Please select your home edition
Edition
Lennon Thermalite 728x90 2

Susie Goodall appointed first Secchi Disk ambassador seafarer

by Richard Kirby 6 Nov 2016 10:31 GMT 6 November 2016

Susie Goodall, the only female entrant in the 2018 Golden Globe, solo, non-stop, round-the-world yacht race, has teamed up with the global, citizen science Secchi Disk study to become its seafaring ambassador. The Secchi Disk study, which was begun in 2013, is run by The Secchi Disk Foundation charity and it is the world's biggest citizen science study of the marine phytoplankton with data collected by seafarers from all around the world.

Like so many sailors who love the ocean, Susie has a keen interest in helping to conserve the marine environment and said about becoming a Secchi Disk Ambassador "I'm very excited to become an ambassador of this amazing project, to collect some data, and spread the word amongst other sailors about the help that we can give scientists in understanding the sea's biology."

Dr Richard Kirby the project leader said "It's fantastic to have Susie as a project ambassador. Susie is inspirational and her enthusiasm and love for the marine environment are second to none"

The phytoplankton are the plant-like microalgae that form the base of the marine food chain. Research published in 2010 by three Canadian scientists suggested that globally, the phytoplankton had declined by 40% over the last 50 years due to the sea surface warming as a result of current climate changes. Other, more recent studies have also suggested that the phytoplankton are changing in their abundance around the world. Since the phytoplankton begin the marine food chain, their abundance determines the abundance of the other life in the sea, from fish and crabs, to whales and polar bears, and also to the seabirds in the sky. Consequently, it is very important to understand how and why the phytoplankton are changing. But the ocean habitat of the phytoplankton is vast and there are not that many scientists to study them, and this is where any seafarer can help by becoming citizen scientists and taking part in the Secchi Disk study.

The Secchi Disk study combines a tried and tested piece of equipment called a Secchi Disk with a free smartphone app called Secchi.

The Secchi Disk is a DIY piece of scientific equipment that was first invented by the Pope's astronomer Pietro Angelo Secchi in 1865 to measure the clarity of seawater; it is a round white disk of 30 cm diameter attached to a tape measure and weighted from below. When the Secchi Disk is lowered vertically into the water from a boat the depth below the surface at which the Disk just disappears from sight is noted and called the Secchi Depth. Away from estuaries and coasts (1km offshore and in water deeper than 25m) the main determinate of water clarity is the amount of phytoplankton in the water column, and so the Secchi Depth is a measure of the phytoplankton.

The free Secchi app enables seafarers to submit their Secchi Depth readings to a central database. The Secchi Disk study has no end point and the data collected becomes more useful the more seafarers that take part, the greater the area covered, and the longer the study continues.

Susie's yacht for the Golden Globe race is a Rustler 36 called Ariadne and prior to the race Ariadne's hull is going to be carrying the Secchi Disk project logo and website address to promote the citizen science phytoplankton study. This winter Susie and Ariadne will be crossing the Atlantic and taking Secchi Depth readings along the way, so keep a watchful eye and say hello if you see them berthed in a marina. Even better, Susie encourages you to make your own Secchi Disk, download the Secchi app, and take part in the study yourself and become seafaring citizen scientists like her. You can find full details on how to do so in the Secchi app and on the project website www.secchidisk.org.

Susie says "The oceans are a remarkable place, our second home, so what better way to leave a legacy for the oceans than collecting some data on the phytoplankton to help understand the sea better; why not take part?"

The solo non-stop, round-the-world Golden Globe race is the ultimate test of mental and physical endurance. The Golden Globe Race was born in1968 to prove whether it was humanly possible to sail solo, non-stop around the globe and 2018 will be the first re-run of this historic race to celebrate its 50th anniversary. The 1968 race was won by Robin Knox-Johnston's in his 32ft ketch Suhaili, in a total of 312 days. Just as in the first race the 2018 version will be run without GPS by using entirely by traditional means. That means no iPhone, no mod cons, just solo with the sun, stars and horizon. In the spirit of the original race, boats will be borderline classic, not the 60 ft, multi-million dollar machines of today, but 32-36 ft classics of yesteryear with the technology of the time; as close to the boats that were entered into the original race as possible.

