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EXXpedition And Connection


Connection Kuel Category Expert: Kay Newton

If you a regular reader of my monthly column, you know I love connections. We can connect to everyone and everything when we put our mind to it, which makes total sense when you think in Quantum terms. At the Q level, we are one.

In last month’s article, I spoke a little about eXXpedition and the opportunity to go on a Virtual Voyage to South Africa. Little did I know that taking time out of my routine to connect with like-minded women from the comfort of my home via Zoom would feel like an authentic ocean adventure, a truly life-changing experience.

I missed out on hurricane winds, huge seas, and equipment failure. I also lost out on crawling out of a hammock, bleary-eyed for the 4 am watch, cooking in a galley on an angle, and the constant itch from salty clothes. Yet, I have those ‘been there/done that t-shirts’ from my youth.

“We were normal women – mothers, divers, waste-free experts, writers, artists, and the worlds only expert on sperm of deep-sea sharks.”

Connected To Kindred Spirits:

Our team of nine new crew from around the world were led skillfully by veteran Ocean explorers Emily Penn and Sally Earthrowl. As an all-female, multidisciplinary, multicultural group, we all had one thing in common, our passion for the ocean. We had hope and inspiration by the bucket full. And a yearning to be part of the solution to the global plastic and toxic pollution.

Each member brought to the table different experiences and strengths. On our first watch, we shared our stories and why we had connected to eXXpedition. We were normal women – mothers, divers, waste-free experts, writers, artists, and the worlds only expert on sperm of deep-sea sharks.

In just two weeks, we forged a connection, bound in strength and tied by our experience, newfound knowledge, and our commitments to follow through, despite never meeting.

Connected To The Message:

eXXpedition voyages look into the problem of plastic, the toxicity it causes, both in the ocean and our body burden. It also wanted to highlight the important role women have in science and champion individual steps toward solving the plastic issue.

Over the past two years, everyone on the planet has become aware of the global threat of Covid19. Yet, despite warnings since its invention in 1907, we still have not grasped the sheer danger we are facing from pollution.

What action we take in the next ten years will define life for our future generations. We have to start living life differently today.




The Data:

As part of the physical voyage, we would have been throwing over manta ray nets, scoping up microplastics, analysing the findings and creating data for University usage. Instead, we downloaded the Marine Debris Tracker App and began home Citizen Science. I went in search of local plastic pollution in two areas of my village.

As I walked my first designated 100 m x 1 m section, I was amazed at what I found. When you measure, you can manage. The building site refuse was Covid19 related. Evidence of lunches eaten/drank on the pavement when the usual menu del diá restaurants were closed. There were bags of abandoned meals. Single plastic wrappers, beer and wine bottles, all dumped in one spot.

My second transect, on the beach, was more eventful. As I crawled along the surface of the sand early one morning, concentrating on adding data correctly, I became aware of eyes watching me. A local bar owner, putting out his chairs on the paseo above the beach and a lady walking her dog. There was an instant connection – the air became electrified.

Measure & Manage:

The dog lady approached and wanted to help and passed objects not in the allotted zone, causing me confusion. I attempted to focus on the job at hand and at the same time explain the whole eXXpedition project. Without my full attention, she turned to the barman and indignantly told him that it was his fault.

“When you measure, you can manage. It turns out the main issue on our beach are plastic cigarette butts.”

As the Spanish Style altercation continued above my head, I crept further forward. Picking up sugar sachets, plastic straws, and ice cream sticks. When you measure, you can manage. It turns out the main issue on our beach are plastic cigarette butts. Ironically it is a no-smoking beach, yet with bars, restaurants, a lengthy seafront seating area and the best sunset on the island, it is the perfect place to smoke. Smokers have a habit of flicking butts.

You would think finding a solution is simple, yet it is far from that. You open up a can of worms – blame, criticism, judgement, politics, economics, tourism, lack of education or interest, to name but a few. eXXpedition taught me that expecting to change everything overnight is just a dream. Focusing on one thing and taking small steps is the way forward.

The Future:

Now the dog lady, whose name is Marilena, and I are friends. We are on a mission. So far, we have met with the local Mayor, created a Whatsapp action group with over 30 members and begun to put ideas together for a cleaner local beach/ocean. There are rumours of involvement in next months local fair.

I have no idea where these new connections will take me. The key is to stay in my truth, and when I do that, what/who I need in my life will come my way.

Who will you connect to over the next 30 days?

About the Author:

Kay is the founder of Midlife Strategies, an award-winning International Speaker, and enthusiastic author. She is an acknowledged expert guiding women to find their mojo, through the Midlife Squeeze.

Kay’s books include: 

Today, Kay lives a simple life next to a beach in Mallorca, Spain. You can find Kay here: www.KayNewton.com.