Scientist Sam's Time on Pelican


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Scientist Sam's Time on Pelican

The Pelican voyage began in Dublin, where we were joined by a group of young teens. When they arrived, they stood gormless alongside the ship, eager to see their new homes for the remainder of the week. The kids were invited on board one-by-one and were initially greeted by the captain, first mate and a handful of safety information to get started on the day’s proceedings. After settling in, the trainees were gathered into the mess to have a full briefing of expectations, safety, and general welfare. After the meeting the trainees were separated into their watch groups and the training began. On rotation, each group was given direct insight into a different area of importance in managing the ship, including navigation, line handling and much more. The first day rounded out with an emergency drill before dinner. The teens were tired after a long day’s work but eager to set sail in the morning.

The next day, after a night of watches, the ship of tired trainees left the harbour with the aim to reach the Isle of Man by the evening. Along the way there was opportunity to put up some sails to help the trainees get some practice with the procedures they had learnt the day before.  As we arrived at the Isle of Man, the sea was full of giant jellyfish which put everyone off from taking a plunge. We anchored for the night and the watches began.

Day three was a personal favourite. We started early and motored around the corner to Peel beach where the view was immediately staggering, a beautiful castle on the coast with a backing of sandy beach and seaside town. We took the rib to shore, getting very wet in the process. Around the corner of where we docked, we found a beach covered in shells. This was the perfect opportunity to learn about the significance of pollution and led into a beach clean, with prizes! After this and a brief swim, we were given a tour of the local RNLI ship and tractor. Meeting their team was a fantastic way to learn the inner workings of their rescues. Finally, we had some free time, where the trainees were sent to find some food and to have a relax after a busy few days. Heading back to the ship we took some seawater samples and I began to introduce plankton and why they’re so important.

Our final full day, we began our journey to the final destination, Rosslare. With the wind not on our side, we set some sails to get some final practice in before our arrival. The kids were sad that their trip would be over so soon and t-shirt signing began to hold onto the exciting memory they would soon be moving on from. With a less busy day we had a look at our sea water samples under microscope and examined what plankton we could see. The sample was packed with interesting organisms which we had fun identifying and chasing around the slide. After overnight motoring we arrived at the dock, paparazzi waiting.

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