Expedition 2! World Record solo row across the Pacific for ocean plastic solutions

January 30, 2023

I don’t have hope – I have determination



I just returned from Ultramarine Ocean Impact Summit on Richard Branson’s tropical paradise, Necker Island, where 95 entrepreneurs, innovators, and disruptors produced an endless stream of ideas and collaborations.

We gave presentations on topics like scaling blue carbon markets to restore and regenerate our oceans and preserve indigenous culture and land (see Ralph Chami’s TED talk on the topic); developing a global network of marine sensors to collect real-time, actionable data on ocean health (OCN.AI, Seakeepers Society); how to end our era of plastic waste by permanently upcycling plastic into concrete and products, reducing emissions and solving wastestreams (CRDC Global, Solgaard) – among dozens of other topics.

My director Julia Lull and I showed a teaser of the documentary we’re working on with her company, Working Tens. Julia and I were introduced by Dr. Sian Proctor, an astronaut I met last year at Necker, who starred in Julia’s project, Countdown to Inspiration 4 (on Netflix). Our teaser was so well received, we’re aiming to screen our doc at Necker Summit in 2 years. I’m still pinching myself.

While cycling Virgin Gorda with Richard and a few others, I got a few minutes 1 on 1 with him. I asked how he’s learned to recover from setbacks, and his advice was simple: “If I can’t fix or change the situation, I move on the very next day. If one’s mum or dad passes, remember the good times. Don’t dwell on your mistakes. Reflect on them, learn from them, and always keep learning. And then move on.”

Richard’s words landed for me. Just a couple months ago, I was deep in recovery from my heart attack and the loss of my mother. 2022 left me feeling disappointed by life, and questioning whether I could continue my next world record expedition for ocean conservation.

But as the legend Henk Rogers said during his talk on scaling renewable energy worldwide by 2045, “I don’t have hope – I have determination.”

Here’s to each of us finding *determination* in pursuit of our most audacious goals – and having fun along the way. Let’s go!