Sea Foraging

Week 1 – 18-24th May, Ardrossan – Oban, £950

Week 2 – 25th-31st May, Oban – Oban, £950

As Spring unfolds across Argyll and the Inner Hebrides, an abundance of plants shoot towards the sunlight, both above and below the ocean waves.

Join marine biologist, cook and nature guide Sam Eglund Newby in the discovery of the wild delicacies springtime has to offer, in the sea and on land.

We will explore kelp forests, rocky sea shores, calm lagoons and waterside meadows for edible kelp, seaweed and flowering coastal plants.

Scotland’s coasts are burgeoning with life, and provide diverse habitats for a wide range of herbs, blossoms, fungi and seaweeds. The surrounding seas are also rich habitats for many species of fish, and we will try our hand at a spot of fishing, learning which species are sustainable and which to avoid. We will also explore shellfish, though they are out of season for eating during the summer months.

Foraging, harvesting and preparing delicious, nutritious and fresh ingredients, we will immerse ourselves in this bountiful ecosystem and in the often forgotten knowledge and history of eating local, eating with the seasons and making all of nature’s resources count.

Daytime will be spent harnessing the power of the wind and sailing to somewhere new. Sail Britain’s founder Oliver Beardon, will be on hand to teach you the ropes. We’ll get everyone involved with the sailing to experience the thrill of being at sea, and steering an ocean going yacht through the waves. During the evenings we will explore different topics related to the ocean – seaweed, foraging, ecosystem evolution etc. All whilst sharing in the delights and flavours of food and drink we harvest ourselves.

Topics we’ll cover:

  • Identification, responsible harvesting and preparation of seaweed and kelp
  • What the moon has to do with seaweed
  • 100+ million years of evolution, what separates kelp from other seaweed?
  • Seaweed and climate change – carbon sink and alternative food source
  • Marine protected areas
  • History of seaweed use in the area – including recipes and vikings
  • Sea urchins – discussion of overfishing, sea urchin barrens and relationship to seaweed

Activities that we might get up to during the week:

  • Seaweed harvesting along the shore
  • Rockpooling
  • Snorkelling and kelp foraging
  • Preparing food over a fire – fish wrapped in kelp if we can catch some! – and dulse seaweed burgers on the BBQ
  • Small hikes on land, to stretch our legs and forage coastal plants

Like all the sailing we do, this is a physically demanding trip, and a good level of fitness is required. This is not a ‘catered’ trip, so participants should have a willingness to help with food preparation and cooking in the galley. We think that’s all part of the fun! Please see our page about Life Onboard.

Week 1 begins in Ardrossan on Saturday 18th May at 6pm, and our route will take us past the Isle of Arran, before either rounding the Mull of Kintyre or transiting the Crinan Canal on our way to finish in Oban at 12.00 on Friday 24th.

Week 2 begins at the North Pier Pontoons in Oban at 15.00 on 25th May, and finishes back in Oban at 12.00 on Friday 31st May.

The trip fee covers the cost of the boat, crew, all equipment and training you’ll need onboard, as well as your food and a cosy bunk onboard. Not included is your travel to and from the start/end points of the voyage and any expenses ashore, although these tend to be very limited out in the wilds!