The Golden Globe race starts in June 2018 from Falmouth, UK and heads South down the Atlantic Ocean passing through 'gates' along the way, the first of which is the Canary Islands, then the Cape Verdes, and on to round South of the 3 Great Capes; the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin and finally Cape Horn, before heading up the Atlantic back to Falmouth. The other 'gates' are Storm Bay, Tasmania and the Falkland Islands. As a test of sailing skills and determination it has no equal. Perseverance, stamina, and sheer determination to get round the world, will ultimately win the race. The winds and waves that Susie will encounter for months on end will challenge every reason she has to do the race, but sheer determination to get round will see her on the finish line.

Related Articles

Golden Globe entrants meet for the first time
15 skippers have assembled on the dock in Gijón, Spain It's been a long time coming, but the skippers are finally sharing the same dock, drinks and stories of their preparations, while helping each other with final tasks. These solo sailors are definitely enjoying their social time in Spain! Posted on 9 Aug
Golden Globe, todos a Gijón, Spain
Gearing up for an unforgettable prologue and send-off to Les Sables Sailors and their team managers are heading to the Asturian capital for the Prologue of the GGR from August 6 to 14, when they set-off in the "SITraN Challenge" to Les Sables d'Olonne, and the start of the 2022 GGR on Sept 4th. Posted on 2 Aug
Golden Globe Race: Dalton pressing on
Golden Globe Race: Dalton obtains medical course, and is about to start the qualifier Graham Dalton has he advised Sail-World.com that he had now completed the required medical course, and is about to start the qualifying voyage. Posted on 22 Jul
Golden Globe Race participant chooses Seldén Mast
Ian Herbert-Jones will set sail on his epic voyage with a new Seldén rig Ian Herbert-Jones is sailing solo non-stop around the globe without outside assistance onboard his Tradewind 35 Puffin as part of the Golden Globe Race 2022, a race which is being heralded as the longest and loneliest sporting event in the world. Posted on 18 Jul
18 starters for the Golden Globe Race 2022
Gijón and Les Sables d'Olonne preparing for the Prologue and the Race Village North American entries are rushing across the Atlantic Ocean, while others are expected to make landfall this week in France and the United Kingdom. Posted on 15 Jul
Just two months until the Golden Globe Race
The predecessor of the Vendée Globe will set off from Les Sables d'Olonne Inspired by the first single-handed round the world race in 1968, the Golden Globe Race, a single-handed race with no assistance, no GPS or electronics on board, will set off from Les Sables d'Olonne on the 4th September. Posted on 6 Jul
Golden Globe Race entrants struggle to make start
A respectable fleet will remain, for what is an extreme nine month challenge The 1968 Sunday Times Golden Globe Race was the first ever yacht race around the world. Nine started and only one finished. The 50th Anniversary 2018 Golden Globe had 18 starters and only five finished. Posted on 29 Jun
Gijón City & GGR partnership to host GGR Prologue
A week of activities in the Spanish Port City It was announced today in Gijón, that the Golden Globe Race is partnering with the Spanish Port City of Gijón for a week of activities starting 6th August. Posted on 22 Jun
Mark Sinclair back to les Sables d'Olonne
Ending a 174-day solitary voyage at sea At 1406hrs today, Friday the 27th, Captain Coconut Mark Sincliar (Australia) crossed the famous Nouch Sud cardinal buoy off Les Sables d'Olonne, France, ending a 174-day solitary voyage at sea. Posted on 27 May
Golden Globe 2018 - one last finisher 3 years late
Captain Coconut should enter the Les Sables d'Olonne River around 1500hrs Captain Coconut should cross the finish line 27th May at 1430 hrs French time (1230hrs UTC) completing his GGR 28,000 mile solo circumnavigation. He will enter the Les Sables d'Olonne River at 1500hrs and arrive at the Vendee Pontoon at 1530hrs. Posted on 27 May