eXXpedition Round Britain gets off to an amazing start!
May 06 2014
7th August – 5th September
Congratulations to eXXpedition Round Britain as they embark on their three-part mission aboard our very own S/V Sea Dragon, circumnavigating Great Britain over the next 4 weeks.
The eXXpedition team are sailing the whole of the British Isles, sampling the waters for plastics and toxics as they go, according to the protocols developed by the 5 Gyres Institute. Having started from Plymouth on 7th August, they will sail into the heart of all four of Britain’s capital cities, Cardiff, Belfast, Edinburgh, and London, as well as to the Isle of Arran in the Clyde and Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides.
LEG 1: Plymouth, via Cardiff and Belfast, to Arran (nr Glasgow): 7th – 17th August
LEG 2: Arran (nr Glasgow), via Stornoway, to Edinburgh: 17th – 26th August
LEG 3: Edinburgh, via London, to Plymouth: 26th Aug – 5th Sep
To explore the issue of plastics, chemicals, endocrine disruptors and carcinogens in our personal and global environment.
Following the previous eXXpeditions, Round Britain 2017 is an all women’s voyage, continuing their quest to make the unseen seen, from the toxics in our bodies to the toxics in our seas.
The eXXpedition team embarked from Plymouth, with the support of Richard Thompson, Professor of Marine Biology at Plymouth University and specialist in International Marine Litter research, to undertake the first continuous sampling, in one month, of all the waters around Britain, from polluted city waterways to the relatively pristine waters of the Minch and the Western Isles.
Sailing clockwise from Plymouth, they will round Lands End and make landfall in Cardiff, home of the Welsh Assembly. Here begins the first in their shore side work with local people, holiday makers, media, and politicians, conducting science workshops, beach cleans, media and creative events, according to the skills and interests of crew members.
From Cardiff, they head north through the Irish Sea and over to Belfast in Northern Ireland. Shore work will continue here in collaboration with local organisations, leaving after 2 days for the short hop to the Firth of Clyde, whose waters pour out of the heavy industrial city of Glasgow. Sea Dragon will anchor off the Isle of Arran where local organisation COAST (Community of Arran Seabed Trust) will be welcoming hosts, enabling awareness-raising and scientific demonstrations to continue. Arran is also the end of the first leg/beginning of the second leg of the voyage.
Leaving the Clyde on August 18th, eXXpedition GB will round the Mull of Kintyre and head through the beautiful waters of the West of Scotland, passing Mull, Ardnamurchan Point, the Small Isles and Skye to the Outer Hebrides and Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis. Here they will work again with local people and holiday makers, school children and media in whatever creative ways they develop. Then follows the long passage across the North of the British Isles, around Cape Wrath and through the Pentland Firth, where the waters of the Atlantic and North Sea meet, then turning towards the South again, eventually making landfall in Edinburgh, ancient capital city of Scotland and home of the Scottish Parliament at Holyrood. eXXpedition shore work continues here over two days, while the second leg of the voyage finishes and the third begins.
From Edinburgh on August 27th, its a sail through the North Sea, with continuing sampling work as they go and preparing for the entrance into the Thames, through the Thames Barrier at Woolwich and into St Katherine’s Dock by Tower Bridge. As London starts its annual Thames Festival, eXXpeditions work will link with this, with the scientific data, with questions about our uses of plastics and the routes by which so many toxics, carcinogens, and endocrine disruptors, reach our seas – and our bodies.
Leaving London and rounding the South-eastern corner of Britain, sees Sea Dragon and her crew enter the English Channel, to complete eXXpeditions discoveries of the pollution around our islands. The Channel is a busy seaway and this part of the voyage will be as challenging as any other as they head back to Plymouth. The final day will allow eXXpedition to work together onshore for the last time as they bring back the fruits and discoveries of the voyage, new thoughts, and inspirations.
Please do head over to eXXpedition’s website to find out more; where onshore events are being held and how you might participate in their amazing onshore projects.