Row For The Ocean Q&A!

Ros, Kirsty, Laura and Kate, are the founders of Row For The Ocean, a 3000 mile row of the Atlantic; to raise awareness of the ocean plastic crisis. The girls are working with the charity Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) to establish a Plastic Free Exeter by 2020. Working with SAS and also the charity’s Ocean Schools Programme, the girls want to also inspire and educate the younger community about the future and the environment. 

We were lucky enough to speak with these four very amazing ladies, who told us a little more about their mission! Keep reading to find out more about Row For The Ocean…

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Some of the girls with our popcorn!

Q&A with Row For The Ocean!

Why did the four of you amazing ladies decide to take on this challenge?

I think we see it as the ultimate challenge, once we have stepped on to the boat there is no escaping until we reach the other side. Since starting the campaign, we have also been driven to succeed by the amazing support we have received and the want to create real change in Exeter by reducing single-use plastics.

What was the planning process behind the idea of the row and when was the idea first thought up?

Ros had the idea, she sent us through the link in January 2017 and it took us 6 months to decide to sign up after realising we couldn’t think of a reason not to (apparently the fear of dying at sea isn’t enough to put us off!).  For the past 9 months we’ve spoken to as many people that have gone before us as possible to make sure we’re ready for the race start, it’s a big learning curve, but absolutely worth it! 

What do you hope to achieve through your 3,000-mile row?

 Our aim is simple, we see Exeter as a Plastic Free Coastline Community by 2020; and us winning the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Challenge, to ensure we get the most coverage possible for Surfers Against Sewage and the fight against single-use plastics.  We want to raise £60,000 for SAS to go towards their Ocean Schools programme.

 Where will you be launching and finishing the row?

 The row starts in La Gomera in the Canaries and finishes in the lovely English Harbour in Antigua.

 Prior to this challenge how long had you each been rowing?

Kirsty, Ros and Kate had all rowed for 5-7 years before takin on the challenge.  Laura , whilst not rowing in fine boats (think Olympics), has rowed around GB in 2016!

How long do you think it will take to complete the row?

We’re aiming for under 40 days however we’ll be taking food for up to 60! It really depends on the weather we get so we’re hoping for winds – in the right direction of course!

What does your weekly training schedule look like?

3 sessions on the rowing machine and 2 weights sessions is our base training schedule, however some weeks we’ll also add other cardio workouts in to up the workload and mix it up a bit.  Training for 12 months can become monotonous so it’s good to make sure you’re enjoying it!

Have you had to train in a specific way for this challenge?

 We’ve recently been lucky enough to get Silver Olympic rower Guin Batten on board who rowed across the North Atlantic a few years ago.  She’s currently helping us to build up our endurance on the rowing machine so that we’re ready for the 2 hour on 2 hour off shift patterns.  James Parkes from Exeter Chiefs Strength and Conditioning team has also put together our weights programme – it’ll be important to have core strength when getting bashed from all angles by the Atlantic.

Can you tell us a little about the boat that will be taking you across the Atlantic?

We’ll be taking an R45 Ocean Rowing boat built by Rannoch Adventure in Essex.  She’s already crossed the Atlantic twice and weathered a Force 10 storm so we know she’s up to the task! She’s 8.5 x 2m in size and has two cabins at either end that can sleep two people; she also self rights after capsizing (great!).

 How much ‘stuff’ can you take with you on this adventure? What will your packing lists look like?

As we’re aiming to be the fastest women in the race we’re going to be very careful with how much we take.  The race specifies the essential items and equipment we’ll need – Watermaker for fresh water, first aid kit, lots of food, jetboil, suncream, wet weather clothing and about a hundred other items including an anchor (not that useful for the Atlantic which is 5000m deep in places but the risk of hitting the reefs in Antigua makes it a necessity).

What are the biggest dangers/ scariest situations that could occur?

Capsize is always a danger, whilst we’ll be tied to the boat at all times the moments we enter and leave the cabins with the doors open are the riskiest.  If we capsize with a door open the boat won’t self right which has caused crews to need rescuing in the past! Help can also be quite far away so we’ve had to train ourselves to know what to do in an emergency – including getting the liferaft out as a last resort.

 What are you most looking forward to during your adventure?

The simplicity of life will be fantastic – no distractions, no mobile phones, just you and the boat.  There will also be amazing sunsets, wildlife, and views hardly anyone else have ever seen!

What will you miss the most?

 We like to answer this one with family and friends excluded – of course we will miss them!  A good shower will be missed,  a coffee in bed,  and also just some alone time – whilst we’re all good friends a 8.5x2m boat doesn’t allow more much personal space!

 Will supporters be able to track your movements somehow?

