Sailing, researching and explaining the plastic soup!
Wednesday August 1, 2018, we set sail for Denmark on the fourth and fifth By the Ocean we Unite sailing expedition for cleaner oceans. Together with scientists, filmmakers and impactmakers from around the globe we conducted scientific research, increased global awareness and activated people, organizations and governments to work on solutions for our global plastic problem.
Leg 1: Rotterdam (the Netherlands) – Copenhagen (Denmark) (August 1 – August 10)
Leg 2: Copenhagen (Denmark) – Rotterdam (the Netherlands) (August 13 – August 22)
”My invitation to you: join these guys on one of their expeditions, it’s an awesome experience!” – Anoûl Hendriks, DJ @ Talpa Radio (538 Hitzone)
”This trip has been impressive in so many ways, the By the Ocean we Unite crew has been very inspiring with their views and gave the expedition members a lot to think about” – Fabio Bartali, expedition member @ Expedition Up to Norway 2016
”By the Ocean we Unite has given me an unforgettable journey “Up to Norway”; a beautiful sailing experience combined with contributing for cleaner/plastic free oceans” – Nadim Bou-Rached, expedition member @ Expedition Up to Norway 2016
Dutch filmmaker and social entrepeneur Hanna Verboom joined us on the expedition. She and cameraman Niels Gross (Matemade) made a series of 5 videos about the people and life on board.
”I didn’t expect the Baltic Sea to be this polluted. Tiny pieces of plastic everywhere.“
Sailing ship ”Fantastiko” (see pictures below) is a beautiful 26-meter long two-master ketch. It is perfectly suited for sea sailing expeditions! We have used the ship for all our major expeditions.
The vessel was built at a specialized shipyard, Chinook in Haarlem, the Netherlands. The construction, from 2002 till 2012, was carried out as a Youth Care project of the province of North-Holland. Two hundred youngsters build the ship together with dozens of experts. The Fantastiko received a Register Holland quality label. The fully equipped ship offers room for 15 persons.
By the Ocean we Unite charters sea sailing ship ”Fantastiko” including professional crew for every expedition. Click here for more information on floating hotel Fantastiko.
”I want as many people as possible to enjoy the endless possibilities of this ship. My mission is for people to be able to fully relax and enjoy when we’re out on the water. Maybe they can even discover new sides of themselves. It gives so much energy and inspiration to for example be sailing at open sea in the middle of the night and watch the stars while drinking a cup of coffee, or watch a dolphin that suddenly swims along with the ship.” – Captain Huub Veeneman
”All of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea – whether it is to sail or to watch it – we are going back from whence we came.” – John F. Kennedy
Rotterdam (The Netherlands) – Wednesday August 1
Sail out: 1pm – join the first nautical miles on the rive maas, call Karl at 0031-6-18632023
Skagen (Denmark) – Sunday August 5
Ship open to visitors
Roskilde (Denmark) – Tuesday August 7
Ship open to visitors
Visit to lab Roskilde University
Copenhagen (Denmark) – Monday August 13
Public lecture and network event @ UN City
Ship open to visitors
Marstal (Denmark) – Thursday August 16
Kiel (Germany) – Friday & Saturday August 17 & 18
Visit to lab GEOMAR
Texel (the Netherlands) – Tuesday August 21
Visit to lab NIOZ
Rotterdam (the Netherlands) – Wednesday August 22
Arrival @ harbor: 10am (planned)
Our experienced and enthusiastic crew ran an extensive program on sailing, the marine environment and of course, plastic. Participants could immerse themselves in lectures, discussions, workshop. They were also invited to actively help conducting our research.
WE WERE FULLY BOOKED! Any questions? Want to be put on the mailing list for future expeditions? Get in touch with Karl Beerenfenger (project manager & expedition leader): +31 (0)6-18632023 or email@example.com
Danish-based NGO Plastic Change is stepping on board Expedition Denmark 2018 as co-organizer. As a figure of speech as well as literally. 🙂
We have sometimes called them the Danish By the Ocean we Unite – better would be to call us the Dutch Plastic Change – as they have been working to reduce plastic pollution among others by sailing the world’s seas and oceans. Plastic Change was founded in April 2014 by marine biologist and sailor Henrik Beha Pedersen – at the same time as our Thomas was preparing for his Atlantic crossing where he would meet with the plastic bottle in the middle of the ocean, leading him to start our foundation two years later.
We are happy and proud to co-organize the program in Denmark with the experienced team of Plastic Change. Their extensive network and knowledge makes for the perfect partner to reach out to as many people as possible. From Skagen till Aeroe they will have one of their crew members on board, to support the expedition.
In recent years she survived two tumors both which caused a life-threatening illness, called Cushing’s Disease, after which – in March this year – she became the fastest woman to row solo across the Atlantic. It took her only 49 days to row from Gran Canaria to Barbados. Now she has set her mind on fighting plastic pollution, and her participation in Expedition Denmark 2018 is a harbinger for what she has planned in the UK in 2019.
Kiko, now that she is slowly gaining fame, is setting up an extensive campaign around plastic pollution in the UK. Next year she’ll be cycling 6700 km along the shoreline, involving schools and local organisations as well as famous ambassadors for every leg.
