Today, some 22 young people join the tall ship Pelican of London for a seven week long adventure that will stretch and challenge, develop skills and knowledge, build confidence and expand horizons.
The purpose of this voyage around the British Isles is simple: young people are the future and they need to be better at building a sustainable future than my generation to get the planet out of the mess we are creating.
Daily. Still. With full knowledge of the consequences.
Perhaps this is not a true or full representation of the organisers’ aims for this voyage. Darwin200.com have chartered the Pelican and partnered with Adventure under Sail for a much bigger collaboration that will see a circumnavigation of the globe in the wake of Darwin’s scientific endeavours on the Beagle some 190 years ago, starting in 2021. You can catch up on their take on this story on their social media campaign during this voyage.
As a result of my connection with Adventure under Sail that go back a couple of years, Darwin200 also partnered with the University of Plymouth, and more specifically, with Environmental Science in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences.
Last year, my colleague Dr Richard Sandford and I ran an ocean science pilot voyage under the Sea the Future programme of Adventure under Sail. For links and images check out an earlier post here. We have based our science programme for Darwin200 UK on the experiences we’ve made then.
Richard will join the ship today for the first three weeks of the voyage from Sharpness to Folkestone and Liverpool, to train young people in ocean science. I’ll swap places with him in Liverpool on 20th August for the northern part of the journey.
You can trace the ship’s location and progress via vesselfinder.
For me personally, the focus of this voyage and my involvement with it, is young people. This may not come as a surprise, as I am an environmental scientist and academic at the University of Plymouth, and my main business is teaching, tutoring, mentoring and coaching young people.
This blog will convey my personal observations, reflections and learning.