Pangaea Project with Mike Horn

chasejarvis_panerai_post2 123:30am: “GRAB THE HOOK!” Mike Horn yells at Tristan. The mizzen sail on the back mast is jammed. The wind is blowing at 40+ mph and we can’t steer. We’ve got to get a hook in that sail and pull it down. We’re surfing down the face of waves, only narrowly keeping the boat pointed in the right direction so we don’t blow over in the nearly 4 meter breaking seas.

Frankly speaking, getting to know Mike Horn and sailing down the coast of China in a 105 foot all-terrain-sailboat with Mike, his crew of two–Tristan and Jacek–and my manager Jerard has already has made me feel more alive in just a handful of days than I have felt in a few years.

10 more photos and additional reports from the road…[click ‘continue reading’]

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Middle of the night. Gear is breaking. Tristan stays calm.

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Wind blowing at 40+mph and Mike is suspended over water working on the sail.

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Mike at full speed.

My creative approach: Artistically speaking, I’m having trouble putting the camera down. These guys–Mike in particular, but Tristan and Jacek as well–are the real deal. There’s no slowing down to get the shot. It’s one speed all the time. And that speed is full speed ahead.

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At the helm of the Pangaea.

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Mike Horn. Explorer.

Miscellaneous things that make me go hmmmmm:

1. We’ve been out at sea doing 11 knots for several days straight en route from Shanghai toward Hong Kong and I have yet to see another boat that’s not a Chinese fishing boat or a 500 foot cargo boat. I asked Mike why. “It’s not a good idea for sailboats to be in these parts this time of year.”

2. This boat is from the future. It’s a masterpiece. It’s loaded with technology this guy sailed across the Atlantic in a 28 foot trimaran through a hurricane in 19 days solo, with little more than an GPS). The Pangaea is comfortable, but not overly so. It can ram through floating ice in the Antarctic, and is capable of a full beaching on it’s specially designed skids. It’s got redundant systems galore. It has a retractable hull. In some ways, it’s sort of like the boat equivalent of a Range Rover on steroids I’d say. It’s pretty comfortable, but what it’s capable of isn’t really revealed until you’re in action and then it can go anywhere.

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Our captain analyzes the gale force winds on the technology.

3. Lastly, although I’m here to create images and video I’ve come to know that the more important reason I’m on this boat is to be inspired by one of the most remarkable people on the planet: Mike Horn. I’ll got into more detail later, but he’s sailing this boat around the world for the 3rd time in two years and taking aboard hundreds of students from around the world…educating them about the planet through experience-based curricula and enabling them to return to their home country armed with stories that might change the way the next generation looks at the world. It’s mind-blowing how inspirational all of this is to me. If you get a second, check out his Pangaea project online here. It is–and he is–simply remarkable.

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Panerai Luminor 1950 Submersible Depth Gauge for the Pangaea expedition.

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Jacek the engineer.

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Mike has lost the tips of some fingers to a life lived without limits.

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Tony Reidsma says:

Sorry, I need to clarify…. Compare in terms of video?

I’m using several 7d’s for shooting 1080p…..

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Just curious, and if you don’t mind me asking, how does the new Nikon compare to the Canon 7d?



Thanks for the update. To be able to do something like this must be simply amazing. Enjoy the experience.

Wow! You actually drink while on assignment then brag about it. Chris Bernard

James Green says:

man, what an experience!

Dov says:

Also, watch out for pirates. If you find some booty, let us know ;P


Dov says:


Life’s like sailing. You’re better to enjoy your journey on the ship instead of waiting to reach the destination.

Would love to see some raw footage of this epic journey and project. What instrument’s being used for internet? Sierra Wireless AirLink?


Nick Bicanic says:

Awesome stuff Chase. Looking forward to more photos but also the story and your reasoning and experiences behind them too.

Ever been sailing like this in the past?

Chase says:

used to sailboat race as a kid…but mostly just “hey kid hoist this!!” so i basically know very little. learning a ton on this trip. amazing.

Tim Matsui says:

Psyched Chase. Nice to see you working again in the element where “production” means choosing where to stand and when to lift the camera. Sounds like a killer shoot with an amazing crew–and a lot of sea sickness (if you’re me).

Just got back from China myself–in and out of Shanghai–for some press junket thing. Slipping out at dawn, before we had to report to our minders, was the best part. Eating sea cucumber, not so great.

Looking forward to seeing the rest of this shoot, even if it is straight off your 13″ with minimal post production.

