22 36.10 N

42 05.69 W

Happy Thanksgiving America!

We celebrated this holiday with three of our American shipmates – Diana, Shanley & Jenna. For many, it was their first Thanksgiving and although there was no turkey or “tofurkey” in sight, the occasion was complete with pancakes and the last of our fresh fruit (Eek!). The day ended with a bright moon on the water and each of us sharing what we are grateful for. Reflections on our current journey as well as tributes to family and friends were recurring themes. Also, our gratefulness to each other for creating an environment of support, caring and harmony in our floating shelter, very far from home.

But wait! We are getting ahead of ourselves here. Due to continued conditions at sea making trawling impossible – we were able to have two talks today instead of one. So, in our ‘hour of science’ we heard from our resident aquatic toxicologist, Diana, about her amazing career pushing boundaries and exploring endocrine disrupters in fish habitats throughout the US. Her typically infectious smile and laugh ebbed as we discussed the seriousness of the situation. However, her passion and energy for action was inspiring to us all, emphasising that we must adopt a whole system view to combat the problem – not just focus on the impacts that humans alone will experience.

Diana on her work and aspirations for the voyage…

The focus on animals continued in our evening talk, given by one of our artists in residence, Laura. She spoke of an animal that changed her life – Waora – a puma saved from the Bolivian black market that she has helped to rehabilitate in an animal refuge over the past 8 years. Laura returned from her initial time with Waora to a very different England from the one she’d left. She found herself changed and with a new passion to share her experience of connecting with nature through art. She created an amazing gallery space in Brighton, establishing a charity – ONCA – and has since worked with over 1,000 artists to explore our multifaceted and complex relationship with the world around us.

Laura on art, creativity and environmental change…

It was after this that we gave our thanks, and she finished the evening with a quote from Keri Hulme’s ‘The Bone People’. It is incredible, that one quote can encapsulate so much of how we feel about what we are doing here, in the middle of the Ocean:

They were nothing more than people, by themselves. Even paired, any pairing, they would have been nothing more than people by themselves. But all together, they have become the heart and muscles and mind of something perilous and new, something strange and growing and great.

Together, all together, they are the instruments of change.