If You Want Something Doing (properly)

By Marie Berry

Is it contentious to say that men fucked the world up? Is it sexist? What if I said it was overweight middle aged white men in suits from the west, who have systematically fucked the planet from the cosmos down? Is that sizest, sexist, racist, heterophobic? I mean, some of my friends and family are middle aged straight white men, but I think they’d mostly agree….

Maybe it’s not fair to be like that, maybe I should shut my ill-informed anti-establishment pie hole.  Maybe instead of murmuring angry nothings about men lizards in suits, I should tell you about EXXpedition, a team of women who are actually, can you believe it, DOING SOMETHING.

They’re doing science and adventure and research and danger and bravery and epicness. They’re doing it in the Atlantic. They’re the Christina Columbi of the modern world, but instead of finding new land and brutally pillaging it, they’re sailing the Atlantic to find the truth about plastic, about what it’s doing to our bodies. Specifically OUR bodies, because the female body is a finely tuned, miraculous balancing act of a machine, that deserves to be worshipped as an altar, instead of systematically poisoned by the same powers that tell us we need to be better shaped.

I digress. This is the press release for EXXpedition. All hail.

Tackling Toxics: Partnerships and sponsorship sought for All-Women’s Transatlantic Research Voyage

On the 16th of November 2014 a crew of 14 women will set sail across the Atlantic Ocean in search of answers relating the health of our environment to the health of our bodies. The organizers of the eXXpedition voyage are looking for a powerful network of partners to join the mission.

With many questions surrounding the increasing presence of plastic and toxic pollution in our oceans and bodies, these women will be on a mission to trace an ‘aqua trail’ back to the products we all consume in everyday life. For the women on this mission, this is a rare chance to experience expedition living, blue water sailing, field based science communication, and data collection while participating in conversations about women’s health and the environment. For potential partners, this is an opportunity to be part of a high impact campaign promoting innovative products and services, while building awareness of environmental challenges and solutions.

Led by environmental scientist Dr. Lucy Gilliam and ocean explorer Emily Penn, director of Pangaea Explorations this hands-on experience at sea will be on board Pangaea’s 72-foot steel hulled sailing vessel and ocean explorer Sea Dragon.


“Sea Dragon is one of 11 second generation yachts built for the Global Challenge Race – one of the longest, most demanding ocean voyages ever made with an upwind, west-about 32,000km circumnavigation. Designed to thrive in tough conditions the boat was specifically set up for volunteer crew with limited sailing experience. Today, those same qualities make her an exceptional platform for long-distance, remote expedition sailing and perfect for scientific research projects like this” says Emily Penn.

Breast cancer rates in young women are on the rise. Women’s specific disease research has a low public profile in the media and there is an imbalance in research funding directed towards gender specific diseases. Dr Lucy Gilliam explains that: “Our mission is to explore the issue of chemicals, endocrine disruptors and carcinogens in our personal and global environment that can cause disease, in particular raising awareness of those linked to the rise in breast cancer rates. The aim is to inspire positive actions to tackle the root cause of toxic exposure in women and create a conversation on the science of ecotoxicology”.


Our eXXperiments – Research and ‘ME’search

Along the eXXpedition voyage the crew will sample the Atlantic oceans for plastic and pollutants. All the crew will also have their blood analysed for toxics as part of a UNEP Safe Planet ‘Body Burden’ campaign. Through the exploration of this normally unseen pollution we hope to understand the impacts of toxics and plastics pollutants on ecosystem health, personal health and the links back to the products we consume.

Voyage: Lanzarote, in the Canaries to Martinique, in the Caribbean.

Sailing from November 14th – December 7th 2014.

Further information: www.eXXpedition.com

For more details:

Emily Penn,

Skipper and Co-Director, eXXpedition


Lucy Gilliam,

Lead Scientist and Co-Director, eXXpedition


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