Challenging Habitat Blog

Some people combine serious thought with fun and art…Phil Hambling is one of them:

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Join the Antarctic Quest 21 expedition launch event and support climate science through the crowdfunding event at https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/shackleton-anniversary-expedition-2021

Check out the details at https://www.antarcticquest21.com/blog.html

I’ve been blogging for a while about the Antarctic Quest 21 expedition that will take a team of eight onto the Forbidden Plateau on the central spine of the Antarctic Peninsula to install scientific equipment and down to the shores of the Weddell Sea to do some more of the same…see my previous posts here and here.

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We all know that life is full of uncertainty and most of the time, we don’t notice it too much, let alone worry about it. We’re used to it.

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Challenging Habitat is changing…my blog will become just one of a range of activities I’m sharing online, and this will soon be reflected in an additional website.

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See and hear what it takes to get scientific data from the heart of the Antarctic Peninsula.

Antarctic Quest 21 team and patrons have published their first story video, and as I guess that Forces Net is not the usual channel for most of you, below is a link.

It’s worth a watch, even if the video fails to represent all the scientific project the expedition will support – you can always check that out on the AQ21 website and by reading my ECO Magazine article.

Featured Image credit: British Services Antarctic Expedition 2012 (BSAE2012)

I am excited to highlight the special edition of ECO Magazine that celebrates the start of the UN Ocean Decade.

My article What is your next step against climate change tells the story of Antarctic Quest 21, an expedition planned for the forthcoming Austral summer on the Antarctic Pensinsula. Antarctic Quest 21 supports pollution and climate science through direct observations and installation of scientific equipment that will collect data for years to come.

Coring during the British Services Antarctic Expedition 2012 on the Antarctic Peninsula. Photo credit: BSAE2012.

Everyone on board has received basic sail and safety training and we’ve had quite an interesting start to our voyage.

Sea cadets Ollie taking the helm.

Out of Cumberland basin and under the Clifton suspension bridge, down the Avon and into the Severn Channel…

Jo Morley from City to Sea, with whom we are collaborating on the Darwin200 voyage saw us from Bristol’s shores.

…where the ‘fun’ started, with a lot of people looking and feeling decidedly ropey.

(no pictures!!!)

A night sail under starry skies, bioluminescence in our wake and seasick feelings were left behind.

We rounded Land’s End in the morning in the company of common dolphins, gannets and a fulmar.

Sails set and the voyage becomes more sustainable.

We’re all busy with the watch routines, setting and handing sails, daily cleaning and helping in the galley.

That’s an important learning process for the three young scientists, who will lead the citizen science programme during the Darwin200 voyage. Their understanding of how the professional crew is working the voyage crew will help the smooth running of the scientific programme.

I am here to hand over the citizen science programme I wrote for Seas Your Future to the science coordinators, recent graduates of ‘salty’ degree programmes with decidedly biological flavours.

Discussions with Rachel, Miles and Hannah are stimulating and every day, we’re learning something from each other.

Pelican has been in Albion Dockyard for maintenance and is now ‘shipshape and Bristol fashion’, an expression that, according to our captain Ben Wheatley, was coined here, as a reflection of the superb craftsmanship of shipwrights in this historic dock.

Before leaving, we commissioned a TriLux fluorescence sensor on loan from Chelsea Technologies. For me, it is always a delight to ‘play’ with a new instrument, and this one did not disappoint: easy to operate, no-nonsense data logging and seamless plug-and-play with our laptop. ‘Shipshape’, too!

The science coordinators Rachel, Miles and Hannah on the poop deck of Pelican, discussing the method of our first deployment of TriLux for a depth profile in Albion Dock.

We’ll use TriLux for spot sampling of depth profiles along a Secchi disk to determine key algal parameters involved in photosynthesis (chlorophyll a and phycoerythrin), as well as turbidity.

TriLux sensor, cable and Hawk data logger from Chelsea Technologies.

We will contribute our data to the Secchi Disk Foundation, who research the global distribution of primary producers that underpin the marine food web.

Going to sea again – a special treat in a time when UK covid lockdown is pealed away layer by layer, like the skins of an onion.

We are aboard tall ship Pelican of London in Albion Dock, with just a shed and the dry dock’s lock gate separating us from the SS Great Britain.

An awe-inspiring adventure of sail training and citizen science awaits a young voyage crew: a 13 week long circumnavigation of the British Isles!

We will study the natural environment and invasive species, collect litter from the beaches and study sea weed for signs of climate change.

The data we collect will support a range of organisations, such as the Sea Watch Foundation, Marine Conservation Society and Secchi Disk Foundation, in their efforts to understand the most pressing issues of our times: climate change and biodiversity loss.

Follow Seas Your Future and Darwin200 to learn about the powerful combination of sailing and science to transform our connection with nature and perspective.

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