Giving something back

I certainly consider myself to be lucky to have been born in the United Kingdom, to have been given a good education, and to have had the opportunity to learn to sail. Of course I’d like to believe that I work hard, but no-one imagines himself as lazy and like everyone, I can be caught wasting an evening watching rubbish, achieving very little. So without doubt, I’m in a privileged position to simply contemplate sailing around the world.

Living reasonably abstemiously over the past few years has allowed me to save up a ‘sailing kitty’ that I hope will will last the journey and having been encouraged into the property market earlier on in life I was able to buy Coralee last year (thank you Rob for ‘going halves’ on the cottage – I’d never have got around to it without you). To dream about taking time out of a working career to sail around the world, let alone to do it, is something that I’m hugely thankful for. So, failing to use this trip to support worthwhile causes would seem selfish and a missed chance.

“We are responsible for the world in which we find ourselves, if only because we are the only sentient force which can change it.”
James Baldwin

I have a passion for the environment and to support a marine conservation charity with a global footprint seems poignant given my endeavour; while coming from a military background makes me keen to help ex-servicemen who have been left with physical or mental scars after a career serving their country.

For the past year I have been in discussions with two charities that I really value and I’m hugely happy to announce that after many cups of tea, both Blue Marine Foundation (BLUE) and Turn to Starboard have agreed to affiliate with me on this exciting journey. I hope to raise a lot of awareness and even more money for these two excellent charities as I go.

“We believe there is something immeasurable about seeing the world from the sea. Sailing promotes a can-do attitude, a sense of well-being and camaraderie amongst all who participate.”
Sqd Ldr (Retd) Shaun Pascoe (founder of Turn to Starboard)

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I have talked about Turn to Starboard before and I’m thrilled to be able to take this opportunity to raise awareness and funds for this small yet hugely effective charity. Back in 2015, CEO Shaun Pascoe offered me the chance to take ex HM Forces servicemen to sea, employing sailing as rehabilitation. The openness, freedom and trust that Shaun showed me was wonderful and offered me a new insight into sailing. To sail with such wonderful beneficiaries was humbling and I’m pleased to support this charity as it continues to give those affected mentally or physically by service life the chance to start again.

“We desperately need more big solutions to the continuing crisis in the world’s oceans, and we need them developed and deployed urgently. That’s what BLUE exists to do.”
Jonathon Porritt, co-founder, Forum for the Future

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Blue Marine Foundation was set up by Charles Clover to protect the world’s oceans from overfishing and the damage that mankind is having on them. Over the past few years BLUE has been instrumental in establishing some of the world’s largest marine protected areas. BLUE has lobbied the British and other national governments to reduce the damage that we are doing to the oceans. The effect of mankind on the oceans has been disastrous, from the near extinction of bluefin tuna, to the bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef, and the dumping of huge amounts of plastic into the oceans, we have to stop destroying the great global ecology and thermal regulator that is the sea. BLUE is fundamental to preserving the ocean, so to raise awareness of their fight and generate financial support while sailing on the very oceans that they are protecting is poetic in its simplicity.

Fair winds,
John and Coralee