Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Tools for Life

I have become a bit of a mini-activist.  I'm not sure where it started, or how.  I've been searching for a charity that I really wanted to donate to for years, not really finding what I was looking for - not sure what I was looking for.  I think I saw a show on the Documentary Channel about the Sea Shepherd and their struggles in Taiji, Japan.  I'm not going to go into details, it's ugly and you should decide for yourself if you want to see what happens in our world.  I have my own personal email campaign.  The Sea Shepherd also practices passive aggression - I like that, they are an ever presence in Taiji, Japan but they never cross "the line".  You might have heard of the television series "Whale Wars" - that's The Sea Shepherd.  The head honcho is Paul Watson and he's a Canadian!

Recently one of the girls who has spent the past couple of month in Taiji, Japan documenting the tragedy that goes on there posted a picture on her blog.  Taiji is beautiful - breathtakingly beautiful.  Her picture was of a flat calm sea, with little ripples of wind sweeping across the water.  Normally I love weather like that, with flat water, a hint of a breeze that would make me smile, make me dream of those perfect sailing days.  Quietly ghosting along at 3-4 knots, just the sound of the boat pushing the water out of her way.  The sun shimmering off the occasional wave, the peace.  However, in this photo are 5 fishing boats, driving a large pod of striped dolphins into the Killing Cove.

Next time I'm on the water, when the water is flat, the light breeze blowing across my skin, the sun keeping me warm, giving our planet the tools for life, I will also remember the ugliness of that picture sent from Taiji and what that perfect day can turn into.  How we struggle to feed too many people with not enough to go around.

I wouldn't normally post this type of blog but I feel, as humans, we need to be aware of what we take from our planet, how poorly we treat the earth.

In 2001 Paul and I visited my dad and stepmom, Sue in Trinidad, they had spent a year sailing from Ontario to Port-of-Spain and were waiting out the hurricane season.  On our last day in Trinidad, we cleaned up the boat, Lady Simcoe, cast off the mooring ball and set sail to a little deserted island called Chacachacare, which is part of the Boca Islands in Trinidad and Tobago.  That is another story, very intriguing, very interesting.

On our trip back - it was one of those cloudless days, hot, no wind with the ocean like a mirror the never ending swell and the sounds of the infinite waves lapping up the island cliffs, broken only by the far off sound of a fishing boat's motor - we stumbled upon a large pod of dolphins.  I don't know how many there were but I do remember seeing them playing off in the distance.  We motored over and played with them for about an hour.  It was amazing to see them swim sideways along side the bow of Lady Simcoe.  They would look up you with knowledge, curiosity and playfulness. They knew what we were, they knew we were playing, knew we were laughing with them, having as much fun as they were.  It was probably one of the most enlightening experiences of my life

Maybe that's why I believe in what the Sea Shepherd and Captain Paul Watson stand for.  Without our oceans we are nothing.  Dead oceans will equal the demise of all life, after all, if you are a fan of Darwin, life evolved from the oceans.  Even if you don't believe in Darwinism, all life depends on the oceans.  

Currently, the oceans and ocean life are on a steep decline.  I hope one day to sail off somewhere on the ocean and I hope that there are dolphins and whales and dorados and flying fish and jelly fish to see in the wild, as they are meant to be, not in a zoo or an aquarium or at a place like Marineland.  I hope one day, my love of sailing and the water and open spaces and my zest for living that my dad instilled in me allows me to travel the planet to see the real world and the wild world.  I hope some day that my love of the natural world and the respect for life and our enviornment that my mom instilled in me will allow me to give back to the earth and help preserve it for everyone and everything that relies on our planet for life.

Please keep giving to your charity of choice but please don't forget to take care of the world we live in.


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