Expedition Denmark 2018 #3 (by Kiko Matthews)
Wednesday August 1st 2018 we departed on our fourth By the Ocean we Unite Major sailing expedition. We have the honor to be joined by the fastest woman to ever solo row the Atlantic, Kiko Matthews. Not only is she a daring person wanting to good for the environment, she’s also one of those people that can make you smile all the time. Kiko came cycling from the UK to Rotterdam, is joining us till Copenhagen, from where she’ll cycle down to meet us again in Kiel and sail back to Rotterdam.
This participation is a harbinger for her next big project on plastic pollution planned for the UK in 2019.
Kiko is writing several blogs about her cycling and saljourney from the UK to Denmark and back. Check out the third one about our expedition!
Expedition Denmark 2018
Day 4 & 5 of the expedition
”It’s amazing how time and life at sea just disappears and all rolls into one. The night was a little wild to say the least. In fact I’m not sure how I stayed in my bed. The wind has increased and the waves are growing. Very different to the consistent Atlantic waves, the sea seems messy and uncomfortable and consequently there are a few men down. We do a trawl but find nothing. It is important that conditions are right and if it’s too choppy, it’s not worth the effort as the micro plastics get all disturbed and therefore an inaccurate reading is made.
At 9pm, we arrive at the port of Skagen, somewhat relieved that the day of sailing is done. To the bar and to experience the true reality of Danish beer prices and culture, where I met a true Swedish Viking. A match made in heaven apart from the wife and two kids! Typical. We all return happy, and broke, to the boat.’
It was no surprise that we all woke up a little worst for wear! By 1.30 our boat was open to the public. This is the last day before I head off back on my bike, leave the team before meeting back up in Copenhagen. As an ‘impact maker’ I got my place for free in exchange for spreading the word but there have other visitors so this was always the plan. I decided that I’d cycle the bit in between and make an adventure out of it. And then, just before we’re leaving for our beach clean, Karl, the organisers asks if I’d like to stay onboard until Copenhagen! I have wooed them with my bad chat and stories. What will I do now, now that I’ve used up all my jokes!
The beach is seemingly spotless. The Danish are renowned for their perfection and it was difficult to see why we were there but no beach is pristine these days. Even when it looks immaculate, pieces hide. We met up with the locals at Skagen lighthouse, the northern most lighthouse in Denmark. Before starting the clean up, a quick 208 steps up the lighthouse where there was an incredible view of where two seas meet – North and Baltic.
About 25 of us walked for an hour collecting and incredibly we found about 2 black bags full of litter. This is on a beach that looked clean. The whole way I’m wondering if I’m sea sick, hungover or coming down with something. My roomie was back at the boat with sickness so it was inevitable I’d catch something🤮. I believe you can force illness away by ignoring it, and I we returned to the boat, at about 10 feeling 100% better.
Having smelt fish and chips when we first arrived, I head out with our new visitors, Henrik from the leading Danish plastic NGO – Plastic Change – and Andrea Rudolph, a Danish TV personality. Andrea had her blood tested for chemicals, by Henrik, 12 years ago when she was pregnant, and they were so high that she set up her own organic skin care, Rudolph Skincare. The Atlantic row seems to be a good conversation starter and as I’d hoped, is now opening doors to the right places and people, doing great things.”