|Thursday, February 17, 2011|
My Road to the Southern Ocean
I was raised on a historic non-working farm surrounded by trees, wildlife, and cornfields and from a very young age my parents instilled a love for nature and all creatures in me.
Some of my fondest memories as a little child were when me and my father rescued a fox from a trap in the woods, and when I helped raise some bunnies who lost their mother for long enough until I was able to set them free and they could survive on their own. I even remember spending a few hours a day watching a small family of groundhogs, until one day when one of the babies came over to me and literally climbed in my lap. I remember it was such an incredible feeling that they felt comfortable enough to walk over to me and let me pet them. That feeling only lasted for a short while of course, until I heard the frightening growl of its mother who was quite large and unhappy with me. She proceeded to chase me all the way to my front door. She actually waited on the porch for a few hours for me to come out.
As I grew older, I remember my mother and I fighting in the local town hall against the overdevelopment in our community. On repeated occasions, we spoke out against the town to convince them to stop destroying the woods and farmland. Our work along with others resulted in delaying them and keeping some of the land preserved.
Many years later, I am now a married man with an incredible wife and three amazing children. Together, my wife and I are raising our children with the same love for animals and nature that we both share.
Being a Sea Shepherd supporter since the early 90's, you can imagine how excited I was to get an e-mail and a call from Captain Locky Maclean one very late night in March of 2010 asking if my organization would be the port agent for the Steve Irwin's first call to NY/NJ. After working very closely with Captain MacLean and crew over the next few months with several different projects, I found myself in Barcelona, Freemantle, Wellington, and now the Southern Ocean onboard the great Steve Irwin helping in anyway possible to stop illegal poaching in the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary. I am very proud that many of the technologies and concepts that we have worked with could be utilized during this campaign and hopefully future campaigns, and that my maritime background and experience have been a help in these marine conservation actions.
It is an honor to work with such dedicated and caring people, and I hope one day that my children will be able to teach their children about how important marine conservation truly is.