On 16th August round Britain eXXpedition 2017 yacht Sea Dragon paid a visit to Arran berthing at Lamlash. On 17th members of ACRC in Seabhag and Iolair rowed out to meet her. The wind was a bit more brisk than expected, the water was a bit choppy and it was a tricky exercise pulling alongside and stepping from the small skiff to the big yacht without causing damage to the skiffs or the rowers!
Once onboard we were hosted by an international all female crew who gave us a brief talk about the eXXpedition – its work and its crew – and the skipper gave us all a brief insight into skippering with details of weather factors, tides and navigation for their round Britain circumnavigation – not least of which will be steering a 29 meter mast under the Kessock Bridge in Inverness which only has a 30 meter clearance. Lets hope they get low tide spot on! Their scientific work will delve into the presence of plastics and toxins in the seas around Britain and they will be sampling air quality for the presence of nano-plastics checking to investigate the potential for airborne dispersal – who would have thought of that? As a matter of slight mischief making the question was posed about the all female crew. Interestingly the ‘all female’ element was a conscious decision to promote gender equality and past experience of all female crews had engendered (‘scuse the pun) a positive dynamic amongst the crew. It was also hoped that by highlighting an all female crew this would have a positive message for women in science and involvement in outdoor pursuits both of which tend to be male dominated.
Sea Dragon will be leaving Lamlash on 18th heading up the west coast of Scotland with the hurricane system moving across the Atlantic forcing her to cut through the Caledonian Canal to Inverness rather than taking the northerly route round the top of Scotland. For those who want to follow Sea Dragon round Britain drop into their website here.
Text by Stephen Brown; photos by John Baraclough
Please click on the photos to enlarge them