WRITTEN BY MARION
LEG 6 PANAMA TO THE GALAPAGOS WITH TRAVEL EDGE
It was the thrill of the unknown that we set off on the 73 ‘ sailing vessel S.V. Travel Edge on our sailing trip to the Galapagos. Ten invited guests, one scientist and three crew. An all women voyage exploring the impact of plastics and toxins in our oceans. We quickly got into the routine of cooking, cleaning, watch, science and sleeping, and eight days later we arrived in San Cristobal, Galapagos.
Living in tight quarters during hot days as we sailed across the equator, life onboard is not a luxury holiday experience. But like any trip that forces you to step outside your comfort zone, once you adjust to watch schedules, cooking meals for 14 people in the galley and using the ‘Heads’ (or bathrooms as sailors call them), each aspect of the journey taught me something new. Here are some of the highlights:
BONDING WITH THE MULTIDISCIPLINARY CREW
Bonding with our fellow passengers all meeting for the first time and especially with our teammates with whom we worked on all our shifts. Of varied nationalities and countries, everyone brought something unique to our voyage and discussions. It has been also been exciting to see all the press on this trip as well as the recognition from the locals in Galapagos.
LEARNING THE ROPES
Learning the ins and outs of sailing, hoisting and furling the sails and being at the helm. Some of us were better at this than others! Being at the helm in the middle of the night during a rainstorm where you could barely see the front of the boat was an amazing experience and made up realise what we are capable of doing.
Helping with the science activities, working with the manta trawls and Niskins looking for micro-plastics, as well as analysing what we found.
MEETING THE LOCALS
The event at the Bio Museum in Panama City was one of the highlights of our trip. We talked to the locals including the UK Ambassador to Ecuador about our upcoming voyage and it was great all the encouragement we received. We also did a presentation at the Galapagos Science Centre.
We understood the importance of these voyages when two days in we started to see all the trash and debris floating in the ocean especially plastic water bottles and containers. Discussions on this problem made us realise that the most impact on reduction would come at the government level but this would take a long time. We decided that it is better to start at the individual level where small steps taken on our own multiplied by many people will over time make a huge impact.
All in all, a fantastic ‘once in a lifetime’ experience that we will always remember. Along with new friends that we made.
Thank you so much to Travel Edge for being a Gold Sponsor and helping us to make a difference.