Local Teen Embarks on Adventure Inspired by Wild & Scenic

“Adventure is the pursuit of awe. And the natural world is vast and awe-inspiring. It reminds us that we are small and insignificant, yet connected to something much larger and more important than ourselves. Until we become interstellar travelers exploring the vastness of space, we have only the few remaining blank spots on the map to absorb our wandering, restless spirits. May we never tame them.”  Nico Edwards, filmmaker and subject in 2017 Wild & Scenic Film Festival Official Selection Sea Gypsies: The Far Side of the World, speaks to the nature of adventure.

Photo credit: Sea Gypsies

In Sea Gypsies, we follow Infinity, a hand-built gypsy boat crewed by a band of wandering miscreants on an 8,000 mile Pacific crossing. Whereas most would watch this film feeling entertained and thinking to themselves “Wow, I’m glad I’m not on a hand-built boat in really sketchy conditions facing lots of mechanical problems”, local Bitney College Prep student, Savanna Ortegren, saw the film at the festival in January and said “Yes – I want to do that!” On August 14th, she embarks on the adventure of a lifetime for 10 months, traversing the Pacific and interacting with local islanders along the way. For this trip, Infinity is teaming up with The Floating Foundation to do environmental work with the Tongan people, and provide medical supplies and training.

Watch the video below to see how Wild & Scenic inspired Savanna, and maybe you too will feel the call of the wild! It is the people like Savanna who motivate us here at Wild & Scenic to continue screening the films that will rouse you to get out, adventure, and protect this vast and awe-inspiring natural world.

Having trouble viewing our video? Follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f85X6OU6_4g

Special thanks to filmmaker Nico Edwards for granting us permission to use footage from Sea Gypsies and to The Floating Foundation for providing still images. You all rock!


You can follow Savanna’s adventures through her blog, The Stories of Adventure Girl

You can also help fund her adventure here: I want to sea the world – GoFundMe

Want to follow the whole crew on their trip? Stay up to date with The Floating Foundation’s progress!

Want to join Savanna? There is limited time left, but volunteer registration is still open: Tonga in 2017 is waiting for you!

Are you a member of the South Yuba River Citizens League? Sea Gypsies is currently in our Film Library and available to borrow if you’re an active SYRCL member. (Reach out to Alena Loomis to see if your membership is current, [email protected] or 530-265-5961 x 220).

Hungry for more? You can also check out our Media Lounge interview with filmmaker Nico Edwards from the 2017 Wild & Scenic Film Festival:

Having trouble viewing our video? Follow this link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SuxaO_V0dqc