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.
Meet the crew ›

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Video highlights

Watch video highlights from the expedition ›



Coastal forms

Pelamis wave energy infrastructure

Links of Noltland

Links of Noltland, Westray
  On one side of Westray pier the Swan tucked in among fishing boats, heaps of creels, ropes, crates. On the other side three Westray skiffs, a century old, their narrow masts perfectly reflected in the still waters of the bay. Up on the hill a community wind turbine, spinning a local resource out of... Read more ›

John Cumming Sketches

John Cumming Swan

The Swan Diary Extract

The boat is a like a spider’s web, held in place by expertly spun threads in their necessary positions. They can move with the wind until fixed by the crew, or sweated into position. Each crew member is a leg of the spider, the skipper perhaps, the head. What does this spider catch? Or catch... Read more ›

Westray skiffs

Westray skiff Ben Duffin2
Arriving in Westray one of the first things that I notice in the fishing harbour is a small wooden boat. Only fifteen feet long, it sits on the water at a mooring looking perfectly at home. Sheltered behind the pier, moored in the bay are three more boats, almost, but not quite identical. ‘These boats’... Read more ›

Ring of Brodgar Stone-cam


Swan Portraits

John Cumming

Rackwick, Hoy

Hoy Cliffs
On deck on the Swan on a choppy grey morning, sitting by a bucket of mackerel caught just now by our engineer Ian. We’re at Lyness in Hoy, waiting for the tide to turn before we head out through the race to sail to Kirkwall. Yesterday we walked up to the Old Man of Hoy,... Read more ›

Walking the cliffs with Morag

Morag MacInnes invited us to visit her in Quoyloo, north-west of Stromness, to follow up on a conversation we had last year, when she talked of the disconnection between developers, policy-makers and local people around the industrialization of new renewables – wind and tidal energy – on Orkney. ‘I want to say to everyone who... Read more ›

Cape Farewell

I start noticing stuff as soon as I am in Kings Cross waiting for my train….the cab I’ve just used and its petrol, the whacking great lit notice board, the train…particularly my sausage roll and offer, with its tinfoil, plethora of service totes, greaseproof paper, curly thing to carry hot coffee with… Then I’m in... Read more ›