As sailors, we are intricately connected to nature. Life at, or close to the sea provides a deep and lasting respect for nature because we are directly dependent on it. But the truth is, we are all dependent on our ocean. The ocean is the heart of the planet. It produces more than half of the oxygen we breathe, regulates our climate and is home to magnificent wildlife on earth. It gives us food, jobs, life, and joy. Without it, we cannot survive. It gives us everything and we are taking it out of balance as if we were the last generation on earth.
I am responsible for this. And you are too. I have ‘thrown away’ dozens of things in my life. But now I have learned, there is no ‘away.’ Every piece of plastic ever made is still out there in some form. I have eaten fish not knowing they are on the verge of extinction. We’re consuming and producing in ways that cannot be absorbed by nature. I have been ignorant. But not anymore. My ocean explorations have taught me about the magnitude of the challenges our ocean is facing and how urgently we need to fact them.
Climate change, overfishing, plastic pollution, and biodiversity change are threatening the sustainability of the ocean and Caribbean destinations. Development options are limited and with the already present and projected increase in extreme natural events, the islands only become more vulnerable. The Caribbean islands are on the frontline of dependency on the ocean and vulnerability to climate stressors and events. The good news, we all have the power within us to contribute to change for the good. Awareness is key but action is mandatory. We are all responsible for depleting life in the ocean and together we have a responsibility to bring it back to life.
We have to educate ourselves. Ask questions. Be curious. Choose wisely. Our greatest and most exciting individual power is the power of choice. To a large extent, we can choose what to eat, drink, wear, believe, say, do, create, and buy. Each choice comes with consequences, good or bad. We have to do our best with whatever choice we make to make it a good one for us and the ocean. Our choices help to plot new routes. Here’s my new route: the build of the next Carriacou sloop, to keep traditional skills and the ocean alive!
Watch the trailer of Vanishing Sail to learn what it’s all about!
Follow the journey on Ocean Nomad TV