Oceans 8 has its origins in a series of expeditions funded by the National Geographic Expeditions Council to explore the world’s oceans and coastlines from the seat of a kayak. Used as both transportation and as floating ambassadors, sea kayaks allowed Jon and his teams — comprised of some of the world’s best photographers, filmmakers, scientists, environmentalists and navigators — to reach corners of the world rarely seen, all from the perspective of sea level.
No greater resource exists on the planet than the salty blue-water that covers almost eighty percent of the globe. Utilized for food, transportation and increasingly energy, the oceans are one of the greatest influencers of the world’s weather and how societies ebb and boom along its shores. Around the planet nearly four billion people depend on the surrounding seas. They have also done much harm, via pollution, overfishing, the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification.
The project began in 1999 with an expedition to the remote Aleutian Islands. Over the course of the next decade following expeditions took Jon and his teams down the coast of Vietnam, through the Tuamotu Atolls of French Polynesia, across the high plains of Bolivia/Chile/Argentina, up the wild coastline of Gabon in West Africa, along Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast and around Tasmania. The final Oceans 8 expedition was to Antarctica, in the austral summer of 2008.
A 30-minute film was made about each expedition, broadcast on the National Geographic Channel in 150 countries.