“I’m about to sail through the Atlantic Ocean!” These are words I never, ever thought I would speak out loud. Soon I will be joining our partners at the 5 Gyres Institute on the second leg of their S.E.A. Change Expedition, sailing for approximately eight days from the Bahamas to Bermuda. I will be in good company on my leg of this trip, alongside musician Jack Johnson, documentary filmmaker Ian Cheney and several other change-makers from both the business and the nonprofit worlds. We're all hitting the pause button on our everyday lives and coming together to share our passion for the big blue ocean.
This is the 16th research expedition for 5 Gyres, and is yet another effort to collect important scientific data on marine plastic pollution while inspiring leaders in conservation. Before we set sail, I will personally be participating in a three-day Youth Plastic Summit at the Island School in the Bahamas with both local and international students. Of course, we'll also be celebrating World Oceans Day on this amazing Island. I have no doubt that it's going to be awesome!
I have several goals for myself on this trip; I want to soak up all the knowledge possible about the issue of plastic debris in our ocean, build relationships with people who have a passion for taking care of the planet and its people and, of course: try not to throw up! I’m not going to pretend that I’m not a little nervous about the trip or the things I will leave behind. My family. I have a wonderful and supportive husband and four great children, and my first grandbaby is due while I’m out at sea. My Inbox. Since I’ve started working at Klean, I haven't ever unplugged for this long. I admit it: I have a tough time “checking out.” My comfort zone. I am a bit of a control freak and feel pretty confident and in control of most aspects of my life at home and at work. Somehow, I know I will have to give up all of these things to really make the most of this trip.
But, oh, all the things I will gain! Like the first stamp in my passport, my first sailing experience on the open water, an opportunity to observe and measure the problem first-hand alongside experts in the field and a pocketful of memories that will most likely change my life forever.
I am excited and hopeful for the knowledge I will gain and the information and voice I can bring back with me to share out with our community to inspire and create solutions. My job at Klean has taken me to places I never thought I’d go, and allowed me to meet people I never thought I would call my friends. I am truly blessed and inspired to be alive and present every day.
To learn more about the entire three legs of the expedition, our goals on this voyage and to support the work of 5 Gyres, please check out their website!
Klean Voice Contributor Caroleigh Pierce is the Nonprofit Outreach Manager at Klean Kanteen, and quite possibly the most naturally energetic human on the planet. Caroleigh is incredibly skilled at aligning Klean Kanteen with nonprofits that do incredible things, and her passion for fostering these relationships is simply beautiful.