Thursday, 26 July 2012

Sea Girls become Sea-Changers

This year I was very pleased to become patron for the charity Sea-Changers As you may well be aware, if you follow me on twitter or know me personally I am a marine obsessive. I often liken my obsession with the sea as a type of (healthy) love affair. The more I get to know the sea and experience different aspects of this salty world the deeper I fall! Sea-changers is a charity which is, therefore, very close to my heart! Sea-Changers is about encouraging all those who love the sea to take small actions and make small donations to improve the state of UK seas and coasts.

Recently this love affair has been made all the more exciting through the opportunities with this patronage and 3 other factors. Firstly writing my book the RSPB Handbook of the Seashore, re-entering the world of diving and also finding rowing with the Dartmouth Sea-Girls

The book has allowed me months of research and reading on the seashore species that can be found between the tides and other aspects of the seashore that I can easily digress into. I have been allowed the time to wallow in my favourite subject knowing that ultimately it might allow other people to start their own relationship with the sea.

The diving is a sport which I always had a desire to continue but struggled to find the finances to buy the kit and time with a young family and seashore business. However, recently I joined the Totnes BSAC, made the PADI cross-over and am now working on progressing my dive qualifications & am totally hooked! I managed to get all my kit second hand and in perfect condition from one similarly proportioned lady! Totnes BSAC are a great club and a brilliant way of meeting other diving folk - learning from some very experienced divers. The conversations rarely go past 2 minutes without some typical diving innuendo and then digressions onto experiences of phosphorescing divers - you can imagine I'm quite at home! The creatures that I have spent so much time seeing on the low tide or glimpses of on the high through snorkeling and freediving are now available to me for as long as my cylinder will (safely) last! The result is that I feel like I am gaining a whole new deeper, obsessive relationship with the sea!

Finally there's the rowing. I stumbled into this through a friend I met at our daughters swimming lessons. We soon realised we had a mutual passion for sporting adventures and set about entering running events and triathlons and then finally went along to "try out" rowing with her crew in Dartmouth. Another brilliant excuse to be on the water early of a Sunday morning. The first rowing trip we saw some fishy-smelling seals hauled up on pontoons...that was it...I haven't stopped rowing! They're a great crew of local girls and am really enjoying being part of the crew and the new adventures that offers.

This (finally) brings me back to my latest adventure and patronage with Sea-Changers! Through all of this I am reminded in new ways of why and how the sea is so very beautiful and important to me on a daily basis but also to all of us whether we live on the coast or not. We all benefit from healthy seas and we must do all we can to protect this stunning resource.

That is why the Sea Girls rowing crew have agreed to raise money for the charity Sea-Changers. 100% of the money will go towards marine conservation projects. This allows all of the rowing crew the chance to give a little back to the sea as a thank you for all the fun we have rowing and living by the coast. The 21 mile London Great River Race will not be without hard training and blisters in places you would not believe! Please do support our adventures and click on this link to find out a little more about the Sea Girls fundraiser for Sea-Changers.

Thanks for your support - this is a fancy dress event and if you are in London well worth a wander down to the Thames!

Friday, 20 July 2012

Come rockpooling with me!

It is thankfully that time of year again! While I have spent considerable time exploring the seashore from my desk for my new book, The RSPB Handbook of the Seashore which will be out in May is now time to go and revisit the rocky shore and rediscover my old friends the crabs, clingfish and starfish! They take place at South Milton Sands on the south coast of Devon - a beautiful spot with cafe, toilets and sandy beach as well as brilliant rockpools!

I will be running only a few sessions this Summer holiday but if you are interested in making a booking then please do get in touch!

Children over 8 can be left with me unaccompanied (full CRB checks, insurance & H & S in place) whilst children between 4 - 8 must be accompanied by an adult. Anybody is welcome (over 4 years) although traversing the rocks can be a bit tricky at times and not for the fainthearted! All you need to bring are shoes that you are happy to get wet - crocs or wellies, weather suitable gear and a sunny disposition!

Dates for the 2 hour guided tour of the seashore (which includes an activity such as a seaweed press etc) are:

Wednesday 1st August 1130 - 1330
Wednesday 15th August 1000 - 1200
Wednesday 22nd August 1500 - 1700
Wednesday 29th August 1000 - 1200

Please contact to make a booking!

Many thanks and happy summer holidays to you! Remember to check the tide times and follow the Seashore Code when you take your trip to the seashore!

Costs: £10 per person (accompanying adult of a 4 - 8 year old £5) with a maximum of 10 children / session.

Private bookings are available on request.