“All of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea — whether it is to sail or to watch it — we are going back from whence we came.” John F. Kennedy
My journey back to the ocean took me a few attempts and some time. I loved the tropical waters of Hawaii as a child, but it wasn’t until I moved down to San Diego at the age of 20 that I truly reconnected with the ocean. I found myself drawn to it – sprinting through the UCSD campus to catch the last few seconds of the sunset over the Pacific Ocean, swimming in the turquoise waters of Windansea Beach and learning every ocean sport as best I could.
In the process, I fell in love with manta rays, I became a kayak tour guide in La Jolla and I spent as much time as I could in, near, on or around the ocean. My love and connection to the ocean brought me to Bali for the first time in 2015, and again in 2017.
On both of my trips, I realized that I loved the ocean too much to not dedicate my livelihood to figuring out how to help the issue of plastic pollution. Plastic bags and bottles were suffocating the waters where I was paddling out to surf or diving to see manta rays. I have always been a firm believer in creative problem solving, and that different problems in our lives bring us to new levels of growth if they are confronted with positivity and courage.
My motivation for working with Five Oceans occurred when I realized we shared the same idea about creating a market incentive for cleaning up the ocean. By offering quality items that are made by using materials that are gathered from the ocean, there is now something valuable to be created from ocean pollution. Currently, I am the owner of my own art studio and use my creativity to repurpose old and broken surfboards into pieces of art, keeping them out of land fills; and using ocean photography to engage others with the beauty I love so much and that inspires me every day. I am so excited to be apart of the Five Oceans team, to learn about the possibilities for solving the problem of plastic pollution and to grow in the process of it all.