Making the unseen seen
All-female expedition investigates ocean plastic pollution causes and solutions…
Founded in 2014 by avid sailors Emily Penn and Lucy Gilliam, eXXpedition is a Community Interest Company and not-for-profit organisation that runs pioneering all-female sailing research expeditions to investigate the causes of, and solutions to ocean plastic pollution.
eXXpedition was founded to shift the way people feel, think and act by building a global network of multidisciplinary women who can contribute to world-class scientific studies, explore solutions, and use their unique skillsets to tackle the problem from all angles.
The current focus of eXXpedition is to provide a better understanding of the growing issue of plastic pollution, to pinpoint solutions and policy at a global level by addressing knowledge-gaps and delivering evidence to inform effective solutions.
From 2019 – 2021, ‘eXXpedition Round the World’ is covering over 38,000 nautical miles with 30 voyage legs. The initial voyage on board S/V TravelEdge started in the UK, where it will also end, and the rotating eXXpedition crews will be exploring plastics and toxins in the ocean, via four of the five oceanic gyres and the Arctic. The project, currently en-route to Papeete, Tahiti, is enabling 300 women to go to sea as hands-on crew, and experience first-hand the challenges we face from single-use plastics while contributing to cutting-edge scientific research and solutions-based thinking.
Later this year, Caroline Antlett – Charter Manager and Broker at Northrop & Johnson, will be joining the 12th leg of the expedition, as the vessel travels from Fiji to Vanuatu. The 12th leg of the trip was scheduled to begin in May, however, due to the eXXpedition Round the World’s duty to care, the next four legs (Tahiti to Cook Islands, to Tonga, then to Fiji and Vanuatu) are currently postponed, in order not to spread the virus to other islands. Official dates will be confirmed in the coming weeks.
“I work as a charter broker and charter manager, and I can confirm our entire charter industry would be nothing if we lose the quality of water and marine life in all these wonderful destinations the owners and guests wish to go to...” - Caroline Antlett, Charter Manager and Broker, Northrop & Johnson
“I work as a charter broker and charter manager, and I can confirm our entire charter industry would be nothing if we lose the quality of water and marine life in all these wonderful destinations the owners and guests wish to go to,” Antlett commented, illustrating the motivation behind her involvement in the project. Antlett thanks her sponsors, Close Brothers Aviation & Marine, Boston Multi Family Office and Hannaford Turner LLP, for their support.
“Before we leave Fiji for Vanuatu, we will collaborate with local organisations to investigate plastic pollution on the island and provide insights into the issues it faces, in terms of the environmental impact and waste management,” Antlett continued. “During the 600-nautical-mile journey to Vanuatu we will be carrying out our scientific research programme and engaging in discussions and workshops around solutions.”
Famed for its rich marine life, rainforests, beaches and lagoons, the insight the eXXpedition team will provide on the environmental threats to the idyllic island of Fiji is vital. Following this, after less than five days offshore, the team will arrive at Vanuatu.
Vanuatu is a nation of over 82 islands which are volcanic in origin and feature long narrow coastal plains which provide a strong connection between the islanders and the sea. This is where the eXXpedition team will step ashore and share their findings, also working with local organisations to educate and raise awareness with the mission leader and keen ocean advocate, Sally Earthrowl.
The ‘achievable actions’ identified by the eXXpedition team are welcomed, to ensure that we are aware of the realistic changes and precautions that can be taken by everyone, from crew, to owner, to shipyard...
After completing their voyage, every guest crewmember, including Antlett, joins the growing network of eXXpedition ambassadors, in order to take the message of ocean plastic and achievable actions back to their own communities. For the superyacht industry, which is still arguably in the early stages of a more dedicated approach to sustainability, the ‘achievable actions’ identified by the eXXpedition team are welcomed, to ensure that we are aware of the realistic changes and precautions that can be taken by everyone, from crew, to owner, to shipyard.
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