Kiko: ”This is such an incredible opportunity for combining my love of the ocean, education, adventure and the environment. What BTOWU are doing is awesome and it’s an amazing link for me, between my ocean row, and my next big challenge involving ocean plastics – this is literally my dream adventure!”
Dace Sietina is a Latvian/Dutch cartoonist, photographer, illustrator and stop-motion animator. For her newest project, ”Greenland Chronicles”, she steps on board the Fantastiko as a participant in Expedition Denmark 2018. With the project/action Dace wants inspire people to start seeing their own environment differently and that way learn to honor their surroundings. She believes that we, as humanity, can collectively achieve a lot by taking small individual steps. It might sound idealistic, but she thinks it’s feasible in reality.
Dace: ”August 1, 2018, I will set foot on a sailing boat for the very first time in my life. Between the scientists, ocean enthusiasts and filmmakers, I as an artist am part of the crew. I’m doing this completely uninhibited, purely as an artist: open-minded and unprejudiced. During the expedition I will make a graphic novel with as title ”Underway to Greenland”. This story will share our experiences, findings and happenings on the journey.
When we arrive in Copenhagen I’ll depart for Greenland, to execute manuscript ”Greenland Chronicles”. This project fixates the constant flow of changes happening at this very moment. Also the impact on native cultural heritage is documented in this book.
For the graphic novel ”Underway to Greenland” and for the ”Greenland Chronicles” I will develop a mobile laboratory to process the plastics we into ink and etching plates. This is the first time this is done.
The preparations are in full swing, and I’m very looking forward to joining the expedition. The last large obstacle in this groundbreaking project was getting my very first swimming diploma, which I succeeded in just recently after having lived with fear if water for years and years. I am ready. :)”
Every expedition we bring guest researchers to help coordinate the research into plastic pollution. Meet Lisett Kretschmann from Germany and Katie Stevens from the USA, who will accompany us with their knowledge and enthusiasm.
Lisett Kretschmann, joining leg 1: ”I am a true nature lover and hooked to the ocean, fascinated by my work as a chemical engineer on research ships. Monitoring at sea is essential to observe invisible pollutants of our oceans. It is important that people are made aware of these pollutants. Besides plastic you will also find a lot of paraffin wax caused by washing out the residue from the tanks of cargo ships. So far it is not possible to correlate this paraffin wax with its source. In addition to investigating the plastic waste, I am therefore collecting samples to develop a fingerprint method for paraffin wax similar to what is already possible with heavy fuel oil. That is why I am all the more excited to be a part of this great expedition team.”
Katie Stevens, joining leg 2: ”In school I studied biology and environmental science, and since then have become interested in ocean plastic. Over the past few years, I’ve read and researched a lot about the detrimental impact plastic pollution can have on the environment. I’m working to reduce my own plastic usage, but want to have a positive impact that is bigger than myself! I am so excited to join the expedition, to help with plastic research and learn more so I can help others take action against plastic pollution. I love to travel and to sail as well, so I can’t wait to explore these countries by sea!”
Interested in joining a future expedition as a (marine) biologist? To cover the costs we ask half the price of the regular participation fee and you’ll be able to learn how to sail, conduct research into plastics at sea and have once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Send an email to our research coordinator Dr. Nanne van Hoytema: firstname.lastname@example.org
Last year we had the honor to be joined by one of Holland’s finest nature conservation photographers: Jasper Doest. This inspiring man has won several international prices, emerges in photo competition juries worldwide and, more important even, he is just a very nice (and fun!) guy.
Jasper made an impressive series of photos during Expedition Scotland 2017, displaying the beauty, mystic and challenges of the waters of this planet. The conditions were in his favor, as you can see by the pictures: the sea was like a mirror, the clouds gave a mysterious effect and Scotland offers stunning landscapes. Unfortunately he also caught our catches on camera: myriad tiny plastic particles everywhere in the water and more visible plastics accumulating on beaches.
Haven’t seen the photos yet? Check out this link:
The upper left album! 🙂
By the way: ever looking for a karaoke-artist? Call Jasper. We haven’t seen anyone more talented than him. 🙂
When we started out our founder Thomas had a dream: creating a sailing platform for global change regarding our usage of plastic. Even though we lacked funds we wanted to share part of the participation fees for our sailing expeditions with other startups. That’s how he came up with the Pay-It-Forward-Fund (PIFF).
We invite startups working to reduce plastic pollution to join the PIFF, after which we ask them for all the details about the project. On board one of our crew members will lead a one-hour (or longer) discussion about the project. After the expedition the participants decide which startup(s) they want to support.
It’s not all about finance, the setting (on board the Fantastiko at open sea) is perfect for in-depth ideas.
Through our previous three expeditions we’ve backed other projects with a total amount of €4,050.-, plus numerous ideas and relevant contacts.
