Intrepid ocean explorer puts his faith in the youth of today for a greener tomorrow

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 October, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 October, 2009, 12:00am

Tuen Mun might not be our choice of a scenic stop during an around-the-world sail, but that's where South African explorer Mike Horn docked to show the media his environmentally-friendly yacht, Pangaea, on Tuesday morning. The expedition, sponsored by watchmaker Panerai, has taken the 43-year-old over 100,000 kilometres of ocean. The four-year journey (now in its second) is not only designed to promote eco energy, but another renewable power source.

'I think the biggest source of energy we have is not nuclear, not fossil fuel, not wind nor solar energy, but it is the youth,' Horn said at the Gold Coast yacht club. 'These young individuals are the next decision makers and they can reach out to a lot more people than I can through their schools, friends and family.'

As part of his Young Explorers' Programme, Horn's recent crew included an 18-year-old from Shenzhen named Jun Li (pictured with Horn), who completed a two-week voyage in New Zealand with a dozen other young explorers. 'I found out about this programme when I saw an article saying 'travel around the world for free',' Li recalled. 'I wondered if it was for real. So I signed up. The trip made me appreciate nature more. I remember some wild dolphins once swam towards our boat. It was like they wanted to show us how beautiful nature and its creatures were.'

Horn will begin an expedition up the Yellow River next year. If you're between 15 and 20 and would like to join this project, apply at