"A nomad floating platform to raise awareness and for the sustainable development of 3 fields: "
Sampling of marine mushrooms
Census of mushroom uses
Analyzes and awareness on the importance of mycorrhizae for agriculture
Head of technology and navigation
Collection of sound samples at sea and at anchor
Integration of collected sounds with locally composed music
Public commitment to the ocean
Music and Media Coordinator
Identification of sustainable agricultural practices in source projects
Dissemination in rural areas
Climate Change Awareness
Podcast and communications manager
The idea of SEAD was born in 2019. It took more than two years of preparation, of raising funds, reinforcing the idea, preparing the boat, gathering information, pitching, dreaming, sharing.
The Freedom of Sailing
To finance part of the project, we organized weeks of sail schooling in Bretagne. 6 months on the Atlantic coast of France for the three captains; during one of these weeks we met Clem aka Watts. He offered us this video and has since helped us in our communication with his videography skills.
To launch our crowdfunding campaign, we created this project presentation video. Watts is directing and editing once again.
We managed to tie the loose ends and raise €15,000! With this support, we feel much more confident to move forward.
Podcast Episode 1
During the preparation of the presentation video, Watts records a long conversation between the crew members. Matt decides to mount it as the first podcast episode. A meeting with the crew, their dreams, their fears, their place.
Preparation of the boat, implementation of the electrical installation, meeting with the Low-Tech Lab and with Stan Thuret, our sponsor.
After several months of tinkering on board, we are ready for departure!
Preparing the boat
We've been on board for several weeks and it's been hard work: made easier by friendly Concarneau and its infrastructures!
Watts comes aboard for the first two weeks. He seizes the opportunity to capture a few images of our everlasting preparations.
2. A Coruna, Spain
November 15, 2021
A quick stopover to regain energy, fill ourselves up with tapas and conduct some work on the electrical circuit of the wind turbine that's been a little moody
Barely 24 hours later, we are back at sea.
Crossing the Bay of Biscay
A sea expanse known to all European sailors: the Biscay knows how to punch and it didn't spare us.
Night navigation, dolphins, puking, gigantic waves. That's it, we've left!
3. Lisbon, Portugal
18 - 27 November 2021
3 more days of crossing, the winds are starting to stabilize downwind as we are heading south. The human exploration on board is intense, a small space and a big need for freedom, we feel the need to establish a more precise communication framework.
Lisbon and its surroundings.
Thibault, Matt's brother is studying in Lisbon. Matt spends a lot of time with him, the rest of the crew are busy with more work on board that couldn't be completed before leaving Brittany.
The crew still finds moments to climb, play some SpikeBall, go hiking, Matt lives on his side for 10 days but, fortunately, we can meet before leaving Cascais towards Madeira.
New addition to the crew: Robin, boat-hitch hiker is welcomed aboard!
Progress on the boat
Our first harvest of oyster mushrooms on board provides a nice omelet. Energy autonomy is almost achieved but our charge/discharge measurement system (shunt) is still defective: it does not take into account the charging of the two solar panels and the wind turbine. The project stickers are glued to the hull and we fine-tune the setting of our standing rigging. The storage spaces in the boat still need to be improved: bulk, shipping and media equipment take a lot of space and we should try to give it some ordering.
Céline and Justine launch a second batch of inoculated substrate to continue the production of oyster mushrooms.
December 1 - 13, 2021
The discovery of this steep island which was not on our initial itinerary. We take time to get our group strong and united. Without that, the project will never be able to move forward!
Podcast Episode 2
During his night shift, Matt takes the mic to share his point of view on these first weeks of traveling. He explains how internal communication is getting structured onboard and how the beginning of the adventure has been.
Madeira, the island without flat grounds
You'll just have to climb a 400m high cliff to access the first agricultural land of this island. We happily discover the ecosystems that pile on top of each other with altitude. We climb through villages, then forests of pine, then eucalyptus before arriving in a dense maquis where we only find trees where soil gathers in small valleys. We take the chance to test our trekking equipment for the first time, bought from Elements bvba, it is in good shape and perfectly suited to our adventure!
New Wind. This is the name of the boat of Bretons and Belgians that we meet at Paul do Mar between a hike and a navigation. Benoît is a guitarist, Emka invites him to record the first track that launches our musical adventure!
5. The Canaries
December 15, 2021 - January 26, 2022
Finally our first project stopover! Here, underwater life abounds and Emka delights in recordings, observations, research. It's also the opportunity to meet the Finca Argayall, the first "agriculture" stopover of the project.
