eXXpedition Round Britain crew member Tanya Ferry reflects on leaving the Thames for the final part of the eXXpedition Round Britain journey to Plymouth:
“Today we leave the Thames, which for me is a sad moment. But, excitingly we are able to use the Manta trawl, this will be the first time it has been used in the Estuary. The Port of London Authority also provided us a harbour launch to manage any traffic.
The Thames is a quiet place on a Saturday morning and so we have a lovely gentle run to the trawl site. The sun is out and the water calm, so despite the promise of more interesting weather tomorrow everyone is in a good mood.
The trawling went well and we got a bulging sample of material from the Thames. Most of it was bladder wrack but also freshwater plants like duck weed, which must have come from one of the locks and freshwater canal network.
Once the net was back on the boat and being sorted, it was evident the weight was not as a result of lots of items- we had actually caught a pair of workers gloves!! The sieved samples were also full of floating balls of fat and calcium mixed together. All rather yuk!
The top sieve had 36 pieces of large plastics, a record so far! The bottom sieve at last count had over hundred microplastic pieces. It took Deborah over two hours to sort it through and we think there is still more.
Passing the mysterious Maunsal forts at Red Sands and Shivering sands, we arrived at the Goodwin sands on the East Kent Coast in good time. This area is important to me as this is where my grandfather sailed (and got stuck). It is how my love for the ocean and his commitment to the RNLI drove me to being on Sea Dragon.
Despite a small suggestion we should pop over to France, we made Dover at sunset and with another good meal in our stomachs gathered together to hear our crew,Liane and Sam story telling. Once again it is a amazing story of women striving to find their place in life where they can enjoy life and feel valued.”