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 she spent her fifth birthday 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 up 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 was published by Imperator and is available via this website or from Amazon.)

Having long ago soaked up everything that her mother could teach her on the subject of wildlife and Biology, and having added to this scant knowledge by studying text books and websites, Roxanne has for many years now been the local ‘voice of authority’ on all matters pertaining to everything from great whales down to microbes. She hopes to expand this learning still further by attending university. With a view to furthering this aim, in April of 2016 Roxanne jumped ship and went to live with her grandparents in England. However, she still joins us from time to time – and when she does, our journeys invariably take the form of Scientific Research missions. In 2017 she was delighted to be able to assist in the collection of acoustic data for a dolphin survey, on behalf of Southampton University.

Roxanne is very knowledgable about environmental issues. She also draws wonderful pictures of itsy-bitsy beetles and spiders and other such creatures.

Click here for a list of (rather old) articles by Roxanne on this website.

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