Hello, I'm Anne, I'm 23, and I'm from France. I'm here on the ship as an activist for the North Sea tour. I've been volunteering for Greenpeace for a few years now, although I have been supporting Greenpeace since I was a teenager. I've been lucky enough to get on the Esperanza two years and a half ago, then I sailed on the Warrior last summer. I'm also volunteering for the French office and in my local group, when I'm not working on some farms in south of France. I like Greenpeace because of its non violent direct actions, and because of all the nice people who are - still - making it. Save the cod!
Hi! My name's Sten and I'm an activist from Gothenburg, Sweden. Hmm? Sound like the beginning of a particularly boring school-essay? Well, anyway, I'm new onboard, I've been an activist for a couple of months and have never stayed onboard a ship before, so I guess I'm quite inexperienced. But I LIKE it; we're doing the right thing, the crew is a really nice collection of people, and the ship's beautiful (yes, you can say that!)
I'm going to stay onboard for the first two weeks of this tour and my tasks consist primarily of things connected to it; keeping contact with the Swedish activist-groups by e-mail, painting banners, floating around in a dry-suit with a sign etc. But then I do easy ship chores as well, if there's no campaign-stuff to be done at the moment. I think what we're doing is absolutely necessary! I thought so before I came here too, but now - after having read some more on the subject - I think I'm really beginning to realize how grave the situation is; and I'm scared! With the current progress the only thing, for our children to see, still swimming around in the sea, will be jellyfish. I really do wish it won't be that way, and as long as there are people fighting for something else, I have hope! So keep on fighting!!!
I’m the ship's marine biologist. I have studied biology in Denmark, with emphasis on marine biology end ecology. I have always wanted to work with conservation, and ocean has always been my main interest. I feel very fortunate to be on board the Arctic Sunrise (even though it gets me seasick) and to be a part of this campaign. Campaigns like the one Greenpeace is doing with this ship are very important. It is important that somebody stands up to the industry, stands up to the politicians and calls for other ways to manage our oceans. It is our job to make sure that they never forget we are here - defending our oceans.
Hoi friends, It has now been four years since my first ship tour with Greenpeace. Four wonderful and exciting years that has given me the chance to study some of the world's oceans and the state of them closely. And one thing is pretty clear: The oceans are in crises and we need to act now. Pollution and global warming affects ecosystems and all over the world you have severe exploitation of the resources of the seas. On fisheries, one thing is of course the IUU fishing, (illegal, unreported and undocumented) and the lack of legislation to deal with this kind of oceans crime. The other is what I call legal crimes of the oceans. For too long we have taken what the ocean gives us for granted. Take for instance cod: Since 2003 ICES (International Counsel for Exploration of the Sea) have said clearly: No Catch of Cod in the North Sea. The cod stock is declining rapidly. Still the politicians allocate quotas of cod as part of bycach and mixed fisheries. This has to stop. That is why we are here. To document to the world what is going on and help politicians and consumers to understand that we all need to act together now and leave what is left of North Sea cod to recover. Most of us learns when we are kids that we should leave places the way we want others to find it or the way it was. Think about that.
I'm Tom, I'm 32 and from Oslo. I usually work as a freelancer in the entertainment industry. Building stages, rigging and lights. This gives me the possibility to say no to work, and sail with you guys in stead. On my spare time, wich I have a lot of, I snowboard, scubadive and play drums. I live full time in caravans. Own three of them in different places. Hard to say what my responsibilities are on the ship. So far I have been helping with plumber stuff, and trying to keep the campaigner happy. I did not really choose to work on the boat. I chose to activate myself in the struggle for a better world, and coincidents took me here. It is a good learning experience, and it is very likely that I will ask to sail again.
I'm Judith 21 from Hamburg, Germany . I'm doing an internship for the Greenpeace warehouse in Hamburg. It started in February and goes until the end of June. When my chef asked me if I would like to join the Arctic Sunrise as an assistant cook I instantly said yes...peeling potatoes, cutting vegetable, cleaning dishes no problem compared to the experience of joining a Greenpeace ship! These were my thoughts and it stays until today like this! Actually it is a lot better than I thought!!! The job as an assistant cook is nice! My chef is a great and funny guy and I really have a lot of time for helping on deck or somewhere else, to enjoy the sealife or learning something about the sea and how to be a sailor!! When I go back I will go on with my internship. But still when its ends I will stay with Greenpeace!!
