Have found a few minutes between appointments in San Francisco to post a swift update before I disappear off to Burning Man. I am being told that the Burn experience will change my life. I thought I’d changed it quite a lot already, and I like it as it is right now, so I’m not sure how much this would be a good thing. But I am going in with an open mind – although not so open that my brains fall out.
I rounded off my time in Bolinas with a talk at the school there. The students were a fantastic audience. When I asked them what they wanted to be when they grew up, we had an aspiring author, a marine biologist, and a boy who wanted to study otters. I went on to say that when I was little, I’d wanted to have a big adventure, and it took me a long time to figure out that a big bushy beard is NOT a prerequisite for being an adventurer.
Over the weekend I was in Monterey for the Blue Ocean Film Festival – a wonderful opportunity to catch up with Mission Blue TEDsters such as Jean-Michel Cousteau and his daughter Celine, and Dr Sylvia Earle, as well as many other movers and shakers from the marine community. I thoroughly enjoyed the one film I managed to see between networking events – 180 Degrees South, featuring some classic lines from the say-it-as-he-sees-it founder of Patagonia Clothing, Yvon Chouinard. Also some gorgeous cinematography. Recommended.
I was delighted that the prize for “Best in Festival” went to Michelle Hill and “Bag It“, a film about the perils of the plastic bag. Great to see that this issue is getting the exposure it needs. Myself, I was a proud recipient of a blue marble, for random acts of ocean kindness – for the significance of this, see the Blue Marbles website.
On Sunday I gave a brunch presentation in Portola Valley, an informal start to my speaking tour, and a great chance to catch up with friends old and new – and to do a short training ride with the other member of “Team Roz” in the California Climate Ride, Angela Hey. Thanks to Angela for hosting a wonderful event (and the super-healthy yummy salads!) at short notice, and to everyone who came – particularly all those who contributed to the Indian Ocean fund.
Yesterday I went for a hike on Bradford Island, an ecologically sensitive area an hour’s drive and a ferry ride east of San Francisco. Paul Valva organised the day – many thanks to him for the guided tour, and the explanation of the vulnerabilities of the area. The special guest of the day was Cynthia Ong, who I met for the first time when I was campaigning with her in
Malaysia against the opening of a coal-powered electricity plant. It is one of the perks of my “job” that I get to meet some particularly inspiring and impressive people – and Cynthia of LEAP is high on that list, so it was great to see her again, and continue our discussion about saving the world. Hey, it’s a tough job, but someone has to do it! 🙂
Tonight I leave for Burning Man. My justification to myself for taking 4 precious days away from writing my book and preparing for my speaking tour is that I think I can learn a lot at Burning Man. As well as looking forward to the outpouring of art and creativity, I’m fascinated to see how this temporary, money-less, self-regulating community functions.
Oops, have to run. I have an appointment. Even (or especially) ocean rowers have to go to the dentist sometimes!
I will be taking my satphone to Burning Man so I can tweet. I will let you know how it goes!
PS Update for Event at San Diego October 7th – URL for the event: hors/