Articles by Roxanne Schinas

About Roxanne Schinas

Roxanne is the only one of our ship’s company who can claim that she was actually born aboard a yacht. She can also claim to be the youngest sailor amongst us, having made her first channel crossing (from England to France) at two weeks of age. Her first birthday was spent a few days out from Cape Town, and her fifth one day out from the South Atlantic island of St Helena.

Two of Roxanne's first three years were spent living on a farm and her early interest in everything from earwigs to ostriches formed the foundation of her passion for wildlife. At the age of eight Roxanne won first prize in the RSPB’s Nature Diary competition in the 8 – 12 year olds category, and a couple of years afterwards she was asked to write an article for their junior magazine.

At ten she made an extensive study of a seagull colony, hand-reared two baby gulls, and wrote a book about the adventure. Two Gulls and a Girl is published by Imperator and is available via this website or from Amazon UK or Amazon US.

Read more about Roxanne

Wildlife of Brazil

In a small, isolated village in southern Brazil, the long, hot day is finally ending. From our yacht, anchored out in the river, we watch the sun sink slowly into the mangroves, lighting up the clouds like tufts of pink candy-floss, and streaking the water with rainbow colours as though it had been mixed with oil. The characteristic sounds of the Brazilian daytime – motorbikes, the shrill screaming of cicadas, and the sound of Roberto Carlos’ latest hit being played…

Learning to Kitesurf

The sea shone tantalizingly, down below us, looking as flat and polished as a mirror, but high up above it we were being buffeted by a strong wind. We were sitting on the summit of Monte Leon, which is a little hill on the coast of Sal. Down in the bay below ten or fifteen kitesurfers zoomed to and thro, making the best of the wind. Unlike the windsurfers they didn’t need a wind low down, their kites went up…

Wind and Water Power – Then and Now

(with a few additional remarks by the editor-in-chief) It was early afternoon and we were in Flores, just nearing the end of one of the scenic walks for which the Azores are famous. We had started that morning, leaving Mollymawk anchored in the bay behind us, and we had now been walking, at a leisurely pace, for most of the day – along a road, up a track, along a footpath, and past a lake which had eleven waterfalls pouring…

David Wingate – The Bird Man of Bermuda

“I wish I could introduce you to David Wingate,” said Gill. “He’s our local naturalist, and he’d love to answer all of these questions that you keep asking.” We were standing on the wooden platform which surrounds Gill and John’s house on their little islet in Bermuda, looking down towards a round black hole bored into the rock below. Inside that hole, I knew, was a plump, one week old tropic bird chick. But that was all I knew. I…

The ARC Sets Sail

With additional text, in italics, by Jill Once again we are in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria for November. This is the island’s busiest month. WOMAD, a free four-day world-music festival, starts on November the 11th and people from all over the Canary Islands get on the ferries and come to see it. The anchorage fills up with almost 60 boats, instead the usual two or three. But most of the yachtsmen have not actually come to listen to the…

The Ship’s Naturalist

This article by Roxanne appeared in somewhat abridged form in the RSBP’s junior magazine, Birdlife, last year. I was born on a boat, and ever since I was a baby we have lived aboard the boat and sailed wherever we want to go. I have never lived in a house, although I have occasionally lived in a caravan or a camper van, in different parts of the world. I wonder if it is to this gipsy lifestyle that I owe…

Dolphins

In this family there is one thing which really gets everyone rushing around, and that is dolphins. In the Mar Menor we didn’t see any dolphins – they don’t come into that lagoon – but Mummy and Daddy were always full of stories about heavisides dolphins here, and pilot whales there. It seems that even sightings made before I was born, twelve years ago, are still remembered in detail! There was the story about the first time Xoë and Caesar…

Fish of the Rocky Shore

Beneath the waters of La Gomera there are not only large stretches of sand, but also a plentiful supply of rocky areas. For me, this makes the place very interesting, because I can watch both habitats at the same time and see the very different fish which live in each of them. The bigger fish living on the sandy bottoms rely on hunting smaller fish, and since there is no plant life there the smaller fish are scavengers. All of…

Who lives on the sandy bottom under our boat?

The Ship’s Naturalist is a kind-hearted girl who wouldn’t hurt a fly. She might catch it and feed it to a toad, of course, but she wouldn’t swat one. Nor does she eat dead pigs, cows, rabbits, sheep, or chickens – but she does have a weakness: she loves fish. At the age of four, when asked to make a list of her favourite things, Roxanne wrote, “Fish, Mummy, Chocolate.” Over the course of the past eight years the list…

Stingrays

If you visit the local tourist office then they’ll tell you that Valle Gran Rey was named after the Big King who once lived in this valley – but we know better. We reckon it was named by a Frenchman who was seriously impressed with the local sealife.