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Picture of people on a sailing boat collecting plastic samples from the sea

Sustainable Sailing

Do you want to join a movement? Make a change!

 

With 15 years of experience in organising youth projects Windseeker has come to realise the great potential in international and local cooperation. With 2019 brining a new and important theme to our journeys: sustainability, we aim to provide the participants (trainees) the best possible experience and we would like your assistance.

 

As sailors, we love and respect the sea. Over the years we got concerned because of one alarming development: the growing amount of plastic in water. Plastic bottles in the middle of the Bay of Biscay.

Picture credit: NOAA

Plastic around our fenders in the harbors. Out of a long list of problems caused by human behavior, plastic pollution is the most straightforward: There is plastic in nature. It should not be there.

And since sailing and sustainability go so well together, we’ve decided to use the Tall Ships Journeys as a mean to an end: raising new generations of climate ambassadors.

 

Discovering

Our belief that this will be successful comes from the long history of organizing Erasmus+ Youth Exchanges. Sail Training is an adventurous and challenging experience, a self-development journey.

Sending groups of young people to the sea, where they need to cooperate in order to sail the Ship and make the most of living in a confined space with their peers of different nationalities has proven an excellent way to provide an experiential learning. Participants join an intense programme which combines intercultural learning activities with sail training and research, prevention and reduction on plastic pollution. The Erasmus+ additional funding significantly lowers the cost of these journeys for participants.

Photo by Kristine

 

Learning

The participants of Sustainable Sailing trips come from different European countries. On board they will experience Sail Training, practice teamwork in international environment and learn about plastic pollution and sustainability. And while Windseeker has a way to facilitate the first two (between professional crews on board and experienced mentors), we leave the scientific topics to the experts such as you. Our Partners provide marine biologists to explain the issues in an understandable way. Others provide the equipment for scientific research or analyse the samples taken by participants. Together we can give the young people a well-rounded experience.

Photo: Nils Elzenga

 

Doing

But the beauty of Sail Training journeys is that most of the learning comes from doing. Trainees learn to operate the Tall Ship by taking on more and more responsibilities from the crew. They learn to work together, communicate and solve problems, supported by a mentor – facilitator. They travel using the power of the wind, take short showers to conserve the limited supply of fresh water on board and sort the trash to minimize the storage space it takes. They also observe the beauty of the sea, visit places with working sustainable policies in place, and of course join the marine research under the watchful eyes of our partners.

Picture credit: Sandy Britain, Sustainable Coastlines Marine Photobank

 

Giving Back

The young people stepping off board will be much more knowledgeable and confident than the ones who first embarked on the journey. They will go home equipped with a new set of tools to start living more sustainable lives. Having seen and experienced the damage that our trash does to the sea, they will become active ambassadors of reducing plastic, sharing their experiences with families, friends and informal groups. They will know solutions for everyday sustainability issues such as the environmental-unfriendliness of some cosmetic products. They will have what it takes to open people’s eyes when back home from their time on the ship and will be ready to give back to their community, sending organizations and sponsors. They will become climate ambassadors.

 

Going the Extra Mile

A lot of organizations and companies want to take steps towards operating more sustainably as well. Challenges they face on this road could very well be taken on board by trainees. When sending a young person out to sea, chances are they will come back with a creative answer and inspiring story.

Picture credit: NOAA CREP

Creating the circumstances for youngsters for this, goes hand in hand with offering them the chance to take steps in their personal development. This is what we believe in at Windseeker. As such, we are very excited about this new direction in our projects. We cannot wait for the season of 2019, and we sincerely hope that you will be part of our mission to continue to give youngsters from all backgrounds the experience we are all so fond of.

 

Please do contact us with your idea how we can start the movement. Make a Change!

 

We cooperate with:

 
https://plasticchange.org

 

Journeys:

Exploring Coastal Waters: Sail the Morgenster in the Tall Ships Races and discover the breathtaking coast of Norway. Learn more.

Plastic – an Issue Without Borders: Join a vegetarian voyage on board Vega Gamleby in Sweden. Learn more.

Looking for Sustainable Horizons: Sail from the Hague to London and back to Amsterdam on board the Gulden Leeuw. Learn more.

Danish Circles: Step on board the Wylde Swan, learn about circular economy and visit the island known for getting 100% of its electricity from wind power and biomass. Learn more.

 

Funding:

The Sustainable Sailing journeys have been co-financed by the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union. Thanks to that the fees for the participants are significantly lower than they would be otherwise.

To make these trips available to everyone we have set up the Windseeker Dinghy Programme. This online fundraising training has been built on our long experience with helping trainees get their own money for the journeys.