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March 29, 2016

Song of the Whale - Research VesselWe have written about this extraordinary yacht and her diverse work, as well as her unique capabilities as a research platform to learn more about marine wildlife and the ocean.

Song of the Whale - Research VesselMarine Conservation Research International (MCRI) and its partners, YMCA Suffolk, Suffolk Family Carers and Marine Education and Research, were able to announce lottery funding for an exciting new project, ‘Our Estuaries, Our Youth, Our Heritage’.

Helmed by east coast based marine conservation scientists, the project will see a number of local young people don their finest sailing duds, for expeditions onto the nearby Orwell and Stour estuaries. Here they will discover the wildlife living a stone’s throw from their homes, and the human impact that affects the coast.

Song of the Whale - Research Vessel

The estuaries have been a massively important part of life in Ipswich for generations, and over the coming year, this exciting new partnership will provide a weekend long excursion for 40 youths, aged 11-16; who are facing a range of challenges in their daily lives.

Song of the Whale - Research Vessel

In small groups, living on board a sailing research vessel, they will learn to listen and identify wildlife on the water – including harbour porpoises, seals, bats, plankton and sea birds. Amongst revealing the past and present day importance of the estuaries, the partnership is aiming to expand theirs and our understanding of the natural heritage and human impacts on these wilds.

On the award, MCR Director Richard McLanaghan said: ‘We are thrilled to have received the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund and are confident the project will provide an exciting new perspective on the Orwell and Stour estuaries to participants and the wider community, demonstrating that it is a vital conduit between land and sea, not just a big muddy river. We hope to discover more about the fascinating history as well as documenting the fantastic biodiversity living here, which we must all work together to protect.’

Song of the Whale - Research Vessel

In addition, for the very first time, SONG OF THE WHALE is available for charter this year in the Iceland and Greenland.  Not only are these some of the most beautiful and unspoilt parts of our planet, but SOTW is available with her crew of charming and highly qualified team who can make sure that you get the most out of the experience.   Up to 10 berths are available and the expedition can be tailored to your exact wishes

Song of the Whale - Research Vessel

Song of the Whale - Research VesselOf course research cruises are also on the menu and SOTW is equipped with the latest passive acoustic monitoring systems and software, oceanographic apparatus and nav. gear to provide robust and accurate data collection with minimal disturbance.

And there’s more…

The SONG OF THE WHALE team have just retrieved a listening device from an oceanographic mooring just off the Cape Verdes.  The device which was deployed at a depth of 600m for 18 months was set up to record the song of the humpback whales visiting the region.

It was known that humpbacks from the Northern Hemisphere gathered in this area to breed, but the results from this piece of research show that humpbacks from the Southern Hemisphere are also making the trip to the Cape Verdes to hang out, and make new humpbacks.

This research is an important development as once analysed it will provide information on what looks to be a very important breeding ground and to help with efforts to provide increased protection for the species.

For more information about our chums at the SONG OF THE WHALE project please contact

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