I am in the business of inspiring young people to be curious and ask questions, to get into nature and experience the small and big wonders of it, to make sense of how the planet works and how we interact with it, to seek and find solutions for the mess we’ve made of it, and to feel empowered. In short: I teach environmental science together with colleagues of diverse expertise at the University of Plymouth, and we like to think that we are making an important difference, however small.
In partnership with the charity Adventure under Sail, we’ve piloted an outreach initiative that makes a difference for teenagers: with ‘Sea the Future‘, we combine personal development through sail training with the exploration of nature through marine environmental science and simply being, now.
And nature rewarded us amply: a star-lit night, dolphins hunting, illuminated by bioluminescent dinoflagellates, they looked like ghosts in the water, leaving trails of silver as they swerved, leaped and dived. For some of the 20 teenagers, this was the first live encounter with dolphins, and for all of us it was special and unforgettable.
The week’s journey touched us in many ways and the direct experience of so much beauty (from tiny plankton to fish, birds and mammals) and so much evidence of our negative impact on the marine environment (from plastics and sewage to noise and over-fishing) inspired the young people to do more to protect the oceans…but that’s best heard in their own voices, summarised in Jamie’s video of our voyage by Shield Media Services.
And what better metaphor for the global community coming together to build a sustainable future, than working as a team on a ship, literally pulling on together on many ropes for one common purpose?
What we love, we are responsible to take care of !
Watch the video Jamie from Shield Media Service produced about this amazing adventure: