Sea Dragon visit up­date

The Arran Banner - - News -

Sir, This is to up­date read­ers on the prepa­ra­tions for eXX­pedi­tion Round Bri­tain with the Sea Dragon due to sail into Lam­lash Bay on Au­gust 16.

Russ and El­speth Cheshire are giv­ing their day in the RiB to bring the crew ashore for the day’s events. The Co-op in Brod­ick is gen­er­ously re­stock­ing Sea Dragon with suf­fi­cient fresh food to take us on the next 10-day sail, up to the West­ern Isles and the north, through the Pent­land Firth and around to Ed­in­burgh.

The RNLI is lend­ing us the lifeboat sta­tion in Lam­lash as a venue for the day’s events in Au­gust. We have two vis­it­ing sci­en­tists, Dr Natalie Welden of the Open Univer­sity and Win­nie Courtene-Jones from SAMS near Oban. We’ll be talk­ing about our find­ings of plas­tics of all sizes, down to the very small­est, in the open ocean. COAST is lend­ing us mi­cro­scopes, so we can study plas­tic sam­ples, dis­cuss their ef­fects on sea life – and con­sider the changes we need to make to pre­vent any more plas­tic end­ing up in the sea.

In the af­ter­noon our sci­en­tific crew and vis­it­ing ex­perts will be go­ing to the high school to work with older stu­dents. COAST will be invit­ing folk at 3pm to join us in a beach clean nearby.

In the evening, the PHT are host­ing a sto­ry­telling and mu­si­cal evening from 7.30pm, Tales from the Sea Dragon. Our all-women and all-ages crew will be telling tales based on our days at sea, some to make you laugh, some to make you cry. Lo­cal mu­si­cians are com­ing to sup­port us and wel­come us into Scot­land. And in the morn­ing, we shall sail away on the next leg of our cir­cum­nav­i­ga­tion.

So, that’s the day on­shore on Ar­ran, but of course we have a lot more go­ing on ev­ery­where else. Of in­ter­est to Ar­ran read­ers might be that we have suc­cess­fully crowd­funded £10,000 of which half came from the Her­itage Lot­tery Fund in recog­ni­tion of our en­vi­ron­men­tal work. This en­ables us to bring speak­ers, hire venues, buy sci­ence equip­ment, pro­duce pub­lic­ity ma­te­ri­als for the en­tire voy­age.

On our way to Ar­ran, in Belfast, we ex­pect a visit from the Lord Mayor! Our Scot­tish sail­ing leg cul­mi­nates in Ed­in­burgh with a re­cep­tion at Holy­rood, or­gan­ised for us by MSP Ken­neth Gib­son. Our high­point in Eng­land could be when we sail up the Thames and un­der Tower Bridge on Au­gust 30, to a re­cep­tion on Tower Pier.

Yours, Sue Weaver, Kil­do­nan.

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