fuego and is the star of the upcoming documentary film "Below 40 South."  We think she has earned her stripes and are excited to see how many young lives she can touch.

 

  Howard Rice    Director and Voyager   Howard is a dedicated adventurer with a life long learning ethic. One of his passions in life is to better understand the world, it's people, environmental issues and solutions through first hand experience. His international working career has taken him to many continents and numerous small island nations. He is a dedicated sailor, climber, cyclist and hiker.  "I believe exploring and sharing the world with students can make a poaitive difference in their knowledge base and world view helping them to be more thoughtful and engaged adults."   His career as a College Professor, Department Chair teaching small island economics, sustainability and global tourism makes him a good match for this program. During his professorship he  founded and managed the International Student Exchange Tourism Summit and was awarded a PATA Gold Award for Educational Excellence in Nagoya, Japan.   He is a former Governors Special Assistant and in this capacity founded and directed a complex state economic planning process.  With Klepper USA he and his partner Eric Stiller instructed US Army Combat Swimmers, 10th Mountain Division, NATO and Navy SEAL instructors in small boat/folding boat (MAROP) operations.  Howard has helped hundreds of small boat sailors sail more safely through his seamanship programs. He is the former North American Sports promotions Manager and One Design Director for Mistral ag and in this role managed 167 world, national and local sailing championships and regattas including Olympic games.   Howard's adventures have been covered in books and magazines ranging from Sports Illustrated to Outside. The documentary film "Below 40 South" about his recent adventure is currently in post production. Howard is an inspirational speaker and presenter at outdoor, ecotourism conferences, sailing festivals and symposiums.

Howard Rice

Director and Voyager

Howard is a dedicated adventurer with a life long learning ethic. One of his passions in life is to better understand the world, it's people, environmental issues and solutions through first hand experience. His international working career has taken him to many continents and numerous small island nations. He is a dedicated sailor, climber, cyclist and hiker.

"I believe exploring and sharing the world with students can make a poaitive difference in their knowledge base and world view helping them to be more thoughtful and engaged adults." 

His career as a College Professor, Department Chair teaching small island economics, sustainability and global tourism makes him a good match for this program. During his professorship he  founded and managed the International Student Exchange Tourism Summit and was awarded a PATA Gold Award for Educational Excellence in Nagoya, Japan. 

He is a former Governors Special Assistant and in this capacity founded and directed a complex state economic planning process.

With Klepper USA he and his partner Eric Stiller instructed US Army Combat Swimmers, 10th Mountain Division, NATO and Navy SEAL instructors in small boat/folding boat (MAROP) operations.

Howard has helped hundreds of small boat sailors sail more safely through his seamanship programs. He is the former North American Sports promotions Manager and One Design Director for Mistral ag and in this role managed 167 world, national and local sailing championships and regattas including Olympic games. 

Howard's adventures have been covered in books and magazines ranging from Sports Illustrated to Outside. The documentary film "Below 40 South" about his recent adventure is currently in post production. Howard is an inspirational speaker and presenter at outdoor, ecotourism conferences, sailing festivals and symposiums.

  John Welsford    Global Logistics Director and Voyage Instructor   New Zealand born, John is a long time competitive sailor and well known yacht designer, He has had a varied career which has included, mechanic, salesman, engineer, sawmiller, university tutor in marine and automotive design, sailing instructor, and author of books and magazine articles on small boat sailing and design.  He is married to Denny, a nurse, and a partner in his love for the outdoors and travel.  His involvement with the “Voyage of Southern Cross” came about through his long friendship with Howard Rice with whom he has shared many adventures, sailed many miles and taught many students. Howard and John are a formidable team, both very experienced sailors and skilled instructors who share a huge passion for adventuring at sea, and who use sailing as a metaphor for life when teaching the young people who are our future.

John Welsford

Global Logistics Director and Voyage Instructor

New Zealand born, John is a long time competitive sailor and well known yacht designer, He has had a varied career which has included, mechanic, salesman, engineer, sawmiller, university tutor in marine and automotive design, sailing instructor, and author of books and magazine articles on small boat sailing and design.

He is married to Denny, a nurse, and a partner in his love for the outdoors and travel.

His involvement with the “Voyage of Southern Cross” came about through his long friendship with Howard Rice with whom he has shared many adventures, sailed many miles and taught many students. Howard and John are a formidable team, both very experienced sailors and skilled instructors who share a huge passion for adventuring at sea, and who use sailing as a metaphor for life when teaching the young people who are our future.

