Gone Floatabout

Sailing, Photography, Wilderness

Exploring the Arctic through ZEAL lenses!


Zeal Optics

NB: After 33,000 nautical miles our sunglasses were a bit worn, so we approached Zeal for sponsorship, being drawn to their sustainable manufacturing. 

So we’re stoked to be joining up with ZEAL Optics, creators of unique and sustainable eyewear born out of the need for adventure and exploration.  While voyaging, Seth and I pretty much live outdoors, which means we’re constantly exposed to sunlight, glare off the water, and wind.  Standing watch means—among other things—searching the horizon for hazards like ships, driftwood, submerged containers, or even whales, and it would take a toll on our retinas if we weren’t protected with durable and polarized shades.  In the Arctic, with 24-hour daylight and glare off ice as well as ocean, this will be especially important.  On calmer, warmer days we’ll be sporting our sunglasses, and when it gets rough and the salt spray starts to sting (or even freeze!) we’ll be digging out our ski goggles.  These are polarized too, giving us a good chance of discerning whitecaps from sea ice and allowing us to see rocks and shoals when nosing into a cove or picking our way along the shallow Arctic coastline. 

Nosing into an anchorage, looking out for rocks!

Nosing into an anchorage, looking out for rocks!

ZEAL is the perfect partner for our voyage as they’re a dynamic community of explorers, outdoor athletes, and creatives, and they value a low-impact lifestyle.  ZEAL’s frames and lenses are all sustainably sourced from the castor plant rather than from petroleum, which also significantly reduces the amount of CO2 released by manufacturing.  Learn more about it on ZEAL’s Technology page.  We’re excited to be able to explore the world’s coasts and islands, challenge ourselves on the oceans, and live our dreams, all through sustainable lenses!

We're also stoked to keep using our sunnies and goggles when we're not sailing - on our alpine hikes!

We’re also stoked to keep using our sunnies and goggles when we’re not sailing – on our alpine hikes!

4 thoughts on “Exploring the Arctic through ZEAL lenses!

  1. Do these goggles really help when saltwater spray, rain, and condensation make regular glasses a liability?
    Do the goggles fit over regular eye glasses?

    • Hi Karl,
      Visibility is always going to be compromised in rough weather at sea, so wearing ski goggles is only intended to minimize that and reduce discomfort like stinging eyes. Of course, they’re designed for snow, not liquid water, so they’ll get a bit blurry when doused with spray and waves. But it’s better than nothing! Hopefully condensation won’t be an issue thanks to anti-fog treatment to the lenses and also the fact that the goggles are vented. Another blue-water sailor first suggested wearing goggles in storms when Seth and I were setting off on Heretic and I wish I’d listened to her! Most of the Volvo Ocean Race crews wear goggles. They’re also great for cold weather (reducing wind chill) and, of course, in snow (which we might encounter, especially towards the end of the voyage in September). Several models do fit over prescription glasses, too!