All-Female Sailing Team ‘eXXpedeition’ on a Mission to Clean Up Our Oceans

All-Female Sailing Team 'eXXpedeition' on a Mission to Clean Up Our Oceans

10 eager members of the public have set off on the first leg of an around the world journey to research and assess the extent of the plastic pollution in our oceans, and to explore creative solutions to clean it up. The team hope to build knowledge to inform scientists, legislators and the public alike on how the problem can be tackled for generations to come.

The all-female and multidisciplinary crew departed from Plymouth, UK – the same port that 18th century explorer Captain Cook set sail from on his round the world journey – and will sail for a planned 11 days to the Azores before their first stop. The Azores are a group of 9 islands, which are volcanic in origin and a famed north-east Atlantic deep-sea coral hotspot.

eXXpedition ©

eXXpedition ©

Each of the 13 legs around the world will see a new set of women set sail for the cause, and in total over 300 women will participate in the project which is expected to take 2 years to complete.

Mission Director Emily Penn’s motivations don’t stop there – eXXpedition also hopes to raise awareness of a lack of female participation in STEM professions, to research female-specific diseases caused by plastic and chemical pollution in greater depth, and to encourage female participation and positive coverage in all-female sailing and the wider sporting community.

The UK registered Community Interest Company have been sailing for these causes since 2014, though this is their first journey of such scale. The team are supported by multiple sponsors from environment companies to firms in the technology and legal sector. Many of the ladies on board are also sponsored personally by smaller community groups and businesses local to their homes.

eXXpedition ©

eXXpedition ©

Each stop along the voyage will not only involve research, but also talks, panel discussions, community clean-ups and send-off parties in hope of bringing together passionate individuals who are all working towards solving the plastic pollution crisis.

You can follow the progress of the boat, S.V. TravelEdge, and all of the fantastic ladies on their regular blog which they are completing at sea, no matter how perilous the conditions!

All images courtesy of eXXpedition 

By Sofi Pickering

 

 

 

Easter Islanders demanding the return of pillaged relics

Easter Islanders demanding the return of pillaged relics

Easter Islanders are the latest indigenous group to demand the return cultural relics pillaged by Western countries from their homeland.

The British Museum’s Easter Island Moai

The British Museum’s Easter Island Moai

A delegation from Rapa Nui, as the island is now known, are asking the British Museum to return a giant statue known as Moai taken by the crew of a British naval vessel, HMS Topaze, in 1868.

The Moai is known as Hoa Hakananai’a and the islanders say it’s the living embodiment of their ancestors “whose role is to protect us”.

It was presented to Queen Victoria who gifted it to the British Museum, where it’s been for almost 150 years.

The museum has been the target of numerous claims for return of cultural relics including the Elgin Marbles to Greece and tribal artefacts taken from Australian Aborigines.

Moai from Easter Island are also held by museums in the United States, France and New Zealand.

Want to learn more? Watch our episode Globe Guides: Mysterious Places and follow our presenters as they uncover the strangest mysteries on the planet, from the relics of Easter Island to England’s Stonehenge.