I got hooked on Saltwater, stuck on the Ocean’s needle. The swell is rushing through my vains – directly into my pumping heart. And i still can not get the contrasts of this trip – the flooding of high, visually stunning waves of Euphoria – nor the Terror of the sensory deprivation on the other hand. These extremes i faced over a period of three months, alone on the Atlantic Ocean, in my rowing boat “Bifröst”. 3500 nautical miles – Portugal to Barbados. What had begun as shy campaign against the dramatical impacts of Ocean Noise Pollution, in close collaboration with OceanCare, turned quickly into passion, and, at sea, into a mission in life. The Atlantic lays behind me now, but i already can hear the Pacific and Indian Ocean shouting my name. I am ready to move on, ready to proceed in my quest to confront myself with my deepest fears and anxiety – no matter if at sea or on land – no matter if rowing, sailing, kiting or walking. In the end, it will be always the longest and most rewarding journey into myself. I found that humans seem to be some sort of a plants, that can strike roots even in saltwater … and sometimes we even outgrow ourself here. So, i wanna grow, thats all.
But why did i row an Ocean?
I always wished to flee from everyday life, wanted to be a hero in action movie named “My Life”. And i had to cross an entire ocean to realize, that i myself direct this movie, guide the camera, write the script and, in the end, watch myself on the big screen while eating Popcorn. I mean, i knew all this – but how little did i realize from all this? Knowing and realizing … well, looked all somewhat the same under the artificial illumination in my office. And lets be honest, i myself did not look like the person who would become the first woman ever rowing the Atlantic from mainland Europe to Barbados. But maybe this also was just a problem with the light and viewing angle of my mirror.
Years of preparation, all my experiences, all the things i have encountered: an extreme Woman, an extreme campaign. But No! I can’t not stop here! Millions of people read my lines in German newspapers, saw me on Television, listened to me in Radio – almost speechless i realized that this is really happening. I was deeply touched by all of your feedback and more and more letters and mails arrived. I really trust in that this campaign can make a difference for many of us and for this wonderful habitat Ocean. I believe so, because hope fills me with pleasure. That’s all.
I want to row against ignorance, repression, against devastation and lobbyism. I want to change the world for the better – at least bit by bit. And i want to motivate You to get up yourself or to feel endorsed in your engagement. We simply have to row on, stroke by stroke, because it is too easy to collapse in front the big, black walls of reality, in front of house-high waves that wash us over. I am lost in the world of the Ocean – Dolphins, whales and fish. The ones i met took away my breath for the rest of my life. And as i was kissed by a whale under water – i felt the relevance of believing and love. And i found the courage to ignore every other opinion about the sense and meaning of this two little words.
Anthropogenic (human-generated) noise levels in the marine environment are increasing at an alarming rate. In some areas, noise levels have doubled every decade for the past 60 years. There is mounting concern that noise proliferation poses a significant threat to marine ecosystems and the survival of marine mammals, fish and other ocean wildlife. Marine animals use sound to navigate, find food, locate mates, avoid predators and communicate. Flooding their world with intense sound interferes with these activities and results in serious consequences. A growing body of scientific research confirms anthropogenic noise can induce a range of adverse effects in fish, marine mammals and other ocean creatures, from disturbance to injury and death. A review of the scientific literature revealed that at least fifty-five marine species have exhibited impacts from intense and moderate underwater noise. Noise can work cumulatively or synergistically with other environmental threats by masking the sounds necessary for animals to avoid ships or entanglement in fishing gear. Animals whose food sources have been stressed by overfishing may be unable to hear their prey because of anthropogenic noise.
Because Ocean noise is a form of pollution that knows no boundaries, i support with my expeditions the Campaign “Silent Oceans” initiated by OceanCare and the International Ocean Noise Coalition. [Imprint]