Enjoy this video of sunrise on Earth Day from the yachts competing in this year’s Volvo Ocean Racing series as they work their way north through the Atlantic Ocean. They are racing Leg 6 of their round the world race from Itajai, Brazil to Newport, Rhode Island. The route is 6200 nautical miles long and is expected to take about 3 weeks.
What more appropriate way to honor the Earth than to contemplate the vastness and the beauty of the oceans. Please take a minute to enjoy the tranquility of the sea and to think about how important the oceans are to life on land. They feed us and keep us cool. They absorb much of the carbon dioxide we put into the atmosphere.
They also are burdened with billions of pounds of plastics thrown away by mankind, pollution that sickens marine life and destroy the beauty of the seas. Think about how the waters that surround us are rising year by year and decade by decade. Also consider that the oceans are becoming more acidic, threatening the very existence of the animals that live in the sea, from porpoises and whales to to the tiny crustaceans that make up the world’s coral reefs.
The sailors aboard the Volvo Ocean Racing yachts have placed a number of sonar buoys on behalf of NOAA in the southern ocean near Cape Horn — an area where few commercial vessels travel any more and where little is known about ocean currents and prevailing winds. The data collected will help us understand how the seas shape our climate and weather patterns throughout the world.
Lastly, think for a moment of the international makeup of the Volvo Ocean Racing crews, whose sailors are drawn from China and the US; Spain, Holland and France; Japan, New Zealand and Australia. For the first time, an all female crew is competing head to head with the men. If these international crews can work together to race across all seven oceans, shouldn’t those of us who live on dry land be able to work together to solve the global challenges common to us all?