We all know the answers to these questions. For us out there, money is just a way to continue eating while we sail further (and maintain our boat). So what really makes your boat float and your sail fill? Everything around us is the answer, our next port of call, our current weather forecast, the whales cruising along your ship and the sky melting with the sea endlessly filling us with peace.
The places we go, we like to imagine them untouched, uncharted, wild and full of mysteries, a plethora of opportunities for adventures and discovery.
There is so much beauty in this world that its is hard to grasp a significant amount of it, to cultivate it, to retain it.
Yet, for those who have sailed long enough and can actually observe around them further that monotonous berth of marinas, we know our beautiful world is in danger.
There isn’t a third of the amount of fish there used to be on the Queensland coast anymore, big schools of tuna and bait are now a rare event. Seabird life is declining by the eye. Gannets, terns, albatrosses, shearwaters are getting a full diet of plastic and they are only a couple of generations away to go extinct.
Pretty good video here on the topic if you don’t believe me:
Has anyone ever wondered where all the pelicans have gone? There are only a handful now in places where it used to be hundreds. And the seagulls? Even them, super tough birds living near the city are all disappearing at an scary rate. Count them next time and let me know if you see more than a hundred.
Look around you in Moreton bay, no more flatheads, breams are only living in marinas (it’s a wonder how they survive given the amount of anti-fouling they must be eating… ), let’s not even talk about the biodiversity present in the pond.
Have you been to the sandhills much? Do you remember when the visibility was about 5 m? I do. It was only 5 years ago!!! Now we are lucky if we see further than 2m. Murky waters have filled the bay coming from the Brisbane river, the dredging for marinas and shipping channels. The sandflats in the sandhills are being quickly turns into mudflat as the silt settles and smothers everything.
Do you know what is that bright green fuzzy algae growing on the mangroves roots? Phospshate contamination. It sucks out all the oxygen out of the water and it’s caused by the products in your detergents, laundry products and all. So if you’re not aware of this, I implore you to switch to readily biodegradable solutions or not use anything at all. I know, it’s more expensive but a little bit goes a long way. Also, in the long term, you might be doing a favor to your stomach lining.
Nevertheless, 80 m3 of blue green algae were removed from Beachmere just in march this year. No need to incriminate the yachties, the city can’t possibly filtrate all the suds out of the water. Do you know where it goes when there is a storm and overflows? Yeah, right into the sea.
We also notice that most of the little mangroves creeks in Brisbane stink of detergent and laundry product on sunday night aroun 10-11pm. Coincidence? I bet not.
People on boats are on the fringe of the city. We see what others do not. We have eyes and noses more accurate that scientific studies rigged up in favor of lobbies. We read weather maps and see the rapid degradation of the weather patterns.
What to do then? Sit back and have a few more mojitos? Complain about it and hoist our sails to the next port of coal? (pun intended)
We have to be realistic. Our way of life is in direct danger. more storms, more violent weather events, more unpredictability directly put us in the fire line.
Less fish, less food.
Less birds, less inspiration and wonder.
The climate crisis is here and we are in the midst of it. We will be blown like straws in the wind.
Even the cane fields are in danger… no more rum?
So we could step off our boats for a little while, our beautiful sleek cocoons and state our fear and despair. We could join up with land people in the action that is needed; so the sunsets are never smoky with bushfires. We could tell our story high and loud as direct witnesses of the degradation of our beautiful natural word.
Our very own lives are at stake, literally, as the risks of going at sea are getting greater everyday, waves are getting higher and wind shifts are more sudden. Piracy is on the rise in areas of the world previously safe. This is due to lack of resources, food, destruction of crops and eventually famine and war.
No need to talk about insurances here. They have done the math before the situation gets out of control. Many of you would have seen your premiums skyrocketing and further limitations on seasons restricted areas due to cyclones.
We could use our boats as ambassadors to spread the message. Demonstrate that people at sea have rights too. We are resourceful, as sailors, we can do things, get work done, work in teams and use a certain sense of practicality.
We also love to see ourselves as pirates. Apart for the orgiastic stuff practiced at shaggers, being a pirate is more than an eye patch and a few arghh, it’s a way of life, a set of values . It’s being able to act for freedom above all and disobey unjust laws; abide by moral standards aiming at safety, responsibility and liberty. May I remind you that living on your boat is actually illegal in various states in Australia and places? Laws from the land often don’t apply much on us as they can’t be enforced as long as we stay under the radar.
Then, drop the fake eye-patch, wooden leg and plush parrot. Stand for your rights and those of the sea including all creatures living in it. There are many ways you can help and be involved. From supporting the Australian Marine Conservation Foundation to going at rallies with the different climate movements. We need to save ourselves, step off our boats or use them for greater effect.
It’s never too late to fight for what is ours, our future, the one of our children, our grand children, our planet, our oceans. Join the Rebellion. Be a Real Pirate.