Pilot whales and loggerhead sea turtle
In partnership with Olivier Adam, Professor at La Sorbonne, Paris, Marie-Kell records her first underwater sound samples. The Canary Islands are full of pilot whales, but maritime traffic and observation tourism pose a threat to these living beings, which see their environment intensely disturbed by noise pollution. Check out the documentary co-constructed with Stan Thuret (navigator filmmaker) and Aja Trebec (researcher in marine biology and specialist in scientific dissemination) built on Emka's experience in the Canaries.
This documentary tells the marine bioacoustic adventure of Emka, Stan and Aja in the Canary Islands. Starting from a hydrophone attached to the rear of Alba, they collected pilot whale vocalizations and then shared them with strangers. Several stakeholders were addressed: people on ferries, whale watchers, tourists and passengers.
The soundtrack contains original compositions of the crew, the whales and Emka's violin.
The finca of Argayall
In search of sustainable agricultural practices to feed the Low-Tech Lab database, and to build SEAD's own database, we come across the Argayall ecofarm. This small farm, nestled between the arid volcanic cliffs of the surroundings, is a real oasis.
Their way of producing is full of what we are looking for, although their approach lies more in experimentation and the maintenance of a productive ecosystem than in pure production.
News and a few extras
The Teide, a volcano resting at 3720m in the center of Tenerife in the Canary Islands. A start at 1150m and a night in the low forests before rushing the summit from the base camp at 2400m. Wind over 80km, temperatures down -10°C, a view of the entire archipelago; we would've liked to come down these lunar and dusty slopes with a pair of wings on our backs!
February 2, 2022 - ?
Ecovillages that push the limits of smallholder agriculture to arid regions, new music, strange creatures in the Saloum and much more
Podcast Episode 3
A complicated border crossing, a covid epidemic on board, comings and goings,... The SEAD crew has arrived in Senegal and with this colorful country, they are opening the doors to the African continent!
A long chapter on land for the project's agro team in this Baye Fall community. Céline and Matthieu participated in the census of practices and the experimentation of new soil management practices: mulching, permanent cover, biochar, etc. Forty days of unbelievably rich exchanges with tangible results on more fronts than expected!
Mbacke Kadior 2
The second episode of the work done at Mbacke Kadior.
SEAD Sailing met local fishermen, associations and other stakeholders to help create a movement of plastic pollution awareness and action in the Bay of Hann. The water body that collects the majority of Dakar's industry waste.
A drop of water in a sea of plastic, let us all contribute to the resolution of this problem at our individual scale!
While sailing up the Saloum Delta we saw strange dorsal fins popping out of the water. After searching a bit, we came across the Sousa Teuszii Consortium website and contacted them saying we had picked up some clicks and squeaks with our hydrophone of the Atlantic Humpback Dolphin. A few days later, we met the whole team.
Reggae for the mangroves
We met Dj Kargo and Dj Saer when we arrived in Foundiougne. The particularity of this city is that it is surrounded by mangroves: healthy ones, but also mangroves that have been deforested for different purposes such as charcoal and because of the oysters that grow on them.
The daara of Kamyak
A census and a portrait of its diversity of trees.
Maps made by Matthieu during the time spent on site.
Symbiotic organisms that connect life.
Céline leads observation and vulgarization workshops
Drawings by Aude Polmans
A practice discovered at Finca Argayall in the Canary Islands and then implemented in Senegal. Follow Céline, Matthieu and Mame Cheikh Fall in this tutorial of a sustainable practice to increase soil fertility over several years.
7. The Gambia
May 16 - November 10, 2022
Sailing up its wild river and a lot of time spent amongst ourselves.
An ode to mangroves
From our entry into The Gambia on, we were impressed by the size of these trees. The mangroves encountered in the Saloum were much smaller... This is in fact another species of mangrove trees that create fabulous organic cathedrals. Check this beautiful musical co-creation inspired by their splendour!
A tutorial for Solar Brother
Throwback to the pontoons of the Canary Islands where Justine takes the time to explain to us how to build the solar oven that we use on board Alba.
The first rains of the year find us when we sail up this lush river. That's it: The Gambia now turns into the kingdom of flies, mosquitoes and its alternation between refreshing rains and stifling heats in the following day. We let ourselves drift along its waters, often letting the tides carry us as the winds are rare inland. The boat serves as a tree nursery and we scatter a few saplings to friends we meet along the river. This is the right time to plant: the rainy season will take care of watering them generously. A quiet time filled with introspection and contemplation, enjoying each other's company in a simplicity found along the way.
Emka meets her totem animal
These small crustaceans are called "fiddler crabs". The pun was too tempting and inspired our favorite crab: Emka pulls out her violin and plucks her strings!