Welcome to our "Ocean Passion Series" where we are interviewing ordinary people doing extraordinary actions for the ocean. We believe learning from others can help our own life become more engaged and inspired. This week our guest was brought up far away from the ocean and became a volunteer to fight for the ocean. She says "Two Weeks In Taiji Changed The Shape Of My Heart". All the way from Ecuador have a listen to this powerful lady!
Hello Chris! So very happy you were able to join us today and speak about your many worldly actions from the heart. First things first and please introduce yourself to our readers.
My pleasure! I am Cris and at this very moment I am back home in Ecuador after some years of traveling around as an ocean gypsy trying to do some good deeds.
Oh Cris! You did not "Try" to do good deeds because you jumped in to the action and completed good deeds! There are 2 kinds of people in the world - those that follow and those that lead. You are definitely a leader. Tell us Chris why the ocean?
I have loved the oceans since I was a little girl and my dad took me to the beach during our vacation times. I was born in the highlands of Ecuador over 2800ft above sea level. So its not like I grew up close to the ocean and learnt how to love them, but for some reason my heart has always been driven to the sea, the waves and the endless blue.
I want to believe it just runs through my veins, I don’t know why, I just love the smell of the ocean. I don’t even need to swim in it, I am happy being surrounded by it. I don’t need to see land, all I need is that beautiful blue.
Sea Shepherd Zero Tolerance Campaign in Antarctica
Beautiful Cris! Its like you're having a natural love affair with the big blue. We absolutely love it! Thank you for being so deep in your words for the ocean. All of your photos you have shared with us definitely show you somewhere in the ocean doing action. Can you speak about some of your actions for the ocean?
I think the most important action I do on a daily basis is living vegan, not only eating but also living vegan. I am aware that my diet and the way I live has a direct and crucial impact in this world and so I try as hard as possible to not damage my mother earth any more than probably I already have.
But I also believe that certain things need to be done actively and with no compromise, so 6 years ago I joined Sea Shepherd and took a plane to Japan. If you ask me when is it that my life changed? THAT was it. As I arrived home from the campaign, my mom hugged me and asked me how I was doing, I said: ¨I have been to hell and back¨.
6 years ago, those two weeks in Taiji changed the shape of my heart!
Since then I have been on several campaigns like down in Antarctica, Mexico, Faroe Islands, and Costa Rica.
Once you start, you just can't stop and you have an infinite need to change the world, to save lives, to stand up and BE the change the world needs us all to be.
Cris you just took us on a journey of emotions. The excite of jumping on a plane to do a service for animals but then witnessing the darkside of what humans are capable of. Taiji is a horrible place and we know that the new shape of your heart is the shape of an ocean warriors heart - a blue earth. Your passion for the ocean shows through your armour and we love that so tell us how the ocean brought out these strengths or confidence that would have or may have been a fear?
Oh yes!!!! Before this experience, I had never been on a big ship, had never been surrounded by thousands of killers, had never dealt with poachers, had never run from possible drug dealers, and definitely had never been inside a ship that was being squeezed in between two huge ships while flash bang grenades were exploding.
I can tell you one thing, my dad probably never thought that my bad temper and strong mind could be a good thing but this probably made a difference during these times.
I am still afraid of evil, but I learnt that I am more scared of silence!
That is incredible! Chasing poachers, and ocean killers sounds exhilarating! Like an amazing action movie but this one is real. Your journey has been so exciting to hear! What ocean organization is your favorite and why?
I will always be loyal and grateful to the one that taught me everything and made me who I am, there is no doubts that Sea Shepherd wins the price and will always have that one special place in my heart.
NO matter what people think, have thought, say or have said! No one will ever do and accomplish what SSCS has this past 40 years.
We love what you have said Cris but we here at Pelagic Love definitely want that to be wrong. We want more leaders starting up organizations that can help the ocean like Sea Shepherd. They are a great role model in our eyes for others. We can tell they mold leaders out of their passionate volunteers like yourself! In your own words what would you like people to know that was a great lesson you have learned because of your passion?
I learnt how my diet and my lifestyle can have such a negative and destructive impact on this planet. So today, I try to always be aware. But mostly the biggest lesson of all was and is, YOU CAN ALWAYS BE THE CHANGE!
We absolutely love that! "You Can Always Be The Change"! Thank you for sharing that with our readers. Filled with inspiration! After all these amazing things you have accomplished so far around the world tell us what would be your favorite thing about the ocean?
The whales and the waves! Nothing like a very fat humpback whale logging and refusing to move after months of eating krill in the Ross Sea. And nothing like a big wave that will put your stomach where you should have your brain. Call me crazy but I never felt more alive than when the ocean kicked my ass.
How beautiful that must have been to experience a fat whale in the Ross Sea. So many stories you're building up to tell your grand-children we are sure. You have absolutely shared some brilliant and inspiring actions. You have shown us how a landlocked person can create a journey on to the ocean for the ocean. Thank you Cris so very much for being such a powerhouse for the world! We thank Sea Shepherd as well for allowing you the opportunity to be a part of their journey to save the world's oceans. Keep up the great action!
Check back next week on the Ocean Passion Series to find out who our next ocean passionate guest will be and you will never be disappointed! Check out our past guests here >>Ocean Passion Series<<