It is almost time to board American Promise for our fourth season of cleanup, research and education and we have a spectacular group of interns from all over the country and from a variety of backgrounds and experiences.
This post kicks off our series of intern blog posts. It is an opportunity to, not just show off our excellent interns, but also share with you their personal stories of what motivates them to get dirty, sandy, salty and muddy to protect our ocean.
The first is from Emma Hayward who currently attends the Eugene Lang College at the New School for Liberal Arts in NYC and comes from Cape Cod...
During a forty day ocean crossing, you realize how many things you take for granted during your life on land. Cooking a meal on a flat, stationary stove, for instance, is something people never think twice about while engaging in a terrestrial lifestyle. Realizing how safe and simple my life on land truly was did not surprise me. What did surprise me, is what I came to take for granted about the ocean.
Earlier that day, my father had plotting our position on our chart. We knew we were still a few days off of San Diego, perhaps about a hundred miles out. He took the first watch that evening, and woke me for mine at eleven. I was still opening my eyes as I climbed up the companion-way and clipped in my harness. My father was sitting on deck, eyes straight ahead.
“Do you see that, Emma?” he asked, not taking his eyes off whatever he was looking at. Up ahead, very far off, was a significant glow on the horizon. It was light unlike any I had ever seen. Completely mystified I asked, “is it dawn?”
“No. It’s Los Angeles.”
This was the first time it hit me that our trip was going to end soon. For thirty plus days we had enjoyed the ocean largely to ourselves, yet here was a colossal society, just waiting for us at the end. I was angry. Who did this city this it was? Ruining my last few nights of star-gazing with its filthy light pollution. I suppose beautiful, starry skies were something I had come to take for granted.
Joining Rozalia Project became important to me that night on watch. I sat there for hours, sailing towards the blaring L.A. lights, wishing I could turn our boat around and sail right back out to sea. I knew then, that if only people were truly aware of the majesty of the ocean, they would change their ways and do what they could to help it. By combining research, clean-up, and education, Rozalia Project does its part to help people better understand the environmental issues in our oceans. I feel very honored to get to work towards this goal with Rozalia Project.