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Various dates available

Scottish Ocean Survey Expedition

From £595 Per person

Deposit Deposit 50%. Balance due 12 weeks before departure
Get involved in ocean surveys, wildlife protection and micro plastic monitoring as you explore this wonderful area of Scotland by sail!
Clear
Pay a 50% deposit per item
Suited to
Families, Couples, Groups, Individuals
Difficulty
No previous experience required
Nights onboard
3
Vessel type
50ft Steel Expedition Yacht
Vessel length
50ft
Skipper
Yes
Berth Style
Twin (only 4 guest berths + 2 crew)
Insurance Required
Yes

Sail the Hebrides, surveying, studying and exploring the natural wonders of the ocean as you take part in scientific discoveries. 

3 Nights: Various dates April - August 2021

£595 per person

Explore the stunning ocean as you sail around Scottland on this scientific adventure. You'll become a citizen scientist and learn how to conduct and get hands-on experience of boat-based ocean and beach surveys. Learn beach surveys techniques and how to submit data so that you can undertake beach surveys of your own.

You'll have the opportunity to explore some of Scotlands most prolific areas for whales, harbour porpoise, dolphins, seals and basking sharks not to mention sea eagles. You'll help contribute to our understanding of Scottish whale and dolphin populations which underpins their protection.

What better way to explore and protect our oceans than by sail?!

Please take note that various departure dates may have different start/ finish locations
Whole boat charter available

Joining the expedition

You will join our expedition yacht at 4pm, when you arrive you will receive a warm welcome on board, and most likely a cup of tea. You will then have the opportunity to settle in, unpack and be shown around the boat. We will introduce you to everything that you need to know about living afloat onboard Narwhal and have our initial safety briefings. Weather-permitting we may cast off and head to a nearby anchorage where we can all enjoy the beginning of our adventure and our first wildlife encounters. We will cook a hot dinner onboard to enjoy in the beautiful and secluded surroundings, a great way to get to know your fellow crewmates as well as discuss how the expedition and surveying will run.

 Introduction to ocean surveying

We will introduce you to the survey methodologies as we undertake cetacean surveys and microplastic trawl sampling. You will be involved in all aspects of the surveying from observing and recording wildlife sightings to undertaking trawl samples and analysing the contents. Undertaking ocean research requires concentration and can be tiring but we will ensure that we also have some time for you to immerse yourself in the stunning scenery of the Scottish landscape. As evening approaches we will select a sheltered anchorage to log our recordings, analyse samples and complete our journal entries, after which you can relax on deck as the sun goes down.

Turning the tide on plastic

We turn our attention to where the ocean interacts with the land. Using the unique access that travelling by boat gives us, we will head ashore to monitor the impacts humans are having on remote, inaccessible beaches. We will show you how to complete a number of beach-based surveys including beach litter surveying and cleaning using the OSPAR guidelines, beach microplastic monitoring and nurdle surveying. The great thing about these surveys is that once you have learnt the survey methodologies you can repeat them yourselves on beaches closer to home. We will make sure you know how to run your own surveys and who to submit your data to so that it can be of most use to scientists for affecting change. The coast provides unique and diverse habitats and time permitting we will introduce you to some of its rockpool residents and enjoy some seashore foraging. We will work together to transport all of the beach litter that we have collected back to the boat. Depending on how long our shore surveys take, we may make a short sail to a different anchorage in the evening.

Final surveys and return to port

We will spend our final day conducting cetacean surveys and microplastic trawl samples as well as enjoying the Scottish scenery. Once we reach our final destination, they’ll be time to swap stories, highlights and pictures from the expedition as well as return equipment and issue you with your Ocean Survey Certificates before departing the boat at 4pm.

Please note that the itinerary provided above is provided to illustrate the general areas we will visit and surveys that we will undertake on the expedition. The exact itinerary and surveys that we conduct will be chosen each day by your skipper in order to make the best use of the weather conditions. Since we operate with just a small number of guests on board you will have lots of opportunities to get involved with both surveying and sailing.

Please take note that various departure dates may have different start/ finish locations 

  • Accommodation on board, including bedding and duvet.
  • All meals, snacks and non-alcoholic drinks on board.
  • Use of onboard equipment, including SUP
  • Use of scientific and ocean survey equipment.
  • Expedition permits and rifle where required.
  • Use of our waterproof expedition sailing suits, and offshore standard lifejacket.
  • Full safety equipment onboard
  • Advice and instruction on sailing and surveying from the experienced and qualified crew.
  • Use of our rib to get ashore, explore and conduct beach work.
  • Use of fishing gear
  • Use of scientific and ocean survey equipment
  • 12v charging in all bunks, 240v charging available
  • Projection screen for viewing your best shots of the day or watching our wide range of films and natural history documentaries.
  • Travel costs to and from start/end point of trip
  • Any food ashore
  • Open to beginner sailors.
  • Please take note that various departure dates may have different start/ finish locations

