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