The race is tracked by Yellow Brick – they have an app that updates every 4hours so you can see how we’re getting on.  I always say it’s good to leave it a day so it looks like we’re moving faster!

 What are the different ways supporters can get involved?

We will be launching a Crowdfunder campaign for some of the final items of equipment on the 19th May 2018 so we want as many people as possible to support and spread the word! We’ve also got the opportunity for businesses to become a Row for the Ocean partner, here they’re able to get their logo on the boat and receive coverage through our social media, the press and the race media! You can visit www.rowfortheocean.co.uk for more details or send us an email at rowfortheocean@gmail.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Roxy Hempel: 5 Ways to be More Eco Conscious…

5 ways to be more eco conscious…

The very inspiring Roxy Hempel from the Eco Edit tells us 5 ways to be more eco conscious. The Eco Edit is a lifestyle platform for the eco conscious, exploring brands that have a positive impact. This includes eco and socially conscious fashion brands, green beauty products and philanthropic lifestyle brands.

 

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Roxy Hempel

 

1. Give up or cut down on animal products

Cutting down or avoiding meat altogether is the most effective way you can be more eco conscious, and the great news is, it has an immediate impact!
Following a plant based diet is healthy, budget friendly, and limitless – all of your favourite meals can be veganised, its easy once you know how!

If you are giving it a go there are lots of resources available online, try the #veganuary hashtag on Instagram, of search for your local vegan group on Facebook for support and tips on eating near you.

Still not sure sure of the reasons why? The movie, Cowspiracy is a good place to start, or Earthlings and Forks over knives.

 

2. Plant trees for free everytime you use the internet.

Ecosia is a free browser and app you can download for your computer and devices, that plants trees on your behalf every time you use it. So far this initiative has planted over 18 million trees in developing and rural communities! It is completely free for you and works just the same as your current browser (Google, safari, etc). You can find out more and get the links to download the browser for your computer and the app by visiting the website.

 

3. Choose sustainable fashion brands

Fashion is a hugely polluting industry. From the textile production to the dyeing process, to the overwhelming amount of wastage, there are huge enviromental issues which we don’t even know the full extent of yet. The good news is there are tons of great sustainable fashion brand out there that do things differently. Brands that use eco friendly fibers and dyes, recycled textiles and support fair trade principles. Follow me over on Instagram, and sign up to the newsletter of my lifestyle platform Eco Edit, and receive weekly edits of the best sustainable fashion brands.

 

4. Say not to plastic

There is no doubt about it, our plastic consumption is out of a control and is having a devastating effect on the enviroment. There is more than 8 BILLION tons of plastic on this planet, and the majority of that is waste that will take around 450 years to decompose. If laid out flat, 10 inches deep, it would be enough to cover the whole of Argentina, the 8th largest country in the world. Join our Facebook group ‘Less plastic is fantastic’ which we update with tips and ideas for reducing single use plastic consumption.

An easy one you can utilise right away – when choosing drinks, if you’re not using your own reusable cup, opt for aluminium or glass – either of these can be recycled an infinite number of times without losing their quality, unlike plastic which can only be recycled once.

 

5. Go green on your energy source

Check out Bulb – they offer 100% renewable energy, they pay your exit fees from your current energy supplier AND they save you on average 20% on your energy bills a year, they will also switch everything over for you, making it completely hassle free!
Saving the planet and saving money – what’s not to like?!

For more ideas on how to be more eco conscious, see a blog post 10 practical and positive things you can do, here http://www.theecoedit.co.uk/10-practical-positive-things-can-make-world-better-place/

You can find me either at Eco Edit http://www.theecoedit.co.uk or over on instagram here https://www.instagram.com/_theecoedit/

ONA by Agne: Luxury Knitwear and Homeware Designer

Agne Nazebetauskaite is a luxury knitwear and homeware designer. We totally loveeee her gorgeous  knitting and handmade garments, which is mostly created with very cool chunky merino wool and makes for the perfect, snuggly, human cocoon!

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 Agne very kindly took the time to write us a piece about her fabulous knitting, keep reading, you’ll be ready to pick up those knitting needles in no time (we’ve got ours at the ready!)

ONA by Agne

I am a textiles and fashion designer and maker, currently residing in Northern Ireland.

I have been passionate about textiles all my life and specialise in knitting. I create knitwear and homeware collections, as well as teaching others to knit. My latest work involves arm knitting with various chunky fibres, merino and man made       synthetics.

I am a big believer in slow fashion- shopping less, but buying high quality items. My work celebrates quality garments and home-ware accessories that will last you a long time, can be passed on or up-cycled into something new. I source only natural and sustainable materials, while incorporating better practices throughout the supply chain. My aim is to reduce the environmental impact of fast fashion.

