A Five-Year Cruise Aboard Tahina


As creator and editor of the Google Earth Blog, Frank Taylor has spent the last four years viewing and exploring the world from above, monitoring the latest in satellite imagery, geospatial tools, and storytelling on the increasingly rich digital marvel. Now he’s sold his house and embarked on a new adventure.


For the next five years, Frank and his wife, Karen, will sail the world’s oceans, circumnavigating the globe aboard the sailboat Tahina. Frank’s goal: Raise awareness about the health of the seas and marine life while exploring the planet he’s come to know so well virtually in person. He’ll be documenting and sharing what he finds on the Tahina Expedition Blog, on Google Earth, on Picasa, on Twitter … and once in awhile right here on BlogWild! The voyage promises to be a showcase of what’s possible with the latest geospatial and communications technologies.

Tahina is a portable research vessel as well as a home for the Taylors on the high seas. Not content just to sail, dive, and shoot photographs and video, Frank has equipped the ship with a remotely operated vehicle to probe the waters below and a kite-mounted camera for gathering images from aloft. Naturally, sensors record the ship’s position, and you can follow its track on a map embedded in the official expedition site.

Frank and Karen have just completed the first leg of their long voyage, from Carolina Beach, North Carolina to Marigot Bay …


… off the Caribbean island of St. Martin. Their sailboat’s name means “blessed” or “protected” in the Malagasy language. Here’s to calm seas and a prosperous voyage for Tahina.

Photographs courtesy Frank Taylor

Changing Planet