At Kit and Caboodle, we are really excited to be supporters of the DARWIN200 project, a groundbreaking planetary conservation mission aboard the tall ship Oosterschelde that echoes the spirit of Charles Darwin's historic voyage almost two centuries ago. Some of our Architects of Happiness, proudly waved off the majestic Dutch tall ship the Oosterschelde from Plymouth harbour in August, marking the commencement of a remarkable two-year journey.
Almost two centuries after Darwin's pioneering expedition, DARWIN200 is retracing his steps. This conservation mission spans 40,000 nautical miles and involves a diverse crew of adventure travellers and environmental researchers. They will document critical aspects of our oceans, from plastics to coral reefs, and conduct surveys of seabirds, whales, and dolphins. What sets this journey apart is its citizen-science outreach initiative, transforming the ship into the "World’s Most Exciting Classroom," where students and the public can join weekly interactive 'nature hour' sessions.
The ship will anchor in 32 ports across four continents, welcoming 200 exceptional young environmentalists known as Darwin Leaders - of which 47 have already taken part from countries around the world. These leaders will work with local NGOs and experts, studying endemic species, evaluating conservation efforts, and conducting research to develop new strategies for a sustainable future - consider it the ultimate experiential education.
We are particularly thrilled that this global voyage is being undertaken aboard the Oosterschelde, a fully restored historic tall ship, the largest sailing vessel ever restored in the Netherlands. Oosterschelde is a living monument, a bastion of Dutch shipbuilding with a rich history dating back to 1917. Over the past 30 years, it has welcomed royalty, politicians, and adventure seekers, even rounding the notorious Cape Horn, considered the Mount Everest of sailing. Kit and Caboodle's Director, Suzi, has experienced life on board this remarkable ship when she joined as guest crew sailing from Gothenburg in Sweden, across the North Sea and up the River Thames to Tower Bridge in London a few years ago and knows first hand that how the voyage can evoke powerful emotions and leave lasting memories.
The DARWIN200 voyage is not just designed as a journey across our ocean; but as a transformative experience for the crew and young environmentalists. Dame Jane Goodall, Patron of DARWIN200, emphasizes the project's significance, providing an opportunity to witness that change is possible and encouraging everyone to play a role in protecting our planet.
In celebration and to commemorate Charles Darwin's birthday today, Feb 12th - known as Darwin Day - the ship has reached the Pacific Ocean and we're happy to share our support of this mission and hope to have stirred your curiosity to find out more and join in.