Discover a sailing gallery interconnecting art, science and adventure

This year, the Wildiaries East Coast Odyssey incorporates "The Metaphysical Experience of Being at Sea", an Associated Event with the City of Sydney’s Art & About Sydney festival by local artists Christine Simpson and Cade Turner.

The project, in collaboration with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) and Dr Jennifer Lavers, is to collect data on the millions of multi-coloured plastic remnants off Australia’s east coast.

As ocean plastic degrades it becomes part of the environment, invisible except at the atomic elemental level.

ANSTO’s team of scientists, led by Professor Richard Banati, analyses plastic using techniques so extraordinarily sensitive, Richard says, “they could identify a single glass of wine spilt in Sydney Harbour”.   

Using “neutron activation” at ANSTO and “X-ray fluorescence” at the Australian Synchrotron the team has been able to identify the elemental ‘fingerprint’ in plastic and the distribution of elements in the feathers of seabirds that have eaten plastic.

Citizen science done during the Wildiaries East Coast Odyssey will add to a database of samples analysed by ANSTO to learn what they are made of, where they come from and how they degrade in the ocean.  

Intrigued by the juxtaposition of futuristic science, a modern pollution problem, and a wooden sailing ship from simpler times, fine art photographer Cade Turner says: "the event pulls the romantic and contemporary world together". "The boat is a renaissance from the past but sailing in modern seas, picking up plastic," he says.

Serious science can be fun, exhilarating and enlightening, is the message.

Departing twice a day from Darling Harbour, the historic tall ship Yukon will be transformed to host sonic and visual installations, heightening your "sea senses" while sailing the Harbour's calm waters.


Meanwhile, on deck, highly experienced tall ship sailors and scientists will demonstrate trawling for plastic and highlight the many practical actions we can take to tackle the problem of plastics in our oceans.


Guests can join the Wildiaries East Coast Odyssey by booking a half day sail from Darling Harbour (Sydney) between the 27th September and 12th October 2014.

Half day charters are also available for groups of 12 to 16 people.


East Coast Odyssey is a Wildiaries Expedition in collaboration with ANSTO (the Australian Nuclear Science Technology Organisation), Yukon Tours, Two Hands Project and Dr Jennifer Lavers (Institute of Marine Science).




Footage and photographs of the tall ship Yukon, marine plastics, Australian east coast marine wildlife and the deployment of a neustonic net at sea are available on request.


Wildiaries - Simon Mustoe - 0405 220 830  

Wildiaries • August 2014