Sea Dragon visit update
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.