About Me

  • I  am originally from Lithunia, but have been living in UK for almost 13 years
  • I graduated from The University of Ulster in 2012 with a Degree in Business
  • I have been knitting since I was 6 years old. My grandmother taught me a lot of the techniques and styles that I often use – knitting, crochet, sewing.
  • Passionate about textiles,  I love creating my own patters and designs, mixing techniques and teaching others.
  • Knitting is a great form of relaxation for me. Knitting is my happy place.

My Brand – ONA by Agne

Ona is my grandmother’s name. I thought it would be a nice way to honour her memory, as she was the one who inspired me the most, from her I truly learned to create. She introduced me to knitting, she used to let me wreck her sewing machine, I would sit for hours and sew, asking her over and over to thread the needles, and it felt like magic.

I discovered chunky merino wool over 2 years ago and fell in love with it. I have been specialising in chunky knits ever since. I love to use traditional techniques and crafts to create modern designs and the chunky merino wool is perfect for this! 

In 2016, my first autumn/winter collection “Kilpos and poms” was showed in Belfast Fashion week (Oct 2016).

WEBSITE: www.onabyagne.com

INSTAGRAM: @ona.by.agne

FACEBOOK: ONA by Agne

Portlebay Chocolate Bites

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Our easy- peasy, chocolate bites are perfect for a little ‘pick me up’, to satisfy that sweet craving! The combination of delicious chocolate, our crunchy popcorn, and goji berries, makes for a heavenly nibble, with just the right amount of fruit! We’re talking sweet, crunchy, and smooth- just deeelightful!

Popcorn and BerryChocolate Bites:

Serves: 4 (ish)        Prep time: 20 mins       Free time: 1 hour        

What’cha need:

  • 150g chocolate dark or milk- whichever you prefer!
  • 1 tsp coconut oil
  • 15g Lightly Salted Portlebay Popcorn
  • A small pack of Goji berries- we purchased a 100g pack but didn’t use all of them
  • A large sprinkle of mixed seeds

Method:

  • Add 2 inches of water into a medium sized pan and bring to simmer. Add a glass bowl into the pan, making sure that the water does not overflow into the bowl. Break the chocolate into pieces and put it in the bowl, with the coconut oil. Stir the chocolate occasionally until all is melted.
  • Once the majority of the chocolate has melted add the goji berries and seeds into the mix.
  • Line a baking tray with grease proof paper and pour your chocolate mix onto paper- ensuring that it is evenly spread. Then sprinkle the popcorn, goji berries and seeds on top.
  • Place the baking tray in the freeze for approximately 1 hour.
  • Once the chocolate has set, remove from the freezer and by hand break the chocolate into bites and enjoy!

Happy munching!

 

Guest Blogger Emma: Why She Loves Devon

Hi, I’m Emma, one of those ‘creative people’ now living in Devon… I spend my days blogging about Devon, photographing anything and everything, creating gifts, giving social media advice and trying to get to the beach with my Cyprus rescue dog, Lola and husband Mike! I quit the corporate world 18 months ago and never looked back! Based just outside Salcombe, I love nothing more than a windy beach walk or a day on the water, always camera in hand, trying to get that perfect Insta shot! You can find my insta page here: @emmathedevongirl

How I Ended up in Devon

My family moved to Devon from The Cotswolds in 2010. I stayed in the Cotswolds with my now husband and focused on working my way up the corporate ladder, until I started craving open seas and a more creative life. I packed my bags and quit my job in 2016 and off to Devon I went. After spending my summers at our Devon holiday home as a teenager, it really felt like I was heading back to Devon for a big holiday, the only difference this time, I still haven’t left! Time goes so fast down here, one minute you have a road completely to yourself in the middle of a frosty winter and the next you are picking the smallest lanes to try and avoid the tourists in summer! I have never worked harder, or been happier in my life!

Living a Devon life is something people talk about, even dream about. More and more people want to quit the rat-race in favour of a more simple life in the country, I am so lucky to be able to do this in my 20’s. I want to share this experience with the world, show everyone how wonderful Devon is, get them to come here on holiday or even get them to catch the bug and move here!

My Favourite spots in Devon

South Milton Sands is my go-to beach in the winter, but its just too busy nowadays in the summer, I often head to some of the other nearby beaches, such as Bigbury, North Sands or Bantham to mix it up a little!

Salcombe is one of my favourites places to wonder around – if you can get a parking space! It, again, gets pretty busy over the summer holidays, but there is so much to do and there really is something for everyone. I like to take the ferry over to the other side of the estuary and walk across the coast path to Gara Rock.

Another spot that I like is Noss Mayo. I recently visit this charming place, it was so pretty and the food in The Ship Inn (a very nice pub) was pretty tasty!

