I have a confession to make. I do not love the sea. Admire and respect it – yes, as you might admire a strict and unforgiving teacher – but love it, no.
Before I rowed the Atlantic I had romantic notions of the ocean as the last great wilderness, where sea creatures played and humans enacted heroic tales of courage and derring-do. And no doubt, for some people, the ocean is indeed like that.
But my experiences have been rather different. Today, as so often on the Atlantic, the sea has soaked me, chilled me, pushed me around and generally behaved rather badly.
So why are you rowing across oceans to help save them, then? you might be wondering. Surely you must care?
Yes, I absolutely DO care – passionately. Although I do not love the oceans, I emphatically believe that we have to look after them. On this planet of ours, big though it may seem, everything is connected. We cannot have dead or dying oceans and hope to have healthy life on land.
So maybe there is something selfish in my mission to help preserve the oceans – I see marine conservation as essential for the future of the planet, and for the continued existence of the human race. It is a logical and pragmatic reason rather than a sentimental one – and if that offends anybody, then I make no apologies, because I think my reasons are just as valid, and the end result is the same – doing what I can to help preserve the oceans, and every other part of the planet that may be affected by my actions too.
But it does make me smile wryly, on a day like today when the waves have knocked me off my seat more than once and almost swept me out of the boat and into the sea (yes, Mum, I WAS wearing my safety harness) – when it comes to preservation of the Sea versus preservation of the Me, I need to make sure I do both!