eXXpedition Round the World
I was recently chosen as one of 10 women from around the world to take part in a sailing voyage in the South Pacific to study micro plastics and their effects on our ocean, environment and our health. I feel so honored and lucky to be one of the newest members of eXXpedition Round the World and join the ranks of these amazing women.
The two year long voyage is a pioneering sailing expedition to circumnavigate the globe with the aim of raising awareness of, and explore solutions to, the devastating environmental and health impacts of single-use plastics and toxics in the world’s ocean. eXXpedition is comprised of an incredibly talented and diverse crew of all women – artists, scientists, filmmakers, sustainability professionals, businesswomen, sailors and so much more. Round the World will be completed over the next two years consisting of 30 voyages, 300 women, and over 3800 nautical miles.
I am joining the crew on the 12th leg, starting in Fiji on May 24, 2020 and sailing to Vanuatu for roughly 10 days. Fiji, a nation of over 300 main islands, of which 106 are permanently inhabited. Steeped in rich island culture, rainforests, beautiful beaches, lagoons and palm-lined shores Fiji will be a picturesque start to this leg.
We will collaborate with local organisations to investigate the plastic pollution on the island. It is reported that Fiji uses an alarming number of plastic bags, between 50 and 60 million per year and therefore it will be an important role for us to step ashore and share our story to raise the awareness and stimulate action. This will provide an insight into the issues it faces in terms of the environmental impact and waste management.
Whilst at sea we will be carrying out our scientific research program and engaging in discussion and workshops around solutions. Our onboard expert will facilitate scientific data collection and discussion around this environmental issue allowing all on board to have a deeper insight into the impact of plastic pollution on our oceans, and on us. After 5 days offshore we will arrive at a group of 82, relatively small islands called Vanuatu. Vanuatu is a nation of over 80 islands which are volcanic in origin and feature long narrow coastal plains. This provides a strong connection between the islanders and the sea, so it will be a valuable experience to step ashore to raise awareness by sharing our findings.
As part of the crew I will participate in the research projects aboard, trolling for plastics as well as managing the galley day and night. Along the way I will be documenting this voyage through photography and video to help raise awareness and I can’t wait to bring back what I have learned to help implement some solutions here at home in my own coastal community.
I feel led to participate in this research and awareness trip for a number of different reasons. First and foremost, my children. I am just a regular mom, trying to raise environmental advocates. Every thing I do is for my children. Since entering into motherhood I have never felt more compelled to lead by example and pass along to my children the importance of mindfulness. I strive to teach them that every choice we make, no matter how small can have a great impact on our world- either for good or bad.
My young children have spoken at town meetings and advocated for plastic bans, participated in beach sweeps and we successfully petitioned our local school district, the second to largest school district in SC, to remove all styrofoam trays from their meal service, which you can read more about here.
I’m planting the seeds of hope for my children and our future generations and just doing what I can to make the best choices for my children and their future earth… one plastic swap out at a time.
The eXXpedition women are on a journey of discovery. We hope to inspire and empower not only young women but ocean enthusiasts everywhere. I need your help to change lives, shift career paths, alter behavior, and spark a movement!
I am excited to share this experience with everyone who supports me financially, emotionally and physically (thanks for taking care of the littles!) during this creation of eXXpedition’s inspiring narrative of female leadership, personal and environmental exploration, and cultural conversation space aboard Discovery , a 70 foot scientific exploration vessel.
When I return home I will we sharing my experience through organized talks/presentations, photo and video. If you or someone you know would like to partner in community outreach to share the experience please sent me an email!
I am currently seeking sponsors! If you , or someone you know would be interested in sponsoring part of my journey, please email me!
Please visit my #gofundme to learn even more about eXXpedition round the world and donate!! For as amazing as this opportunity is, it is not possible without the generosity of others.
If you would like to share, I’d so appreciate it!
eXXpedition, is the Community Interest Company behind Round the World 2019-2021, specialists in all-women sailing trips with a focus on highlighting the devastating impact single-use plastic and toxics from land-based activities are having on our planet’s oceans, ecosystems and on human health.
Previous research carried out by eXXpedition has highlighted the endemic nature of micro plastics within our ocean environments globally and the increasing potential impact they have on human health.
eXXpedition was founded in 2014 by ocean advocate Emily Penn and Dr Lucy Gilliam to make the unseen seen, from the toxics in our bodies to the toxics in our seas. eXXpedition became a Community Interest Company in 2017.
You can read more information about our team here: www.exxpedition.com/team