In August 2013 we set sail from Stromness on our second Sea Change expedition, aboard Lerwick community boat The Swan, with a crew of 27 artists, scientists and informers. More ›

The Crew

The expedition crew of 27 includes a wide range of scientific and creative folk.
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Video highlights

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Replenish + Unision

replenish and reunion


  1. Fill ( something up again)
  2. Restore ( something to a former level or condition )
  3. To nourish, to fill with inspiration or power


  1. Synchronised or simultaneous
  2. An instance of agreement or concord

Stranded in Scalloway for the weekend due to bad weather, our expedition around the Shetland Isles in the Swan was slow to start though we made the most of our time on land visiting Eshaness and seeing Scalloway and its museum.

The Swan is a beautiful boat and a unique part of Shetland history so I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to be on the boat never mind set sail around the Shetland Isles when the ‘lumpy’ weather clears. Space is tight but there is plenty of room for conversation, laughter and sharing of experience.

My temporary home, the Swan was built in 1900 and was at the time described as the most modern herring boat in the Shetland fleet. The seven man crew of the Swan slept and ate in the aft cabin. The main cabin (where I sleep) was the hold where the herring catch was kept and nets were stored. Now we take the place of the many herring hauled on board each night.

The poets John Cumming, Laureen Johnson and James Sinclair came on board to share some poetry with us one evening. John shared a lovely poem about the naming of a boat which was particularly apt as I had been in the museum earlier in the day and was taken by the painted boat names on display.


Namin a boat by John Cumming

Tak time: name dy boat weel,

fur du’s

naming a wye o life.


naming an attitude;

da spring

in a crewman’s step

da glint

in a skyipper’s ee.


Caa her Gleaner, Pacific,

moadest names yun,

wi nae brag or bluster.

Caa her Golden Harvest,

an wiss her seasons o plenty.

Enterprise, venture

noo dere’s names wi some pooster, bit


Naah dat soonds ta me

a coarn ower perjink.

Tak du dy time.

Name dy boat weel

fur du’s naming

da dreams o a hale isle.


Author: Deirdre Nelson


Joins the expedition for week 2 and 3 Deirdre Nelson is an artist working mainly in textiles. Her nomadic nature and interest in communities have allowed her to develop work for exhibiton and on residencies both in UK and Australia.
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James Brady’s expedition blog for ecoartscotland

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See James Brady’s blog here:   http://ecoartscotland.net/    

Leaving Fair Isle

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Andy Crabb’s Sea Changes Part 1 now on vimeo

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Sea Changes, part 1 featuring Karine Polwart from Andy Crabb on Vimeo. Part 1 of a film about Cape Farewell’s Northern Isles expedition, on board the Swan LK243. The Swan is a traditional Shetland fishing sail boat, restored and operated by a community based trust in Shetland swantrust.com/. She is a truly beautiful boat. The film... Read more ›

Carbon Cycle

1.carbon sink
CARBON/SINK Site-specific organic drawing, North Haven pier, Fair Isle (peat and fresh water / 12” x 120”)     A musing on the ecology of the Carbon Cycle and the human intervention within it’s system: the symbiotic links between the entropy of organic matter – moorland as a carbon sink – fossil fuels – carbon... Read more ›

Wind, stone

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Wind, stone: by Teresa Elwes

Fish For The Table

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FishForTheTable 03 vimeo from Tam Treanor.

Microcosms: Eons, Tides and Dreams

‘I go to the rockpool at the slack of the tide to mind me what my poetry’s for.’ –      Jen Hadfield (from the poem, Daed-traa*)           ‘The parent materials were gathered together as volcanoes poured them out in fiery streams, as waters running over the bare rocks of the continents wore... Read more ›


bunk and deck
quota n 1. the proportional or part of a whole that is due from, due to, or allocated to a person or group 2. a prescribed number or quantity, as of items to be manufactured, imported, or exported, immigrants admitted to a country [from Latin quota pars how big a share?, from quotus of what... Read more ›

Freedom Come All Ye” performed by Karine Polwart in The Italian Chapel, Orkney August 2013.

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“Freedom Come All Ye” performed by Karine Polwart in The Italian Chapel, Orkney August 2013. from Andy Crabb on Vimeo. In August 2013 members of Cape Farewell’s “Sea Change” project explored the landscapes, history and future of the Orkneys whilst sailing on board The Swan, a beautifully restored Shetland Fifie. The group consisting of artists,... Read more ›

Pelagic Gannets

When the seas calmed and I was no longer confined to my sick bunk, it was wonderful to be on deck and to observe my new watery surroundings, I saw gannets flap and glide past the Swan and was amazed to see their large wingspan for the first time. They truly are a majestic bird!... Read more ›

Sea change See change

Go  2
Poet. Climate change.  Environmentalist.  Scientist. Carbon economy. (Ex-)soldier. Renewables. Conservationist.  Fishing quota.  Artist. Sustainability. Writer.  Everyday words susceptible to our own interpretation, predisposition and characterisation.   Words that can be polarising and divisive.  So what happens when you mix them with a few associated ingredients?  On the one hand there is the potential for an explosive... Read more ›

Big words + Lumpy times

scalloway map
LUMPY adj lumpier, lumpiest full of or having lumps (Transport / Nautical Terms) (esp of the sea) rough confused seas We headed south on ‘lumpy’ seas from Scalloway towards Sumburgh Head.  Our direction towards the East side was guided by the weather forecast and I was pleased to be moving at last. I have been... Read more ›