Green activist to sail to Philippines to marry fiancée, save dolphins


Adventurer and conservationist Jim Sullivan (center) prepares to set sail on the 30-foot sailboat “Elusive Spirit” at Marina del Mar, California, on Sunday in this handout photo provided by Tony Winders. Sullivan is sailing the engine-less boat on an 8,000-mile journey to Cebu City to raise awareness for the protection and humane treatment of dolphins in the Philippines. AP

MARINA DEL REY, California—The 1990s Scottish band, the Proclaimers once sang about walking 500 miles and another 500 miles, just to be the man who walks 1,000 miles to “your door.”

But can they top sailing 8,000 miles?

A hopeless romantic environmental activist is planning to sail 8,000 miles — from Marina Del Rey, California to the Cebu Island in the Philippines to marry his fiancée Sharon, while also raising awareness about the plight of dolphins, who are senselessly killed and captured, around the world.

Jim Sullivan, a science talk radio host and eco-humanitarian, is leaving for his journey at a launch event hosted by Del Rey Yacht Club in Marina del Rey this Sunday.

Among those attending will be Ric OÕBarry, the star of the television series “Flipper” who was featured in the Oscar-winning documentary “The Cove” and whose organization will benefit from any proceeds earned during the expedition.

“The main reason I am doing this is I want to make a positive statement at this point in my life and make a difference,” the 50-year-old Sullivan told the Asian Journal. “It’s hard because when we watch the news sometimes we think there’s nothing we can do. So if I can go out into the ocean and show that I can sail without an engine over 8,000 miles that alone is a great challenge for me and to also raise awareness about the whales and dolphins that are being slaughtered worldwide…”

“Oh and once I dock I’ll be marrying my (Filipina) fiancée, Sharon, when I get to Cebu,” he added.

Dubbed the Xpac 8,000 Expedition, a national geographic photographer will accompany Sullivan on the journey in a 30-foot sailboat called the Elusive Spirit.

The sailboat will have no engine and he plans on just using the oceans current and wind to guide them along to their destination.

He said they will be following the same trade route Spanish galleon ships in Mexico hundreds of years ago used to use to travel to the Philippines.

He said the biggest obstacle for them will be getting out of California where the first “500 miles is cold and will battle inconsistent winds.”

“I’m scared,” he said. “But I’m excited and confident. I’ve surrounded myself with a great team.”

Sullivan said the 8,000-mile journey will be tracked online as he sails along the north equatorial current from latitude 33 degrees to 12 degrees North, passing south of Hawaii, north of the Marshal Islands, south of Guam. He is expected to arrive in Cebu in early June.

Sullivan will use the latest satellite 2-way texting technology to send messages ashore, which will be posted on his website and via Twitter @xpac8000, where followers can also direct words of support and encouragement to Sullivan throughout the three-month journey. Updates about the trip and real-time monitoring of Sullivan’s location via Google Maps will be managed by his web partner Bandacorp and published on the site where Sullivan also hosts his radio program at

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  • Dagxawin

    Godspeed to your journey. May you arrive safe and sound to Cebu where your lucky woman is waiting for you.

    Thumbs up for your environmental concern and congrats to your wedding :)

  • Iggy_Ramirez

    This guy could be really lucky if his fiancee is still a virgin. Imagine trying to screw… I mean score a virgin at 50.

    • Laura Durand

      Does picking on others make you feel big?

    • ClarkInKuwait

      Man, you live a pathetic life.

  • randyaltarejos

    Good luck, Jim! Hope you’ll make it to Cebu–the Queen City of Central Visayas in the Philippines.

  • bestfriendtata

    Good luck Jim, we are all excited to see you here in the Philippines,we will be praying for your safety, God will always be with you wherever you go.

  • adler

    Good Luck Jim! I am  so happy for you and my bestfriend Sharon. i pray for your safety while sailing. Just have a question, Are you going to Cebu or Boracay Island where Sharon is?

  • Joy Villanueva

    I would be praying for this long journey for a sister in Christ..!!
    God bless and may God be your daily guide..!!

  • ninerkiddo

    Faith has to be one of the most brilliant ideas ever THOUGHT up. Getting people to obey made up rules without a gram of evidence to support any of it. Faith… what a load of CRAP…
    “On religion; regarded by common people as true, by the wise as False, by the rulers as useful.”
    Mark Twain

    • Kortes Vicente

       When men are learned they think they are wise. God’s wisdom is foolishness to man and vice versa.
      Faith ,as defined by the new testament is to believe in things which are not see but which are true. Further it says Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things unseen.
      Call Faith a crap and you’ll find life meaningless. Faith is one of the very purpose why man has ever existed in this world.
      While everyone is free to chose whether to believe or not, no one is free to chose the consequences thereof. It’s your choice. But relying on God is much better than living a life without meaning.

  • philcruz

    I like the following lines from Mr. De Quiros in this column: ”
    Neither religion nor law is internalized. We are deeply religious without being deeply spiritual. We are deeply pious without being deeply moral.”

    That says a lot. It explains a lot why we are the only Catholic country in this part of the  world but we are getting left behind by our other neighbors. This is so because we generally keep electing people who steal our country blind and then we don’t punish them for it.

  • Kortes Vicente

     The Gospel of Jesus Christ is free for all men who may seek His Kingdom. Hence no one is authorized to accept payment for preaching His Gospel. No, not even universities. No one is justified in enriching himself using the name of the Lord for he who does this is endanger of God’s justice. No offense to those who are doing it but if Salvation is the ultimate goal, why not think about this.

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