About the Project
With the Winds is a sailing expedition, marine conservation project, and documentary film directed and produced by Henry Bell and Grant Bemis.
Initial planning for the With the Winds project began in 2013, during Henry and Grant's junior year of College, and in November of 2014 the Kickstarter crowdfounding campaign was launched. With the Winds raised over $24,000, and on December 2nd, Henry and Grant sailed off from Beaufort, NC and began their four-month expedition in the Caribbean. For more background, check out the Kickstarter video by following this link or watch the documentary trailer on the home page.
With the Winds is a four-month research voyage and documentary project that combined two of Henry and Grant's strongest passions, conservation and exploration. With the Winds was invited by Adventurers and Scientists for Conservation to collect samples and
Aboard the boat for the first time, October 2014
record data from coastal and open ocean locations along the project route in order to measure and track marine microplastic waste. The team also undertook a catch and release shark-tagging venture for NOAA through the National Marine Fisheries Service's
Our boat, Jörmungandr,
upon arrival in the USVI
Apex Predators Program, recording the location, species, length, and other measures of each shark that was caught. In addition, With the Winds surveyed, recorded, and removed refuse from some of the world's dirtiest beaches in conitribution to the Ocean Conservancy’s Coastal Cleanup initiative. These objectives took Henry and Grant to seven different Caribbean island nations aboard their 37-foot sailboat, Jörmungandr. They filmed the entire expedition and produced a documentary about their story.
Talks, Presentations, and Additional Initiatives
With the Winds is working with SEA Semester to promote the integration of marine and environmental education with sailing and fieldwork at sea. Kerry Daigle, at the time a Senior at Middlebury College and the team’s Outreach Coordinator, joined the boat in January along with Lizzy Reed, a fellow Middlebury Senior, to run an independent study for academic credit. Grant and Henry also worked with several school and outdoor education groups and are visiting a number of supporting organizations and other institutions across the country to present on their work. The film will be shown at festivals and other venues. If you would like to invite one or both of us to speak or present the film at a certain location, we would be happy to look into finding a time to visit. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.