A Voy­age with Pur­pose

Cur­rently sail­ing from Cal­i­for­nia to New Zealand, Kiwi ac­tor and skip­per Phil Somerville is on a mis­sion to raise aware­ness of ocean plas­tic pol­lu­tion, joined by ac­tor Martin Hen­der­son, stunt­woman Zoë Bell and co­me­dian Rhys Darby.

Good - - CONTENTS - In­ter­view Cathy McKe­own

Why Martin Hen­der­son is sup­port­ing the Eat Less Plas­tic ocean voy­age

Ac­i­t­i­zen of the planet, Phil Somerville’s true pas­sion is the ocean. He is cur­rently liv­ing his truth by sail­ing his 54ft sail­boat ‘To­day’ across the Pa­cific Ocean rais­ing aware­ness of plas­tic pol­lu­tion and col­lect­ing value data for an Eat Less Plas­tic ini­tia­tive.

Somerville’s Hol­ly­wood cred­its may in­clude Zero Dark Thirty, Iron Man, Cap­tain Phillips, and Mis­sion Im­pos­si­ble, but he is also a mas­ter diver, holds a United States Coast Guard cap­tain’s ticket and is un­wa­ver­ing in his drive to pro­mote ocean con­ser­va­tion.

“Once I found out how crit­i­cal of a state the ocean is in, I had no choice, as my heart told me to step up and do some­thing about it. It’s as sim­ple as that.

I want my kids to ex­pe­ri­ence what I have in the wa­ter and with their kids also. At this rate they won’t,” Somerville says.

Over the course of the four-month voy­age Cap­tain Somerville and his crew are gath­er­ing data on mi­croplas­tics from Pa­cific Is­land na­tions us­ing the 5 Gyres Trawl­share Pro­gram. The goal is to gather im­por­tant data, raise aware­ness about plas­tic pol­lu­tion and in­flu­ence global pol­icy.

“Our main ob­jec­tive is to bring as much aware­ness to this crit­i­cal is­sue as pos­si­ble. By do­ing this, we will con­nect the dots with all the NGOs sup­port­ing this vi­tal is­sue,” says Somerville. “Through­out the South

Pa­cific is­land chain we have been bring­ing aware­ness through schools’ non-profit pro­grammes and

NGOs and also de­ploy­ing our do­nated Manta Trawl by

Al­galita and 5 Gyres along the way to gather the vi­tal data to put to­wards the global es­ti­mate of mi­croplas­tic that is pol­lut­ing our beau­ti­ful wa­ters. Ed­u­ca­tion brings aware­ness, which leads to ac­tion.”

‘To­day’ is sched­uled to ar­rive in

New Zealand in early Oc­to­ber with fel­low ac­tor and mate Martin Hen­der­son and Kiwi co­me­dian Rhys Darby plan­ning to join the last leg in Fiji.

“The ocean is a life force,” says Somerville. “Its elec­tric en­ergy is heal­ing in so many ways. It brings life to many beau­ti­ful things and helps sup­port hu­mans with food, in fact a third of the world de­pends on its re­sources. It also sup­plies our ecosys­tem with 45 per cent of the oxy­gen we breathe. We need it and it needs us to wake up. Ev­ery liv­ing hu­man has an obli­ga­tion to do their bit... – the more peo­ple shar­ing the mes­sage, the bet­ter.”

Head to good.net.nz/ eat­less­plas­tic to read our in­ter­view with Camp­bell Far­rell, Eat Less Plas­tic crew and Love the Sea founder.

Phil Somerville with Eat Less Plas­tic voy­age sup­porter Zoë Bell in front of his sail­boat ‘To­day’.

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