Ama­zo­nian ad­ven­ture

Sail­ing from Sene­gal to guyana with a crew of ma­rine Sci­en­tists and en­vi­ron­men­tal­ists proved event­ful for emily caruso

Yachting World - - Time To Buy Your Next Boat -

Avery wise man once told me that there are two kinds of sailors: those who have been aground; and those who lie.

One day in De­cem­ber last year any­one on the banks of the Esse­quibo River in Guyana would have be­held a most un­likely sight. Sur­rounded by the vi­brant green flora of the Ama­zon rain­for­est, the for­mer Global Chal­lenge yacht Sea Dragon was gen­tly list­ing to star­board as she sat hap­lessly on a sand­bar just a few miles from the des­ti­na­tion port of Bar­tica.

The 72ft yacht was quite a spec­ta­cle and, with an all-fe­male crew of ex­pe­di­tion sci­en­tists and sailors, it was no sur­prise to find that our un­sched­uled stop gen­er­ated much in­ter­est from pass­ing fish­er­men and ferry boats.

Six-legged stow­aways

The jour­ney that brought us to this sand shoal be­gan, for me, in late Oc­to­ber when I joined the yacht as first mate in Sene­gal,

West Africa. Af­ter pre­par­ing Sea Dragon in the vivid orange city of Dakar where, on land, the heat was pun­ish­ingly hot and the pol­lu­tion over­whelm­ing, we headed across the At­lantic to Re­cife in Brazil, be­fore cross­ing the mouth of the Ama­zon on our way to Guyana. Our re­mit in­volved col­lect­ing water sam­ples for the study of mi­croplas­tics and tox­ins within the lesser-ex­plored sec­tions of our oceans.

The crew was made up of 14 women, in­clud­ing sci­en­tists and artists from the UK, US, Canada, Nor­way and Italy, to­gether with three pro­fes­sional crew (skip­per Imo­gen Nash, my­self as first mate and sec­ond

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