Hi, I'm Sam from Ghana, and I’m the second engineer on the ship. I mostly do work connected with the engines and basically it's my responsibility to keep the engines in good shape and make sure we get from point A to B when ever we need to. I used to work on commercial vessels but I have been on the Greenpeace ships for almost 10 years now. I think it's great being part of this organisation and "on the other side". Greenpeace is really doing a lot of important work to help raise people's awareness about different environmental issues. In the future I hope that Greenpeace will also be able to direct some campaigns towards the West African region – there are a lot of problems down there too. Especially with pollution and the over fishing by the big foreign vessels that are basically sucking all the fish out of the ocean.
The hospitality of Glasgow jails is a far cry from that of the Amazon, where I was working before joining the Arctic Sunrise as assistant cook come deckhand.
In Brazil, I spent my days winding down Amazonian rivers on a hospital boat that belonged to Brazilian NGO Health and Happiness , which provides health care and education to remote riverside communities. I spent the warm Brazilian evenings giving the crew English lessons on the top deck, teaching them songs like "head, shoulders, knees and toes".
Somehow I seem to have traded in bikinis, alligators, piranhas, tropical fruits and equatorial sun for rolling waves, grey skies and, in prison, a diet of sausages and beans swimming in grease. Prison interludes aside, the Arctic Sunrise does have its own very special allure; mostly an extremely enthusiastic international crew with rich stories and experiences. Ship time seems to be a different dimension to shore time; every day on the water feels comparable to a week or so on dry land, in terms of intensity of experience. Strong bonds of trust and respect are forged very quickly. I joined the ship for three weeks on the UK anti-nuclear campaign and almost three months later I am still onboard painting, derusting and crewing speedboats on the defending our oceans campaign. I have also taken on the role as ship's garbologist, which, as the name suggests, involves sorting out the rubbish on the ship. We recycle as much as we can - organics, paper, aluminium, glass and plastics - and dispose of them when we reach port.
The smell of supper (we cater for all diets - vegans, vegetarians, omnivores?) wafts up the stairs as I wrap up and go to satisfy my hunger.
My day on the Arctic Sunrise starts at four in the morning. I get up before everybody so I can write - for my Hungarian blog, my office and my PhD in Mongolian Linguistics. At 7.30 I begin life as a ship volunteer with mopping, cleaning, paint chipping and helping where I am needed.
In the evening, I go back to work, this time learning English. In my school in Hungary, we were never taught English. The first time I really spoke it was when I joined the ship one month ago. I am learning, but it takes time! At least my phrase book amuses the crew – it does not say how to buy bread but it has lots of phrases like "your eyes are like pillows".
I love taking part in non-violent direct actions (once I spent two weeks at a resistance camp on the Zengo in minus 20 degrees Celsius), so the blockade at Faslane was really exciting for me. I also love the physical work of the ship after spending so much time in an office. Before the ship, I worked as a Greenpeace area networker in Eastern Europe. Before that, I took a masters in Tibetan language and culture and before that, I have been a greengrocer, bookseller, smuggler, bar tender, painter decorator, proofreader, translator, journalist, author, poet, university tutor, reiki practitioner and rock climber.
The future? I would like to keep working for the protection of nature, travel a lot, write books about my journeys, find my place in the Cosmos and, of course, keep shipping and become a good deckhand! And one day I would like to be able to say "your eyes are like pillows" in perfect English...
Lorenzo ... my brother's first kid. Sergio ... one of my sisters' first kids. Each of them just days old. Ceci & Juli (AKA "big headache" & "little headache") ... they are melting my heart. I miss them all so much. I've still got about a month left onboard before returning home to Columbia... what will these coming weeks bring? Whatever it is, I'm happy to put my 5 cents' worth to have a healthier world for all. Many times it's hard, many times it's fun, many times nothing happens. I'm enjoying my ride.