 
  Gary H. Gnade    Creative Director & In-Country Coordinator   Most recently the Head of Creative, North America, for Pearson, the world’s leading education company, Gary has been in design and creative endeavors almost all of his life. With a BA in art education and an MA and MFA in design, he has considerable experience in the classroom, including four years as a Graduate Teaching Assistant.  Over the last 30 years, Gary has worked for one university and two corporations as a designer and design manager. Earlier he had jobs for six years in large scale heavy steel fabrication, a couple summers of truck farming, and stints in a variety of positions as a house painter, brick tender and a campus coffee house manager.   Also for 30 plus years Gary has been co-owner, with his wife Chris, of a design and marketing business that morphed into a retail store selling furniture, lighting, and housewares designed by the best designers in the world.   You can have a lot of jobs in a lifetime when doing two or more simultaneously!  Gary, not surprisingly, is a small boat enthusiast, sailing a  Mirror Dinghy Hull #52088,  and a believer in the transformative power of education.   A life long learner, Gary is willing to try almost anything in the categories of travel, meeting people, skill acquisition, food, and new experiences—the  Voyage of  Southern Cross   is a perfect fit.

Gary H. Gnade

Creative Director & In-Country Coordinator

Most recently the Head of Creative, North America, for Pearson, the world’s leading education company, Gary has been in design and creative endeavors almost all of his life. With a BA in art education and an MA and MFA in design, he has considerable experience in the classroom, including four years as a Graduate Teaching Assistant.

Over the last 30 years, Gary has worked for one university and two corporations as a designer and design manager. Earlier he had jobs for six years in large scale heavy steel fabrication, a couple summers of truck farming, and stints in a variety of positions as a house painter, brick tender and a campus coffee house manager. 

Also for 30 plus years Gary has been co-owner, with his wife Chris, of a design and marketing business that morphed into a retail store selling furniture, lighting, and housewares designed by the best designers in the world. 

You can have a lot of jobs in a lifetime when doing two or more simultaneously!

Gary, not surprisingly, is a small boat enthusiast, sailing a Mirror Dinghy Hull #52088, and a believer in the transformative power of education. 

A life long learner, Gary is willing to try almost anything in the categories of travel, meeting people, skill acquisition, food, and new experiences—the Voyage of Southern Cross is a perfect fit.

  Kate Ebert    Educational Specialist   Raised in a U. S. Army family, Kate learned the value of travel, the importance of friendship, and the adventure of new places and experiences at an early age. She has a deep seeded love of the environment and the interconnections of all things which set her on a path of experiential education and public outreach that has spanned more than two decades.  A Science & Mathematics turned Art teacher, Kate came to know Howard Rice and John Welsford through mutual friends and a love of small craft sailing. She believes “Voyage of Southern Cross” provides students everywhere unique opportunities to experience the adventure and cultural diversity of many of the world’s great places, and perhaps encourages them to create adventures of their own.  When she’s not managing a classroom, Kate can be found enjoying some quiet time in her riverside garden, loving on her dogs, or sailing  Hopscotch  with her husband, Sascha.

Kate Ebert

Educational Specialist

Raised in a U. S. Army family, Kate learned the value of travel, the importance of friendship, and the adventure of new places and experiences at an early age. She has a deep seeded love of the environment and the interconnections of all things which set her on a path of experiential education and public outreach that has spanned more than two decades.

A Science & Mathematics turned Art teacher, Kate came to know Howard Rice and John Welsford through mutual friends and a love of small craft sailing. She believes “Voyage of Southern Cross” provides students everywhere unique opportunities to experience the adventure and cultural diversity of many of the world’s great places, and perhaps encourages them to create adventures of their own.

When she’s not managing a classroom, Kate can be found enjoying some quiet time in her riverside garden, loving on her dogs, or sailing Hopscotch with her husband, Sascha.

 

The Voyage of Southern Cross Advisory Board

 

The Voyage of Southern Cross Advisory Board is comprised of highly talented and experienced experts who provide strategic advice to the VoySC team. Our advisory board members are rich in diverse talents and experiences ranging from education to business management and internet technology. We are pleased to have each board member standing in support of our efforts to reach as many schools, teachers, students and parents as possible. We will benefit from the knowledge of this diverse and talented group.

 

Dr. Richard Paulsen
 

Mr. Chuck Leinweber
 

Dr. Demos Lorandos
 

Mrs. Sue Woodard
 

Dr. Gail Vander Stoep
 

Mr. Josh Colvin
 

Mr. Patrick Carolan
 

 

Mr. Simeon Baldwin
 

Mr. Skip Denny
 

Mr. Tom Pamperin
 

 

Mr. Mike Mc Dowell
 

Mr. David Nichols
 

Ms. Denny McNae