Roxanne Schinas

Ship's Naturalist

Roxanne is the only one of our ship’s company who can claim that she was actually born aboard a yacht. Her big brother and sister joined ship the day after their birthday, but Roxanne entered this world onto the saloon floor.

Rox 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.

Roxanne learnt to walk and talk while we were down in South Africa, building Mollymawk, and although this doesn’t seem to have affected her accent or her gait it has certainly affected her interests. We spent two of her first three years living on a farm and the next one in a port which was the haunt of seals, penguins, dolphins, and even whales. After that we went north along the African coast, stopping off along the way to see the lions, giraffes, and elephants. Rox doesn’t remember the big game – in fact, she remembers very little about our time in Southern Africa – but we are quite sure that it was her early interest in everything from earwigs to ostriches which 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.)

When not studying insects, raising snails, rescuing toads, or swimming with dolphins, Roxanne enjoys paddling a kayak, sailing the ship’s boat, swimming, fishing, painting, writing, doing origami, and making things out of cloth, wool, or wood. She plays the guitar, practising every day, and she has just had a course of kitesurfing lessons. All in all, Roxanne’s life is pretty busy.

Like her elder siblings and her mum, the Ship’s Naturalist is also a qualified PADI Open Water Diver and she enjoys the opportunity to study life on the ocean floor.

Roxanne’s pet hates are doing the washing up, tidying her cabin, and being asked to recite her times-tables.

Her ambitions include becoming a nature warden, helping the RSPB to save the albatrosses, owning a farm on a mountainside in Spain, and learning to use the sextant so that she can skipper Mollymawk.

Check out Roxanne’s book, Two Gulls and a Girl!

Two Gulls and a Girl is Roxanne’s account of her survey of the seagull colony on Isla Perdiguera. Regular visitors will already have seen most of this work, but in piecemeal form. Now you can read it in the comfort of your arm-chair / bath-tub / bed / boat / aeroplane … or wherever you happen to be.

Read more about Two Gulls and a GirlSee our other books