Hola!!! I'm 26, from Panama and I perform the second mate job onboard. I have been around for 11 months and this is my third time on the Arctic Sunrise. I really like my job and the best part of being on a Greenpeace ship is the people onboard. I used to have a different idea about Greenpeace but being on the ship has really changed my way of thinking about environmentalists. Which campaign I like? It's a hard question... I don't have a specific answer, but hi to the Russian and Dutch Team which I had been working with. Keep going guys!!!! When I'm not on the ship --- uhmmm I like running, wall climbing with my good friend, talk and walk with the others, and very important dancing is wonderful - for that call me anytime - that keeps me alive. To all the people that consider me as a friend, big hugs and kisses....I will treasure your friendship forever.
Oi!!! (it means "hi" in Portuguese) I am Ana Paula, 25 years old, Brazilian deckhand onboard. This is my third trip on the Greenpeace ships. I am studying biology and love all kinds of life, from little ants to big whales, and all the fungus and trees in between. The most import thing for me is the respect to everything and everyone. Onboard you must learn about respect, with many different people from several countries, different ways and cultures. Still, all onboard share the same objective: to try to make a better world now and for the future. It is a great work, some times not so easy, but I always keep in my mind: "The impossible is only an opinion."
Hi, I'm Willie, the lead campaigner for the second leg of the tour.
I'm thoroughly Scottish, hailing originally from Fife, but have been working as a campaigner with Greenpeace UK in London for over 5 years now. I don't have the best sea legs but I'm glad to be out here on the North Sea, having grown up with it on my doorstep, campaigning for Marine Reserves.
I'm a bit of a dolphin-hugger, and I've seen lots of amazing wildlife in this sea over the years, from porpoises and orcas to puffins and gannets. So I want to see it recover to its full glory.
As a Canadian, I started sailing with the Canadian merchant navy as a teenager, on the Great Lakes and Eastern seaboard of North America. What I saw made me so disgusted with the state of the marine environment that in 1988 I quit my job and signed on as a Greenpeace volunteer.
Since then, I've sailed every year with Greenpeace on every type of campaign: anti-nuclear weapons testing in the South Pacific; protesting exploration for 'new' oil in the Arctic; promoting renewable energy; opposing whaling and pirate fishing in the Southern Ocean; helping to save the old-growth forest on Canada's west coast.
In the early days, we'd block chemical discharge pipes from multi-national factories pumping their toxic or radioactive waste directly into the sea. And one time I managed to place a 'Nuclear Free Seas' banner on a US nuclear submarine while it was under way on the high seas...
Right now I'm out here in the North Sea campaigning for marine reserves. This sea has been over-fished and polluted for decades - it needs a break! Greenpeace isn't saying stop fishing altogether, we are simply saying "don't take it all at once". I believe that marine reserves are a good idea. Leave some areas alone for a while and let them rejuvenate, regain their abundance. Then re-assess.
My friend, the late Bob Hunter (one of the founders of Greenpeace) once said to me, "What we need is a mind bomb," and when the world "wakes up" change will be possible at the "speed of thought"! That's what the North Sea needs - she still has life left to give, but only if we treat her with the respect she deserves. But time is running out.
Sometimes found behind the scenes in Wellywood, Aotearoa NZ as a scenic artist on The Lord of the Rings and King Kong. Often found snowboarding around back country snow-covered hills whenever the time, money and low pressure gods collide.
Probably creating some stylee sifter art when the inspiration strikes. Seven Years in Tibet? I wish - the dry powder peaks of Gulmarg are calling. Likewise time served with the 'peace subverting the corporate paradigm. Any more for any more? See me round the back of the bike sheds with your phone off and the battery out.
Hello I'm Ronnie from the Philippines and I've been working on Greenpeace ships for almost five years.
I am the onboard cook, which means I'm responsible for boosting the moral of the whole crew... hehehe. Being involved with Greenpeace is a great honour. Every time somebody asks me what we are doing, I simply answer we're doing it for the future generations, and to inform the whole world what is happening to our Mother Earth - and so I can tell to my grandchildren that I used to be a Greenpeace activist.
