Today is World Oceans Day and a good time to reflect on and appreciate the environment we enjoy
It’s World Oceans Day today and in view of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill a good one to appreciate how lucky we are to be able to enjoy the purity of the sea as we are sailing.
I was sent this diary about the subject by Jo Royle (below), the skipper and project manager of the recyclable catamaran Plastiki, which is sailing in Western Samoa. Thanks, Jo, for reminding us not to take the sea for granted.
‘The sea is everything. It covers seven tenths of the terrestrial globe. Its breath is pure and healthy. It is an immense desert, where man is never lonely, for he feels life stirring on all sides’
‘That is from Jules Verne’s, Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.
‘I think most of us feel an emotional tie to the oceans. Most of us breathe a sigh of relief or relaxation as soon as we set eyes upon the deep blue wilderness, the feeling of coming home.
‘My childhood memories are filled with seaside scenes, from being bundled into a carry cot and on and off various little boats; our first sailing experiences; the first time I got tumbled by a wave to what felt like near death, only to stand up ankle-deep in water.
‘I set off on the path of wanting to master the ocean, be the knowledgeable seaman (girl), soon to realise that a life time of learning will not even scratch the surface.
‘It continues to amaze me how little we know about the ocean, how little we know about how the ocean came to be, or the life stories of whales and dolphins. It also scares me to realise how little we know about the damage we are unconsciously and consciously causing to the ocean. I learn new things every day, for example the affects of the toxicity of one-use plastic in our ocean.
‘The main lesson the ocean and life as a sailor has taught me is that we must be responsive the changing environment.
‘The health of our oceans is directly linked to our health and the health of future generations. The ocean regulates the planets temperatures by absorbing a vast majority of the CO2 we continue to pump into the atmosphere, whilst at the same time providing us with more than half of the air we breath.
‘These facts alone make the ocean our umbilical cord to life. We can then talk about the hundreds of millions of jobs that are associated with the ocean; the fact that over 1 billion people, mainly very poor, relay on fish as their main source of protein; or simply the enjoyment we gain from being by or on the sea.
‘No matter where we live we are all connected to the ocean, yet sometimes in our hectic lives we can forget what is keeping us alive. Not everyone has the opportunity to spend time by or on the sea to be continually reminded of this connection. World Ocean Day highlights a day to keep the ocean at the forefront of our mind and actions, with a view to ensuring the future health of the planet.
‘This year’s World Ocean Day will sadly be remembered for the heart breaking devastation being cause by the Gulf Oil spill; it is certainly a time we need to be acting on reducing our oil consumption and re assessing drilling policies.’