Unless you’ve been living in a deep, dark cave… You may have noticed that there is a lot of cool stuff going on out there. So, we thought it was high-time we started rounding up some of our faves each Friday. Every month, we’ll be choosing a theme that fits with the Osprey lifestyle. Since we’ve hit the ground running into 2011, we figured there was no better theme than “taking a leap”. So all month we’ll be highlighting people, organizations that are going for it — leaping, diving and running as fast as they can to live this life . Welcome to the Osprey Friday Round-Up!
Just a few months ago, our good friend Sara Close changed course and not in a small way. She said goodbye to friends and co-workers at Leave No Trace in landlocked Boulder, Colo. and got on a boat. In South Africa. When was the last time you took that kind of leap?
A firm believer that we all live in a little world with big stories to tell, Sara is continually seeking ways to expose the interconnectedness of the individual, the organization, and ultimately, the environment in which both exist. More than just about anything else, Sara believes in the potential for an individual to affect change in the world around them. And that’s exactly why she joined forces with 5Gyres. Their mission: conduct research and communicate about the global impact of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans and employ strategies to eliminate the accumulation of plastic pollution in the 5 subtropical gyres.
January 5th. Simon, Sarah, Megan and I are lined up on the starboard side of the boat, seated and slightly gangly-oriented over a load of sheets and lines, slack-jawed and staring at the sunset of our lives. Bright hues of magenta and orange reflect like an oil slick and run toward where we sit on the boat, refracted by the shadows of 100 seabirds fishing for delicacies in the evening light. It’s ocean for as far as we can see.
“You know, it’s funny,” Megan says, “that we’re sitting here staring out at the ocean when it’s all we’re going to see for the next 30 days.”
Insert irony, of the scene 180 degrees behind us – a mix of shipping containers, barges, oilrigs and merchant buildings. The exhaust from smoke stacks lining the harbour rises in to the sky and mingles with the approaching night. Smaller yachts and boats at anchor bob up and down in the harbour of Walvis Bay, Namibia. Slightly pink like alpenglow in the Rockies, dunes of the Kalahari Desert loom with authority behind the city.
Translation: it’s the last sight of land we’ll have for quite some time, and yet none of us can tear ourselves away from looking out over the endless ocean, brilliant sunset, and the impending adventure.
It’s really emotional, and I struggle in the moment to find words to adequately capture what I’m feeling… why I’m so excited to go see something so tragic… why I’d like to live on a boat for a month when I’m claustrophobic… and etcetera on with the how’s and why’s and I wonders. So far, I’ve just got Polaroid moments of feeling coming through – inspriation, creativity, exhilaration, discovery, humanity, cleansing, collecting.
In writing this post, I learned that changing course quickly and drastically in sailing terms is a “jibe”. So, we’d like to give Ms. Close a resounding “Jibe-Ho!” from the Osprey family. Happy Friday! Get out there and take a leap!
“More than two-thirds of our planet is ocean, yet we have protected five times more land. It’s time to give our oceans a break.”
Chilean President Sebastián Piñera announced the creation of a 150,000 square kilometer no-take marine reserve around Sala y Gómez Island in the Pacific Ocean. This decision protects an area of biodiverse marine habitat larger than Montana, and most of it has never been explored.
Sala y Gómez is an uninhabited island off Chile’s coast that Dr. Enric Sala, marine ecologist and National Geographic Ocean Fellow, called “one of the last undisturbed and relatively pristine places left in the ocean.”…
Chile has a vast coastline, yet before this decision, only .03 percent of its marine resources were protected. In one day, that percentage leapt to 4.41 percent. Less than 2 percent of the global ocean is protected, although the Parties of the UN Convention on Biological Diversity — including Chile — agreed to protect 10 percent of their exclusive economic zones by 2012. Meanwhile, 10 percent of the world’s land mass is already protected.
That math doesn’t add up — more than two-thirds of our planet is ocean, yet we have protected five times more land. It’s time to give our oceans a break.
Turns out I was fine. This decision was made at about 9:00am.
Several hours earlier, however, as I leaned over the balcony in a lineup of seven brow-furrowed, defiantly complacent divers staring out to the choppy, gray Indian Ocean, that fact didn’t seem so certain.
Moments earlier, I had abruptly awoke, ripped my board shorts and bathing suit out of my ReSource bag, and scurried barefoot to the Dive Center like a little kid late for the first day of school.
Left, right, left, (wobble) right… My body felt the lack of the previous nights’ sleep as it creaked in to motion, and my feet pounding the sand became cadence for the morning’s mantra: Oh. Please. Oh. Please. Oh. Please.
If I’d known what ocean conditions to “will” into being, I would have. But, having dove just four times in a lake with no current, no visibility and no surf, I didn’t really know what to ask the Ocean Gods for. Just a chance to dive.
More than 900 miles.
That’s how far Snake River salmon swim to reach their spawning grounds. Not only that, they climb 7,000 feet in elevation too. All to return home and continue the cycle of life, a process that’s imperative given their classification as an endangered species.
But because the federal government has refused to take the steps necessary to ensure their protection, those 900 miles are a never-ending fight for survival.
Later this fall, in conjunction with EP, Save Our Wild Salmon will be releasing a film that follows the journey of the critically endangered Snake River salmon, as these fish who migrate farther inland and higher than any other fish on Earth, making their way from the waters of southeast Alaska to the cold, wild rivers of Idaho’s Sawtooth Valley.
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