Ship’s Blog

  • Nov 24 Blog

    eXXpedition: Exploration, Inspiration, Serendipity

    We have all been winding through diverse and varied landscapes – physical, social, psychological – yet have converged in this one space aboard Sea Dragon, where our similarities and differences are highlighted in sharp relief. All of our purposes and journeys different, yet the same. Serendipity becomes a common theme.
    As the moon rises and we settle in to our night watches, we stare up at the sky and around at the horizon.

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  • Nov 23 And Nov 24 Blog

    eXXpedition: Flying fish, manta trawls, and gender balance

    The sun was shining and Sea Dragon was sailing wing-on-wing. This diamond sail combination makes a beautiful sight against the cool blue sky. At 1pm sharp, it was time for our second manta trawl, which we accomplished smoothly in 1 hour 20 mins. Shanley assures us that this is a great time for our second attempt, and we are all pretty excited at the prospect of breaking some kind of record. We’re hoping to be down to 1 hour by the time we reach Martinique – let’s see if we’re up for the challenge!

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  • Exxpedition Photo For Nov 22 Blog

    eXXpedition: Our first trawl

    Finally after days of rain, storm and strong winds, we made our first trawl. The trawl was an ‘all hands on deck’ task. We put out the trawl in calm seas, travelling at 2 – 3 knots of boat speed. All the path was recorded in detail with Marine Debris Tracker, as were the conditions, like wind, speed, and direction. Everyone watched the trawl with curiosity as is it sliced through the water, resembling an animal gobbling plankton on the surface. The ocean looked pristine and deep blue, but the trawl told a different story.

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  • bermuda sailing

    eXXpedition: Finally the storms pass

    At around 3am, we spotted a cargo ship just after we emerged from yet another squall and realising that the vessel was less than 6 miles away and bearing straight down on us, our captain Emily picked up the radio and said: “San Fernando, San Fernando, we are the sailing vessels 6 miles in front of you on a collision course with limited manoeuvrability, as we have just one sail at the moment, are you able to avoid us?” Just another night on Sea Dragon crossing the Atlantic Ocean with her rookie crew.

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    eXXpedition: All hands on deck

    In the afternoon we were having a very merry time bouncing through the swirl occasionally getting face full of seawater as waves broke over the boat. We were pinching up wind with Shanley at the helm making 7-9 knots with 2 reefs in the main sail and both the Yankee jib and the staysail flying. Then all of the sudden the sheet of the Yankee jib severed in a gust of wind.

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  • EXXpedition Blog 2

    eXXpedition: Wide eyes and bright stars

    As we listen to the watch handover by the watch leader, we hand over some smiles to the tired crew about to crawl into their dry and cosy places below. And we get some back. The energy among us is one of companionship and care, as we move deeper into the moody Atlantic. One thing we are all learning or re-learning is that sailing is really about being present in the moment and dealing with change as it comes along.

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  • EXXpedition Blog Photo Day 1

    eXXpedition: Setting sail from Lanzarote

    After five days in Marina Lanzarote, taking part and leading workshops/talks for the Atlantic Odyssey, Sea Dragon and her team of 14 changemakers has finally set sail! After crossing the line with 34 Atlantic Odyssey boats, we set a course between Lanzarote and Fuerteventura heading out into the BIG WIDE ATLANTIC OCEAN!

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    eXXpedition Caribbean 2017

    Come and live aboard Sea Dragon as we hop between islands, sampling waters, surveying waste and reach out to local communities.

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    Lanzarote, on the horizon for hours as a question mark – cloud or land? – came into focus as an extended sprawl of volcanic hills. A fantastically arid landscape, all browns and tans like the dried pelt of a brindled creature, a stark contrast to the lush greens of the Azores. Clusters of white buildings ran in lines like barnacles on a low-tide rock.

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  • Deck

    Studio Swine and the Golden Machine

    Reconfiguring our conception – and use – of ‘waste’ is a theme running through Studio Swine’s work, which has seen them crafting chairs from aluminium cans in Brazil, and extraordinarily beautiful, tortoiseshell-like table-tops and other objects from human hair and bio-resin in China. They first became interested in ocean plastic after Alex heard a BBC Radio 4 programme about a previous Sea Dragon voyage from Brazil to South Africa through the South Atlantic gyre. On our current journey, as we lower the fish-mouthed trawls into the sea for the daily collection of plastic and plankton, we’re witnessing an intriguing, real-time intersection of science and art.

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