Arne says:

Glad you are enjoying the South African pinotage! Inspiring stuff!

vejadu.dre says:

Absolutely inspiring, Go Chase!

Dale Reubin says:

My Dad is an ex Special Force soldier from South Africa so I know what you’re feeling being around Mike. They’re a different breed of human! Tough as hell but genuine gentlemen and super inspiring to see whats actually possible. Great post Chase!

Alex Solla says:

Chase, how on earth are you keeping that camera from being bathed in sea salt day in and day out? Do you have it in some sort of housing? How do you keep from losing your grip on it as the boat tosses and pitches?

Fantastic insight into your daring project.

Tom Varden says:

I wonder what the crew is doing with the boss away. (Let me sneak in the studio for a minute)

As always, thanks for the inspiration and knowledge.

Brian says:

I am getting sea-sick just looking at the war-style pics! Must be incredible experience. Looking forward to your next post. As always thanks for sharing. B,

Adwet harsora says:

hello chase.

can we switch places??


will foster says:


Daryl says:

Wow, These are amazing. Thanks Chase!

Ian Holmes says:

Absolutely brilliant write up Chase. Looking forward to the next installment. And I love the images. Very real, very raw looking. Very documentary. The product in use in real scenarios. I hope other manufacturers take note. I’d personally love to see a rebirth of documentary photography – this time through advertising.

Thanks much for keep us up to date, Chase. This is some great stuff, as usual. Love too how you kept the creative brief loose with the company – I hope they stick to it in the end. When you come off this job, I’m hoping you can compose a post that will break down some of the elements for us – which lenses worked best, did you use any lighting, how often were you seasick :-)

And you can have the cheese…I’ll take the watch.

Cody says:

I woke up this morning to see this on the blog. Thanks so much for posting, it was quite fascinating.

Stu Bailey says:

That’s some adventure Mr Chase!
Make sure by the end of the trip you know how to sail. Mike Horn has got to be an amazing teacher.
Just don’t loose any fingers, holding a camera without a thumb is a hard job!

Anna says:

Chase, loving your work.
Hope you’re living each day of your assignment to the fullest.

Carl Licari says:

Dude, you do it all! Awesome stuff!

Tim Skipper says:

Excellent just excellent

Kenneth Koh says:

That’s WAY COOL :o)

BTW, what sort of lenses would you take for the confined space of a sailboat?

Chase says:

will do a gear post asap….

Jim says:

Is that a pull-tab beer can in the last shot? I thought they stopped making those in the 70s.

Adrian says:

Awesome project! What an amazing opportunity. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Great to see you taking the D7000 with you too. Is that for video, or photos as well?

Chase says:

the D3s is my photo machine. really focusing on the d7000 for it’s 1080 video. my manager @jerard is using it for bTS stills too….lovely rig.

Adrian says:

Sweet. Looking forward to more shots and BTS photos & video.

Xavier says:

Amazing project, it must be so inspiring to sail along Mike Horn.

Thanks for the update, looking forward to the next one. Most of all, have fun doing this, enjoy every moment!

David Airey says:

Superb update, Chase. Love the, “It’s not a good idea for sailboats to be in these parts” line.

What an adventure, Chase. The Pangea Expedition seems very exciting, and I really enjoyed reading your report from the ship.
@Ben, Nessie, isn’t she supposed to be in Loch Ness, Scotland ? :-)

Ben says:

Any luck locating Nessie yet Chase?

Really lovin’ this blog post mate, very very cool stuff!

Nick T says:

Awesome work brother. Your excitement is palpable and infectious. Thanks for sharing it with us!

Ahoy Chase,

That be one mighty fine story, and a great adventure fer sure, but watch out for them thar South Sea pirates, yarrr!

I be worried about yer big, fancy ship and yer big fancy cameras…


Sailor says:

Thanks for the updates! Are these production photos?

Chase says:

A mix of “real” images and “production” images….although the feel is what I’m going for throughout. The “middle of the action” and “tough” style imagery of sailing tough with Mike Horn and Panerai is what I’m going for to tell this story. Perhaps I’ll even go more gritty. The images will certainly get retouched/color corrected (i’m solo on a 13″ macbook…), but this is the feel I’m going for.

The “behind the scenes” shots are all for fun, but tell a compelling story in their own right IMHO.

It looks and sounds like you are having quite a trip. Exciting characters you are travelling with. I’m looking forward to the finished work :-)


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