‘They took all the trees, and put ‘em in a tree museum,‘Big Yellow Taxi’; Joni Mitchell 1970
And the charged the people a dollar and a half just to see ’em.
Don’t it always seem to go,
That you don’t know what you’ve got ‘till it’s gone.
They paved paradise, and they put up a parking lot.’
Waterfront Charters operate from the iconic V&A Waterfront, in Cape Town, which is on the Atlantic Ocean. Not too far from us lies Cape Point: for those with an interest in facts and figures it’s on a heading of 172.71 degrees from Quay 5, and is exactly 51.2 km as the crow flies. (Another more interesting – if useless – fact is that the crow will fly directly over St. James beach on its way. This is more by way of boasting just how beautiful Cape Town is in any direction than advising on navigation.)
What we are getting to is that this spectacular geographical point is touted – inaccurately, as it turns out – as the meeting of two oceans: the aforementioned chilly Atlantic and the warmer Indian Ocean. The debate around where the oceans really meet (off Cape Agulhas is the official viewpoint) is moot to this chat, which may be good news for organisers of the Two Oceans Race and many Two Oceans branded products: what we are focussing on is the fact that there is, in fact, only one global ocean. And that is what we need, as the species at the top of the food chain, to really give our attention to.
The 6th of June is designated World Ocean Day, and let us quote them directly in terms of what needs to be done:
On World Ocean Day, people everywhere can unite to celebrate and take action for our shared blue planet, with one ocean and one climate, which connect us all. Get together with your family, community, and/or your company, and join with millions of others around our blue planet to create a better future. By working together, we can — and will — protect and restore our shared ocean and climate. Join this growing global celebration in June and continue to grow the engagement year-round!
To give an idea of how far the damage to our world ocean has already reached, World Ocean Day aims at putting in place a 30×30 campaign: to put in place measures that protect 30% of the ocean by 2030. We can’t help but think that it would be wonderful if we could aim at protecting 100% of this magnificent water-world by tomorrow, but one step at a time, we suppose. It’s not just the waters; World Ocean Day also looks at the lands abutting the waters that need protection too:
‘To create a healthy ocean with abundant wildlife and to stabilize the climate, it’s critical that 30% of our planet’s lands, waters, and ocean are protected.’
Waterfront Charters could not agree more; the ocean is our home too, and we are fully committed to protecting the creatures that eat, sleep, play and procreate in that environment.
And hopefully, 30% protection will be just a start in the process: the United Nations Biodiversity Summit (COP 15) takes place in September, and decisions need to be taken by the leaders of our nations. 90 countries have already signed the 30×30 pledge, but there are a lot who haven’t, and the fact is that these non-conforming states are, in the main, the worst offenders. Did you know, for instance, that China has over one million fishing vessels around the world ocean? And that ‘for research purposes’ Japan has harpooned 4 489 whales from 2011 to 2020, despite a worldwide moratorium on whaling? The examples of humans putting greed and profit before sea life are so manifest that listing just the worst of them would fill a manuscript. And do, in fact: there are many books that list the crimes against both animals and the humans that protect them, and these make petrifying reading. (We recommend ‘Leviathan’ by Eric Dolan as prescribed reading, as well as ‘The Outlaw Ocean’ by Ian Urbina.) There are still hordes of pirates in existence, only the bullion they plunder from the depths these days is irreplaceable: we need to take action now as the controlling lifeform on planet earth.
We would really like all our clients, our guests, our sponsors and neighbours, in fact, every person who is near the ocean – in it or on it – at any time, to check out https://worldoceanday.org/. It gives all the information that is needed to cover this extremely important initiative, and also has a handy link to an online petition to government representatives at COP 15 – we, the voters, are watching you.
And at all times, respect our ocean: pollution, over-fishing, the unthinking annexing of sensitive shores for housing, poaching – 30×30 is achievable only if we all put our hearts into the process. Every Waterfront Charters cruise gives an indication of the beauty and the overwhelming magnitude of the incredible World Ocean. Join us and see for yourselves!