Devon Delicacies

I’m a true Devon cream tea girl – cream then a little jam on top! I also live for the sausage rolls at The Bake House in Salcombe and their salted caramel brownies! I am a great fan of finding new Devon based products, such as Portlebay Popcorn!

Have little sneak peak at my blog to find out even more about Devon, maybe you’ll discover a new place to go and explore? www.devongirl.co.uk

Mocha Popcorn Rocky Road

We present you the delicious Mocha Popcorn Rocky Road recipe! TAH-DAH! The marvellous Sophie, the creator of the blog Oat So Delicious, worked her magic and with our Portlebay Popcorn produced this to die for tasty treat!

Mocha Popcorn Rocky Road

 

Ingredients

Makes 6 slices

  • 90g dark chocolate, chopped
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 60ml maple syrup
  • 1 bag Portlebay cappuccino popcorn
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 2 tsp espresso powder
  • 75g whole hazelnuts
  • 25g mini marshmallows

Method

  1. Melt the chocolate, coconut oil and maple syrup on the hob until silky smooth.
  2. Add the cocoa and espresso powders to the melted chocolate mixture until they’ve dissolved.
  3. In a large bowl add the popcorn, hazelnuts and marshmallows, then pour over the chocolate/coffee mixture.
  4. Stir everything together until the popcorn/nuts/marshmallows are fully coated in the chocolate mix.
  5. Pop in the fridge for 4-5 hours to set, or in the freezer for 1 hour.
  6. Cut into 6 slices and serve.

Sophie, the self confessed breakfast addict, created her blog to focus on healthy eating through experimenting with cooking and baking. Oat So Delicious is busting with yummy breakfast, baking and sweet bite recipes to inspire a healthy diet. Don’t forget to check out her Instagram page too, it’s beautiful!

Brahma Studios- Taking up a New Hobby

As it’s the start of a new year , there’s no better time to take up a new hobby and set yourself some achievable and exciting goals for the year. We have reached out to the fabulous Christie who has told us a little about her and her photography, which started as a hobby but today is much more!

Christie of Brahma Studios works closely with those beginning new business adventures and specialises in photography, videography and graphic design. We adore her ‘photography for the wild folk’ which you can checkout on her instagram here!

 

Over to Christie…

Photography and design experience to date

I began experimenting with photography from a relatively young age. My dad had an old Olympus OM-1 that he let me play around with, I’d snap up some point and shoot bargains from charity shops and some cheap film from the pound shop. I really enjoyed the developing process and that the results were always really exciting and unique.

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How I got into photography and design

I actually don’t have a definitive answer for this one. I was definitely the creative one of my family, possibly a trait I got from my dad and grandad. I was always doodling, painting, writing and then came the camera.

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What inspires me?

My inspiration often comes from the places I visit – especially coastal areas. I particularly love Cornwall and it’s rugged coastline, I’m really lucky to live in the south west and have the coast so close to me. I always feel inspired when I get back from a successful trip away. I’ve just got back from Bali, it’s such an inspirational place, I came back with lots of ideas.

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The equipment I used when I was a beginner

I had a relatively basic SLR when I started college, before this I was using a bog standard camera that my parents bought me for school trips, it was probably about 5 mega pixels!

An entry level SLR will do just fine, cameras are so advanced now it all depends what you want to achieve, decide your budget and talk to photographers about their experiences with their kit. Once you’ve bought your camera, maybe go to a few workshops on how to use it, personally I find it’s so much easier to learn from playing around with your gear rather than reading a manual.

Editing Tips

Again, workshops are really useful for this. So book yourself into one to learn the basics, I have learnt A LOT from other people teaching me their tricks.

Exploring Photography

Once you’re comfortable with your kit, go out and find your inspiration, I have covered a range of subjects over my time, including fashion, portraiture, landscapes and more recently food!

I found that getting out of my comfort zone was really rewarding, as someone who is naturally shy, meeting up with models was unthought of. I forced myself to break out of the comfort and meet people, message small companies and even get involved with competitions, something a few years ago I would never have dreamt doing.

In life I believe you should find what you love doing and really explore it, whether it’s photography, dance, a sport, writing poetry, travel, there is so much out there to really get stuck into.

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We are very fond of Christie’s work, and hope that if you haven’t already, you feel  inspired to wake-up tomorrow morning and pursue something new and totally thrilling!

 

Don’t forget to have a peak at Brahma Studios website for extra inspiration!

 

Still looking for a new hobby? Take a peak at our post ‘ONA by Agne: Luxury Knitwear and Homeware Designer’, all about giant knitwear and knitting! We think we might take it up, it’s very cool!