Organizations sponsored so far: Seaweed farm IJmond, The Great Bubble Barrier, Bahamas Plastic Movement, Eco Bali, Straw by Straw
For Expedition Denmark 2018 the participants in the fund are:
Want to participate in future expeditions’ PIFF? Send an email to email@example.com
Wow! All spots are filled. We’ve got a full ship both ways. The crew consists of 4 sailing crew, 1 expedition leader, 1 chef-cook, 2 researchers, 1 filmmaker, 2 impactmakers and 5 very enthusiastic participants.
Want to be a participant in next year’s expedition? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and have your name and email address put on the mailing list!
Dutch social entrepreneur and filmmaker Hanna Verboom joins the expedition from Copenhagen till Kiel.
Earlier this year Hanna Verboom made an interview series with National Geographic about plastic pollution and she was closely involved in the #stopmetplastic campaign. ‘’The conversations about plastic pollution made a big impression on me. We are addicted to disposable plastic and we often do not understand the effect of this. A great deal of research is needed so that we can properly assess the consequences for people and the environment. Expeditions such as these play an important role in this’’, says Verboom, who participates as a filmmaker.
Hanna (and cameraman Niels Gross from Matemade) will make daily videos about life on board for National Geographic.
On every expedition we contribute to scientific research into plastics at sea, and on land. Our data is shared with a variety of institutes, in order for them to use it to change policy. At the same time the science component is a very direct way for us to show the general public what’s happening in our waters – a means for awareness. Seeing with your eyes (and feeling!) the saturation of the seas with (tiny) plastic particles, while enjoying their rugged beauty, we think is an effective combination to initiate behavioral change.
The data we collect on this expedition will be used for the following research:
– The trawlshare programme of the 5 Gyres institute, a global initiative to gather marine plastics concentration data
– Research by scientists of the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research into the microbial biofilm which forms around marine plastics
– An investigation of paraffin pollution in the eastern North Sea
– An ongoing citizen science project on microplastics in beach sands at Leiden University
During the expedition we will visit and collaborate with three research institutes in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands:
– Roskilde University (Denmark) where we’ll meet with Kristian Syberg and his team
– GEOMAR – Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel (Germany), where we’ll meet with Dr. Töste Tanhua
– NIOZ (Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research), where we’ll meet with Erik Zettler, Linda Amaral-Zettler and their team
Check out the data we’ve collected on our expeditions so far, very nicely put together in a map by Roos Swart (intern at the time, now one of our two research coordinators):
The ABB Ability™ Marine Advisory System – OCTOPUS is a unique product portfolio for performance management in marine operations. It reduces fuel consumption and emissions, and increases availability and safety on a single vessel, or on a whole fleet of vessels.
ABB provided us with the system. Our team, the planned and sailed route and the weather conditions can be now followed live via the website, as well as the results of our research, which will be entered into a dashboard. How cool!
Danish Andrea Elisabeth Rudolph joins the expedition from Skagen to Roskilde. She’ll be embarking together with Henrik Beha Pedersen, founder of Plastic Change.
Henrik about Andrea: ”I tested her blood for 54 toxic substances years ago. She was the youngest participant of eight celebs (TV host she was at that time) and she was pregnant and she carried most chemicals! Andrea went mad and started campaigning with Plastic Change and changed her career; she founded “Rudolph Care” making eco-beauty products including a great sun screen/cream. Now Andrea want the beauty sector to take responsibility for their packaging/wrapping.. Great story and she’s a true activist :)”
Want to be become an expedition partner? Call or send an email to Karl Beerenfenger (project manager): +31 (0)6-18632023 / email@example.com
We will assist research projects from a range of institutes and universities. We will use a manta trawl to sample free floating sea surface plastics to determine their abundance per sea surface area and we will collect sediment samples from a range of beaches for measurements of plastics along the high tide line.
Since conducting scientific research at sea is usually costly and time consuming, and we are sailing the sea anyway, we will open the ship to any research program that needs samples.
Could we help you out with your research by collecting samples? Please get in touch with Dr. Nanne van Hoytema (research coordinator): +32 4-84460898 or firstname.lastname@example.org
For this expedition we collaborate with several people and organizations from Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands and other countries to share knowledge and increase our impact.
The powerful energy of giving
Plastic pollution is a global problem which we believe we can only solve by working together and helping where possible. Therefore we created the PIFF: Pay-It-Forward-Fund. It works as following: startups working on reducing plastic pollution can get in touch with us to explain their concept – sometimes we pick organizations we come across ourselves. During the expedition we’ll discuss ideas with the expedition members. All ideas, network and suggestions are forwarded to the organization after the expedition. Also we take part of the participation fee and put it in a fund, of which the expedition members themselves eventually decide which organization(s) they will support financially. Expedition members may also suggest projects themselves, or organize a project together, as long as its main goal is reducing plastic pollution.
10% of the expedition fee is put in the fund. Expedition members of Expedition Denmark 2018 (leg 1 and leg 2) hadt till the end October 2018 to make a decision. Here are the results:
Call or send an email to Karl Beerenfenger (project manager): +31 (0)6-18632023 / email@example.com if you want to participate with your organization or project in future expeditions!
PIFF so far: through our previous three expeditions we’ve backed other projects with a total amount of €4,050.-, plus numerous ideas and relevant contacts