THE Spirit of Oysterhaven sail training ship recently set sail for Portugal.
International coordinator Karin Dubsky, Cork regional co-ordinator Bernie Connolly, Deputy Mayor of Cork County, Cllr. Kevin Murphy, and a group of surveyors met Oliver Hart and some of the crew as they prepared for their journey.
During the morning a number of surveys were carried out from the boat and also an onsite survey and litter assessment, using the newly launched Coastwatch app with materials handed over to assist the crew in its surveying on its travels south.
The vessel, which has previously carried out citizen science initiatives with Coastwatch, will again help survey the seas from Kinsale to Lisbon, carrying on down along the Algarve coast to Faro.
In Portugal the Spirit will be welcomed by GEOTA, the Portuguese Coastwatch partners who work with schools and groups right down the Portuguese coast.
‘This presents a wonderful opportunity to combine a great sailing adventure with some practical citizen science, helping to draw attention to the wealth of marine resources that flourish around our coast and their vulnerability to litter and pollution,’ said boat owner Oliver Hart.
With marine biologists among the crew they will be carrying out some scientific work on route including Coastwatch marine litter and ‘eyeonwater’ research to track water transparency, litter and micro litter as they progress south. Along the shores, the annual Coastwatch survey is in full swing in Ireland and will just be starting in Portugal.
In early November she sets sail again bound for the Portuguese island of Madeira and on south to reach the Selvagens Islands around Nov 16th.
Meanwhile, surveyors will be out all along the Irish coastline until October 15th to collate important information and a snapshot of the state of coast.