Thursday, September 2, 2010
SEASHEPHERDS' STEVE IRWIN
To whom it concerns
I arrived in Barcelona 4 months ago with my car, some important stuff and my dog. I was so lucky as to find a warm home. A loving friend called Buzz took me in (straycat that I was)
Emiliano and Fernando completed the household, 2 incredibly talented and enchanting Argentinian men. The four of us shared this summer. Lots of things happened, some good some a little more challenging. Most of it was amazing though. I found what I was looking for, peace, friendship, fun and sun. I was turning into a dying flower back home. But here in Barcelona, with these people, I found the right soil and perfect amount of fotons to grow again. I feel strong and beautiful now. I feel centered in my element. I am once again the Catherine that I want to be.
But chapters have an ending and it was time to move on. I probably set that in motion a couple of weeks ago. I went through a challenging time, matters concerning the heart. I had to sit still and observe my interior landscape. I had to be kind to myself. Let me feel what I needed to feel. Disempower this overwhelming pain. I had to accept the seasons of my heart, just as I have to accept the seasons of the earth. I watched it become winter in my heart, and then spring and then summer.... I lived ... I learnt. I am better than I was now. I give thanks that I was given this lesson.
A boat showed up here in the port. A big, strong black boat with a pirateflag. They call it the STEVE IRWIN, after the crazy enthousiastic Australian that loved crocodiles so much he tried to hug them all the time. He showed the world that we are all connected. That we need eachother to sustain the balance of life. Without sealife we die also. Without forests the world will be no longer.
The boat belongs to an organisation called SEASHEPHERD. The founder is Captain Paul Watson, his fellow founder was Robert Hunter, who died in 2005. They were the founders of GREEPEACE, but after a dispute over the methods used to stop illegal slaughter of seamammals they decided to break free and form their own organisation.
They are an ocean conservation group. They go to Antartica to stop the illegal slaugher of whales, they cut open net here in the mediterannean to set free Tunafish that were caught illegaly. They film the greatest massacre of seamammals on earth; the yearly returning killing of hundreds of thousands of baby seals in Canada. And they try to put an end to 'finning', the removal of the fins of shark when they are still alive to then throw them back in the ocean for them to sink to the bottom and die a slow and painfull death.
The methods they use are controversial but effective. If you want to know more about this go to www.seashepherd.com
I went to the boat about a week ago and applied. Well I just walked on basically and started to work. One week later, exactly one week before leaving for Australia I was told that I could come along.
So here I go, we leave on the 4th of September 2010. We will pass Sicily, Malta, Greece and then on the the Suezcanal. We pay 24000€ to just pass the damn thing. Then we will find ourselves in the Red Sea with all its scaryness of pirates and all. When we get out the other end of the Red Sea we will be in open waters. The great Indian Ocean. We pass India south, Sri Lanka too. Then on to Indonesia. Paradise ... We stop in Palau for a week. The waters of Palau have recently been declared Shark sanctuary which means as much as: no more fishing can be done. Ofcourse we find that a good thing. Then on to Fremantle, Australia (WA) just under Perth.
If all goes well and I am still on the boat, I will join them on their Arctic campagn. We go to Tasmania to prepare and then to Antartica to fight the illegal Japanese fleet of whalers. Whaling season is from december till end february/beginning of march.
Apart from the coming 45 days at sea without seeing land, I have no idea what my life in the coming months will look like... Am I gonna see a kanguru? Am I gonna travel? Am I gonna stay or go? Will I be able to go and see my family in New Zealand? I have absolutely no idea. I take it as it comes. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am taking it with both hands. I want to fight this injustice, this is the way. I feel it. This is my way, it fits with how I am.
My dad arrived yesterday by plane and will take the love of my life home, my doggy Luna. I will miss her more than anything and sometimes I don't know if what I am doing is correct. But I know that she will go to a home that is equally as loving, caring and good for her than the one I provide. The incredibly beautiful Wendy, a friend for life. We are connected forever. She was my friend when nobody else was. I love you very much and I am humble in your presence.
Fernando, my flatmate for 4 months. I have grown to love you deeply. We have been through enough to connect us on a profound level. You are my friend but I am also still deeply in love with you. I hold what we have in the palm of my hand and look at it with awe. You taught me to relax, to love in an open way, without judgement or resentment. And you taught me also how to trust. I don't want to think about our moment of separation. For now I am happy that you are still with me and you are the first thing I see when I open my eyes in the morning. Have faith my love, life always has a way of working things out.
I will be at sea for 45 days without any way of contact. No phones, no internet (for personal use). Just open sea, dolphins, turtles, 21 commited crewmembers. Silence ...
To all of you: each of you have a purpose to fulfill, in this world and towards the people around you. We are all drops of water, together we can form a watervall, an ocean.
Be well, live, breathe, dance, sing. Life is too short not to.
Catherine, 2 september 2010