20th April – 3rd May 2021, I begin ‘eXXpedition Virtual Voyage SA’. I will join a multi-talented female crew virtual voyage around South Africa’s coast. To participate in an informative exploration of ocean plastic pollution, and use our skills to solve it. You can find out more about Watch 4 and its objectives here.

In 2019 I wrote about eXXpedition, a not for profit organisation. I loved the concept and immediately applied to join. Meanwhile, due to Covid19, the actual voyages had to stop. However, when the universe conspires, everything flows. Synchronicity is super exciting.

eXXpedition, The Dali Lama and Nannas

In my interview for the crew position, I pitched the Dali Lama prophecy. ‘The world will be saved by the Western woman’. To which I have added ‘And the biggest demographic are over women 50.’
Yet Western women over 50 have two issues…

1. Firstly, women feel invisible and no longer valuable members of society. Often overlooked as a source of wisdom. Losing their position of influence.
2. Secondly, in today’s world, we have information overload. Greta Thunberg inspires yet can we see the wood for the trees? We watch Seaspiracy and immediately become experts on saving the Oceans.

It is time to ask deeper questions: 

  • How can we become visible again?
  • What do we need to do in order to make the Dali Lamas prophecy come true?
  • How does plastic and microplastics in particular affect our hormones at menopause and old age?
  • What information is correct?
  • Which authority do we trust?
  • What is the real story about the ocean and plastic?

In the past, it has been Nanna’s responsibility to share knowledge. As a result culture and heritage, were passed inter-generationally. Above all, the information we pass on to the younger generations today will undoubtedly save the planet. It is time to overcome invisibility and be confident in the story to tell.

After taking part in eXXpedition I intend to reach out to organisations/foundations in Mallorca and Cape Town. At the moment, I am not sure in what capacity. Yet I expect to share my learnings in written form.

Below is a list of possible collaborators and the work they already do. My intention is to set up a Go Fund Me page to fund a project. Please watch this space for details.

eXXpedition and Mallorca, Spain

The foundation is a grassroots organisation. Formed by a devoted team of professionals and passionate volunteers. It aims to regenerate the Mediterranean Sea – one of the worlds most fragile marine environments.

The organisation conducts marine research and innovative educational projects. They inspire local communities to take action to protect their environment. STM main focus areas are marine protection and pollution reduction. Save The Med believes that the best way to approach any human-created problem is to involve humans in the solution.

Collaborations

STM collaborates with individuals, schools, businesses, NGOs and governmental institutions. To develop and implement science-based marine conservation, community initiatives and education programmes that include:

•Marine research and community leadership projects. To create and efficiently manage a science-based network of marine protected areas (MPA).
•Monitoring and satellite tagging of pelagic marine animals. For the efficient surveillance and management of marine protected areas
•Solutions focused Schools Programmes, Citizen Science events and Awareness campaigns. For the reduction of plastic pollution
•Plastic reduction projects. For example, ‘Balears Sense Plastic/Plastic Free Balearics’. The project works with companies and the tourist sector to assess and reduce the use of plastic. In addition, it investigates substitution solutions or alternatives in the market. Furthermore, it also creates alliances and tools to face the issues of plastic pollution.

eXXpedition and Cape Town, South Africa

Family friend Bruce Tedder offered to sponsor/mentor my eXXpedition virtual voyage SA. Through Bruce, I was able to open dialogue with Maryke Musson from the Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation. Maryke told me, in rural South African, the nana (Gogos play a valuable role in educating and caring for kids. In cities, this connection, as in the Western world, is being lost. In addition, I also connected with Marguerite Kimberley from SOA (Sentinel Ocean Alliance).

Two Oceans Aquarium Foundation

The Aquarium foundation work highlights issues surrounding single-use plastic. Their impactful campaign, ‘Bring your Own’ encourages people to bring their bags always.

One of the Aquariums foundations objectives is to teach the younger generations about the impact of plastics on the ocean. Sea turtles are incredible ocean ambassadors. The turtle rescue, rehabilitation and release programme convince people to be plastic aware.

Beach Co-op

Maryke offered to introduce me to Aaniyah Omardien, Founder and Director of the Beach Co-op. Lead by women, citizen science shows the impact of plastics on the coast. Regular beach/rocky shore cleans create data analysis in collaboration with UCT.

Knowledge of how single-use plastics is perceived by consumers and the food industry, the extent to which they are recycled. Subsequently, I have a feeling when we begin to connect, we will have a lot to discuss. Muizenberg is one of my favourite beaches in Cape Town.

Sentinel Ocean Alliance – SOA

Marguerite Kimberley is the operations director of this non-profit organisation based in Hout Bay. SOA creates ocean-based opportunities and provides environmental education for at-risk youth of South Africa’s coastal communities.

Their programmes currently include an Ocean School at Hout Bay main beach. Here children from the communities of Hangberg and Imizamo Yethu attend an immersive environmental education programme. The focus is how to connect to the oceans, the beauty, wonders and fragility of the oceans. Also, ocean threats, specifically marine plastic pollution, and what to do to help. SOA collaborates with guest speakers and organisations to provide the most stimulating experience possible for students.

Petco

Petco helps to divert upwards of 90 000 tonnes of PET plastic bottles from landfill every year. Once collected, these used bottles are recycled into bottles and other products. Furthermore, the process contributes to SA’s GDP. I am looking forward to connecting and finding out more about what they do over the coming weeks.

Your Help Needed beyond eXXpedition Virtual Voyage SA

Most importantly, if you would like to…

  • Collaborate
  • Donate to ‘Go Fund Me’ page, when it goes live
  • Know more about ‘eXXpedition Virtual Voyage SA’
  • Chat directly about my findings

Please do not hesitate to contact me.

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