Oban, Tobermory, Mallaig (Scotland)

Oban, Tobermory, Mallaig (Scotland)

Joining the expedition

You will join our expedition yacht at 4pm, when you arrive you will receive a warm welcome on board, and most likely a cup of tea. You will then have the opportunity to settle in, unpack and be shown around the boat. We will introduce you to everything that you need to know about living afloat onboard Narwhal and have our initial safety briefings. Weather-permitting we may cast off and head to a nearby anchorage where we can all enjoy the beginning of our adventure and our first wildlife encounters. We will cook a hot dinner onboard to enjoy in the beautiful and secluded surroundings, a great way to get to know your fellow crewmates as well as discuss how the expedition and surveying will run.

 Introduction to ocean surveying

We will introduce you to the survey methodologies as we undertake cetacean surveys and microplastic trawl sampling. You will be involved in all aspects of the surveying from observing and recording wildlife sightings to undertaking trawl samples and analysing the contents. Undertaking ocean research requires concentration and can be tiring but we will ensure that we also have some time for you to immerse yourself in the stunning scenery of the Scottish landscape. As evening approaches we will select a sheltered anchorage to log our recordings, analyse samples and complete our journal entries, after which you can relax on deck as the sun goes down.

Turning the tide on plastic

We turn our attention to where the ocean interacts with the land. Using the unique access that travelling by boat gives us, we will head ashore to monitor the impacts humans are having on remote, inaccessible beaches. We will show you how to complete a number of beach-based surveys including beach litter surveying and cleaning using the OSPAR guidelines, beach microplastic monitoring and nurdle surveying. The great thing about these surveys is that once you have learnt the survey methodologies you can repeat them yourselves on beaches closer to home. We will make sure you know how to run your own surveys and who to submit your data to so that it can be of most use to scientists for affecting change. The coast provides unique and diverse habitats and time permitting we will introduce you to some of its rockpool residents and enjoy some seashore foraging. We will work together to transport all of the beach litter that we have collected back to the boat. Depending on how long our shore surveys take, we may make a short sail to a different anchorage in the evening.

Final surveys and return to port

We will spend our final day conducting cetacean surveys and microplastic trawl samples as well as enjoying the Scottish scenery. Once we reach our final destination, they’ll be time to swap stories, highlights and pictures from the expedition as well as return equipment and issue you with your Ocean Survey Certificates before departing the boat at 4pm.

Please note that the itinerary provided above is provided to illustrate the general areas we will visit and surveys that we will undertake on the expedition. The exact itinerary and surveys that we conduct will be chosen each day by your skipper in order to make the best use of the weather conditions. Since we operate with just a small number of guests on board you will have lots of opportunities to get involved with both surveying and sailing.

Please take note that various departure dates may have different start/ finish locations 

Base layer – 2x warm thermal tops + thermal leggings

Mid layer – 2x fleece type mid layers + mid layer trousers

Light waterproof shell (waterproof hiking type jacket and trousers) – for exploring ashore

Down jacket – a down (or synthetic alternative) jacket, the warmer the better

Gillet – optional but a really versatile mid layer, down or synthetic down are great

Hats – 2x warm wool hats, ear flaps are great

Waterproof hat – a waterproof hat or cap (eg Sealskins)

Neck warmer – 2x ‘Buff’ style neck warmers

Gloves – one waterproof pair (ski or fishing type) + 2x thinner fleece liner / spare pairs

Socks – 2x pairs of warm socks for sailing + hiking socks for exploring ashore

Boots – Wellington type boots. These are needed not just for sailing but also for getting ashore from the rib where you may need to stop into mid-calf depth water. They don’t need to be expensive or sailing specific, but they should be waterproof with good grip

Hiking shoes / boots – suitable for exploring on rough or wet terrain ashore

Rucsac – for on land exploring

Underwear – a couple of sets of comfortable underwear

Swimwear – you might not fancy a dip in the Arctic waters but a local hot tub can be a treat that you don’t want to miss out on

Camera, batteries, memory cards etc – it is possible to charge camera batteries onboard but it is a good idea to bring spare batteries and lots of memory card space

Entertainment – books, music etc for rest time

Toiletries – basic wash kit with travel-sized bottles

Eye mask and earplugs – can make sleeping easier in the midnight sun

Any personal medications that you need – ensure you have enough to last the whole trip

Dry bags – recommended for keeping any electrical kit in and for taking things ashore

Head torch – ideally with a red light function

Sunscreen – 24hr daylight can be relentless

Sunglasses

A set of ‘shore clothes’ for travelling in / rest days in town

Passport / visas

Credit/debit card for shore-based activities or travel emergencies

Kitbag – this must be squashy type (not a suitcase) a large barrel type bag is ideal

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