You live on Maui. How have you seen the ocean changing, for good and bad?
The ocean is powerful…it’s terrifying and yet beautiful. I love it deeply. I’m an aquaholic. I love surfing, kite surfing, free-diving, paddle boarding…I’d grow barnacles if I could.
In 2010, I was lucky enough to be crew on my friend David de Rothschild’s boat, the Plastiki. It was a 60-foot catamaran made out of recycled plastic and it had 10,000 2-liter plastic bottles in its hulls. Plastiki was sailed from San Francisco to Sydney. This translated into spending a lot of time crossing the Pacific at a very slow speed (~3 knots). That was seven years ago. And the most alarming part about that trip was just how little we saw. The ocean is a desert compared to what it used to be.
In Maui, it feels a bit different. The turtles have come back. I see them every time I’m surfing or snorkeling. The humpback whales too. But in general, the ocean is in big trouble. There was a time when the ocean was so massive in comparison to humanity. But that’s not the case anymore. There is a tipping point for everything and we’ve reached that tipping point. Luckily, there are a lot of brilliant minds working on the future of our oceans today. So hopefully, we’ll be smart enough to turn it around.