First and foremost, it’s the challenge. It’s the ability to push ourselves, find out what our limits are and then set new ones; already we have been to breaking point during preparation more times than we can count, and every time we have come back stronger and able to take on more. Knowing what we are capable of means we can achieve more than we ever thought possible.
It’s also a chance to gain a bit of perspective, to appreciate what we already have in life. It’s so easy to bumble along, getting the tube to work and going home for dinner, maybe a quick session at the gym on the way through (or maybe not), that we rarely look around at what we have. It’s rare to stop and be grateful for what we have that so many do not; hot running water, a regular income, friends and family around us.
This race in particular appealed because we’ll be rowing through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch; a mass of plastic and marine debris 5x the size of North Korea. It’s a soup of broken down plastics that are working their way into our food chain, through the fish we eat and our tap water. Shockingly, 72% of British tap water has been found to contain micro-plastics; and that was the lowest level of contamination found in the global study.
By rowing across the Pacific we’ll bring a human story to plastic pollution and climate change, showing the real impact of that morning coffee or lunchtime sandwich. We’ll meet the wildlife directly affected by our actions and take scientific data along the way, addressing the impact our actions have at both moral and scientific levels.
We hope to be the drop in the ocean that makes a ripple of environmental change.