What the Ocean means to me. #WorldOceanDay

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In light of World Oceans Day, I was asked by Helen Lockhart, Communications & Sustainability Manager at Cape Town’s Two Ocean’s Aquarium about my relationship with the ocean. She posed these questions below.

How do you spend time in the ocean? 

My ocean time is divided between long walks with my dogs on the beach in Bloubergstrand, and the many places that I get to experience as a travel writer, which creates opportunities for me to swim, snorkel and scuba dive in the waters of Italy, Thailand, Mozambique, Madagascar, Kenya and beyond. My favourite is snorkelling and free-diving, as I feel closer to the waters without the ‘barrier’ of tanks.

What emotion do you feel while spending time in the ocean? 

When near, in or on the ocean I feel a sense of belonging. A reminder of what matters and a great desire to do all that I can to help protect it and all the life that it holds.

Which is your favourite place in/on or next to the ocean e.g. your favourite dive site, your favourite surf spot, your favourite kayaking spot, your favourite fishing spot etc? 

I love Pringle Bay and head there as often as I can for long walks on the beach, braving the cold Cape waters for swims too. But beyond that, a place that holds my heart is Tsarabanjina island off Nosy Be, Madagascar. I have never seen such pristine waters with excellent visibility and snorkelling, an abundance of fish and relaxed turtles for company while diving. I hope that the area will always be this way.

What was your earliest memory of the ocean? 

Growing up in the Free State, my earliest memory of the ocean is as a child on family holidays in and around Durban, spending all day building sand castles with my Dad and brothers dispersed with hours in the warm waters catching waves. Sun-tanned and happy.

What one action do you take to ensure the future well-being of our ocean? 

Much of my life is spent as a self-proclaimed ocean activist and I do my best to spread the word about the plight of ocean and how we can each work to make a difference. Over and above that I don’t eat meat or fish, pick up litter, don’t use straws, try to avoid plastic bags and bottled water and use eco-friendly cleaning and beauty products. I support initiatives such as SANCCOB and turtle rescue centres, and through my Airbnb Ocean Advocate experience introduce others to the invaluable work being done to protect our oceans.

On a Dhow off Mozambique’s Medjumbe Island.
With my dog Tuscan Storm on the beach in Bloubergstrand, which is home.
Snorkelling off Madagascar’s Tsarabanjina island.
Sheer happiness as I walk on a strip of land that joins two tiny islands of Nosy Be, Madagascar while sailing the season Maki Cat.

Read the full story here: For the love of the Ocean.

I encourage you to subscribe to the Two Oceans Aquarium’s incredibly informative blog and to book a behind-the-scenes tour on your next visit for more insight into the conservation work that they do there. More here: https://www.aquarium.co.za. Thank you for including me in this questionnaire.

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