Research yacht RAVEN - plankton , GOES & climate change etc

RAVEN - Atlantic Circuit 2021-22
Richard Foulkes
Sat 6 Nov 2021 23:17
Earlier this year I joined an evening webinar that was run by the Ocean
Cruising Club , of which I am an Associate member and will become a full
member once we get to St Lucia as their full membership rules require a 1000
mile sailing trip. They ran an excellent series of weekly webinars over the
winter months, with the vast majority of the talks being "slide shows" of
cruises to interesting locations near and far, be it St Kilda, Lofoten or
the Marquesas Islands. They also did a couple of more thought-provoking
talks, one on climate change the other on ocean water quality and its
associated link to climate change.
The latter talk was given by Howard Dryden, a marine biologist. Amongst all
the science in his talk, the one simple fact that hit me was related to his
consultancy work for major seal life aquaria around the world. They are not
able to simply pump in sea water for such aquaria because it is simply too
polluted and the fish die within a few weeks. They have to chemically
produce pure "sea water. You can see a similar talk to the one I attended
here It takes about 25
minutes but is worth the time!
I should add at this stage that Howard was speaking at COP26 on Thursday or
Friday of this week, so is not just a yachtie who dabbles in aquaria! He
told me he was the only scientist addressing the conference from the
perspective of the oceans. His yacht COPEPOD (watch the video and you will
see where the name comes from!) is here in Lanzarote on the next pontoon to
RAVEN. He is doing a TransAt in January.
Mindful that I had been responsible for a fair bit of ocean pollution during
my time in the Navy or sailing and (as we all do at home) by flushing an
assortment of laundry, dishwashing, shampoo and other chemicals down the
sink, I thought that my trips in RAVEN this year and next would be a good
opportunity to try and help with the research into the problems of ocean
pollution. I duly got registered with the GOES - Global Oceanic
Environmental Survey. I have now got the kit of plankton filter, microscope
etc as described on their Citizen Science Project page of the GOES site and
during the Atlantic crossing and subsequent trips I plan to take water
samples a couple of time a day and I will keep you posted periodically on
the findings.
More details can be found at

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