REBEL hitchhikers in Cote d’Ivoire, shipwrecks in Guinea Bissau and Atlantic crossings by container ship – former Daily Echo reporter Lynn Morris has experienced all this and more.

After leaving the Echo, Lynn, 29, set up environmental education charity called Atlantic Rising to highlight the effects of climate change. She is one of three directors of the charity travelling around the Atlantic Ocean along the one meter contour line, predicted to be the new coastline in 100 years because of global warming.

The idea behind the Royal Geographical Society sponsored journey is to establish a network of schools in low lying communities around the ocean’s rim and to document the places, histories and cultures that could be lost if sea levels continue to rise.

The Atlantic Rising team left Poole on a Condor Ferry for France on September 1 last year. Since then they have driven over 12,000 miles through Europe and West Africa visiting schools along the way.

Lynn said there have been a few adventures along the way.

She said: “In Mauritania we got stuck in the mud in a tidal estuary while the tide was coming in which was slightly frightening. We took a wooden pirogue (boat) in Guinea Bissau filled with as many farm animals as people and which became stuck on a sandbar. Everyone had to wade ashore – some carrying pigs on their heads.

“Between Liberia and Cote d’Ivoire we were driving on roads no wider than footpaths and had to cross some very wobbly log bridges. We eventually ended up in rebel-held territory where we were forced to give a rebel a lift to town.

“This would have been fine apart from he was carrying a cooked monkey in plastic bag to give his boss as a present and it did not smell nice.”

From Cote d’Ivoire the team put themselves and their Land Rover on a containership and crossed the Atlantic to Brazil. The journey will continue up the east coast of the Americas to Canada before the team ship their car back to the UK.

Lynn, who used to live in Green Road, Poole, said: “Crossing the ocean by containership was a highlight of our journey so far. We were issued with blue boiler suits then given the run of the ship.

“The downside was compulsory participation in the ‘crossing the line ceremony’ at the equator during which we were handcuffed, locked in a toilet for two hours and then had a bucket of kitchen slops poured over our heads.”

During the passage to Brazil the team launched a ‘message in a bottle’ a buoy filled with letters written by the children at schools along the route. The buoy is fitted with a satellite tracker so you can follow the progress on the letters online at

Lynn said: “We are hoping teachers will find this a useful way of explaining ocean currents to their students. Ideally the buoy will wash up on a beach somewhere and the finder will get in touch.”

Several Dorset businesses have contributed to the project and Lynn said: “ We have been very generously supported by World of Pine, Sandbanks Marina and Condor Ferries – without them it would not be possible.”

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