In Puerto Rico the crew prepared the expedition, and assisted the Institute in establishing a thousand acre sustainable forestry project in the mountain rainforest, Las Casas de la Selva (www.eyeontherainforest.org). In the course of the expedition, the Institute produced a twelve-part cultural documentaries in cooperation with Zagreb Television in Yugoslavia. Studies of tropical agricultures would later be adapted for the intensive non-chemical agricultural system (Silverstone and Nelson, 1996; Allen and Nelson, 1999) in the Biosphere 2 Project (www.biospherics.org or com), the largest closed ecological system facility ever built.
The global circumnavigation began in San Juan in February 1983 and returned in June 1986, having sailed 30,000 miles and stopping in 25 ports. The crew size varied from seven to 19 and involved over 100 participants from a dozen nations. The ship once again transited the Panama Canal, thence to the tropical Pacific. The ship survived shipwreck in Western Samoa and a dramatic 36-day voyage without a working engine or radar to Vanuatu. After repairs, it sailed onto Australia, around the treacherous Great Barrier Reef, eventually onto Indonesia and a re-fit in Singapore. The ship then made landfall in Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Djibouti, South Yemen, Sudan, Egypt, France, Spain, and the Canary Islands, before the Atlantic crossing back to San Juan. The mayor greeted the ship upon its first circumnavigation of the planet.
The ‘Around the Tropic World’ Expedition documented tropical cultures that had lived in harmony with their environment for hundreds, and in some cases, thousands of years, in order to preserve these vanishing traditions.