On July 9th I leave the UK and head to New Zealand from where I will go to Apia, Samoa and join the Australian yacht Drina. We will sail to Tokelau, Tuvalu and Vanuatu as part of the Blue Planet Odyssey sailing event aiming to raise awareness of climate change by visiting some of those places most at risk such as the Arctic and Pacific islands.
But this is a personal pilgrimage for me also as I spent three years in the Pacific as a child in the 1970s. The welcome extended to my family by the people on the small remote islands we visited was warm and unbounded. And who had heard of climate change in those days? Today these same people are pleading with us to help – as here in the developed world our excessive carbon emissions and our consumption are causing their ancient homelands to disappear beneath the waves. How can I ever hope to repay that welcome I once received? What can I do but offer a hand of friendship and say, we are listening to you. We will speak up here in the UK and the developed world for you. So send me your own messages of love and support and I will take them with me as I go. This is for them and this is for the world and the seas we sail upon, because we love them.