I was born in the English Midlands about as far away from the sea as it's possible to get in the British Isles. The closest I got to going to sea as a kid was on the occasional car ferry to France, but in nearly four years working for Greenpeace I've been on quite a few ship tours: highlighting the killing of dolphins by pair-trawlers in the English Chanel; tracking illegal timber through the Bay of Biscay; and filming the seamounts and sperm whale colonies of the Azores in the mid-Atlantic.
As a small child I remember being taken to a fishmarket and seeing a cod for the first time - I couldn't believe how big it was, much bigger than me. Cod take years to grow to this size, and though once common in the North Sea, they're now extremely rare. Without the protection of marine reserves they're likely to be commercially extinct within the decade.
I'm a 37 year old Aussie-Brit (born in Zimbabwe to English parents, grew up in Australia, living in London).
I'm a biologist: I've always been fascinated by the wide range of weird and wonderful life forms on our planet. For years I worked on the health of human beings, and now I'm working on the health of the oceans, without which the whole planet is in dire trouble.
I'm a researcher and writer: Back on land I work with the Greenpeace UK oceans team. I try to keep up with the latest research on all things fishy and write reports for campaigners and for our public work.
I'm an activist: I believe passionately in taking non-violent direct action to protect this planet and all its inhabitants, and to ensure sustainable and fair use of all the earth's resources. In addition to my paid work, I train other activists to take part in street campaigning, non-violent direct action, and climbing. I'm also training to be a boat driver.
Out here on the North Sea, I'll be using all my skills! I'm supporting the lead campaigners with research and technical information, and I'll be in our inflatable boats on the front line when we confront fishers with our message: please give cod stocks a chance to recover and support our call for marine reserves to protect the remaining ocean life and the future of the fishing industry.
Here I am, Rosso, more than ten years working (although not continously) on Greenpeace ships. I started as a cook, now I am a bosun (I am not afraid of changes, you might say!) but my academic and professional background is in tropical agriculture.
I am here because as a kid I saw the Adriatic Sea, back in Italy, turn from a natural paradise teaming with life to a murky desert... but we never learn the lesson, do we? So two years ago I was on the Grand Banks, Canada, where the cod have already disappeared, fishing stocks depleted, and now here in the North Sea where the same disaster is taking place, greed driving our way to manage resources, leaving emptiness in these waters just to fill up our bank accounts. But maybe it is not too late, maybe we can still change the way we exploit this area, make it more sustainable... Who knows, but I think it is worth a try! A hug to ye all.
Hello, I am Fine from Germany and I'm 23 years old. Since 2003, I've lived and studied in Rostock. I went to Rostock because I wanted to live by the sea and Rostock lies on the Baltic. In 15 minutes, I can be on the beach!
When I was a child, I wanted to be a member of Greenpeace and of course join a Greenpeace ship. For six years I've been an honorary member of Greenpeace. In Germany, I am the coordinator of the Rostock Greenpeace group, and an elected member of the Greenpeace advisory group. Now I'm on the Arctic Sunrise for five weeks as a volunteer... my childhood dream comes true!
I am an ocean campaigner from the Netherlands and I got involved with Greenpeace two years ago when I started working as an assistant for our political advisers. Then last year I moved to the the Dutch office to become an oceans campaigner.
Currently I work together with my international colleagues in countries surrounding the North Sea to get the Netherlands and the EU to recognize the current cod crisis, to enforce a ban on cod fishing and establish an extensive network of marine reserves. On board, I work closely with Willie, the lead campaigner, in our search for destructive fishing practices and to convince the fisherman and politicians to act.
Having sailed most of my childhood in the Wadden Sea and the North Sea, I have seen a lot of beauty and always enjoyed being out on sea. It is actually the first time I am so far out at sea and enjoy being surrounded by such a diverse team from all over the world.
It still surprises me that there is such a lack of protection of marine ecosystems. Not only cod, but many other fish are in trouble as well, and the sea bed is still damaged by destructive fishing practices. More and more seals and porpoises get entangled in fishing nets and the sea suffers from pollution and a lack of protected places to recover.
I hope some day soon the North Sea and oceans worldwide will have 40 per cent set aside for nature and to have the space for recovery it deserves!