After only about a year of cruising, I was introduced to the idea of BCS – or – bored cruiser syndrome.
Yes, apparently this exists. Sailors get bored?! Evidently, aside from a few variations in color, the horizon tends to look the same no matter what day of the passage it is. This in fact may be the reason that the average length people go cruising is about two years. After that they sell the boat, and find a new adventure.
But, instead of looking at BCS as a bad thing, why not use it as an indication that it is time for something new! People grow and change, and should move on to different adventures as time moves forward. I don’t think I could ever get bored. Too much to do, to explore! That is why I was surprised when I learned of BCS.
My focus has become less on sailing and more on the ocean. Seems like a contradictory proposition, doesn’t it? Well, since Ben and I have joined forces we want to spend more of our energy finding ways to show care and concern for the ocean. After all, the ocean provides us with joy, a place of work, and – yes – even a place to fall in love. So we must give back!
Blue & Blue
Next month we are headed to Washington DC for the Blue Mind and Blue Vision Summit to join hundreds of other ocean advocates for a few days of learning, collaboration, and a visit to capitol hill. My father warned me to never get into politics – but I can’t turn down the opportunity to meet with Administration and Congress and tell them why protecting the ocean should be a priority.
Sailing solo was such an enriching experience. Owning my own boat, maintaining it, and sailing extended solo, offshore passages have been very important sailing experiences. But, when Ben and I went looking for icebergs, we found that inquiry is a far greater adventure. So, now every passage we take has a focus other than the destination.
Last winter we sailed from Panama to Maine and collected samples for a micro-plastic study. In the spring Ben sailed on American Promise with Rozalia Project to document the damage on Cashes Ledge from extensive bottom trawling. An enriching experience like that makes the sailing journey far more valuable. This fall we will be doing ocean acidification research. With all this learning, we can’t help but get passionate about DOING something.
What can we do? Well—Ben and I became vegetarians, which is one of the greatest things an individual can easily do for the environment. After a short transition, your taste buds change and you no longer feel like you are missing out. Now we know there are healthy ways to get all the nutrients and protein the human body needs without needing animal protein. Being vegetarian is better for your pocketbook too. Whoever said eating healthy is expensive is only looking in the organic meat section! Ben and I also took a pledge to reduce our single-use plastics. Namely- we have stopped purchasing all drinks that come in plastic containers – milk, soda, water, etc. If it isn’t in glass, we don’t buy it. Again, this also has added benefits for our health and pocketbook! After that became a routine part of our lifestyle, we gave up individually wrapped snacks. Even Dory the cat is on board. Rachel from Rozallia Project encouraged us to find a cat food that doesn’t contain fish oil.
Now we are looking for the next step and we would love to hear your ideas:
What can we do in our daily lives
to reduce our negative impact on the ocean?
Share your ideas in the comments below and together, with small changes, we can all make a huge difference!
In the meantime – onward we go – to our nation’s capitol for the Blue Mind and Blue Vision Summit! We don’t have BCS! It is exciting to learn about the ocean and take small steps to protect it.
Will you be there?
And here’s a video of Teresa at Pecha Kucha talking about our trip to Armila Panama where there is no word for nature…. because having a word for nature implies a separation between man and nature. It’s a fascinating concept, have a watch!