I began August on a yacht called American Promise as the guest scientist for the Rozalia project. Here we travelled up the coast of Maine in America, educating others about marine litter and how they can make a difference. My two weeks on-board were full of beach cleans, solution planning and group discussion. The most rewarding moment was watching children present their solution ideas for areas that mattered to them; for example, one child came up with an idea to replace all floating harbour dock materials in their home town with used single use plastic water bottles.
Whilst sailing up the coast, we were very fortunate to see a lot of wildlife. At one point we were engulfed in a pod of around 100 dolphins! It was also my first time seeing bioluminescent plankton (this is when the plankton lights up, so the water looks like it is glowing). However, in-between all our wildlife sightings we also spotted a lot of litter out at sea. Multiple times we changed the direction of the yacht to pick up carrier bags, balloons and food packaging. It definitely dawned that we need to act now, at this pivotal point in time, to save the health of our oceans.
After being away for a month with eXXpedition and the Rozalia project, I returned back to the U.K. to get cracking with my washing machine experiment. We had 4 washing machines delivered and now I am in the process of ordering more equipment and sorting out the experimental design. I’ve been extremely lucky to have travelled for the last month to remote areas in both Canada and America as both a scientist and an educator, but I am excited to be back in the laboratory to start my next bit of research with Sky Ocean Rescue.