Hi everyone and thank you very much for visiting our Patreon page and supporting our work. We are Janey and Glenn and we’re passionate about doing our best for the planet and sharing our journey with others.
Janey: “Mother Nature has always been my best friend. She sustains me on every level – physical, emotional, spiritual, intellectual – and is my greatest teacher, as well as my playground. I’ve lead expeditions into wild corners of our planet; sailed her oceans; slept under her stars and shared her beauty with many feathery, furry, scaly and watery friends. I’ve articulated my experiences in words, pictures and maps, creating newsletters, writing articles and drawing maps, (yes! I trained as a cartographer in the 1980s). Variety has always been important to me and as such I’ve done some amazing jobs: safari hostess, Royal Geographical Society research assistant, Operation Raleigh International Co-ordinator, Out of Parliament Secretary for a New Zealand Green Party MP, TESL teacher.
My crazy paving path in life had to satisfy 3 important ingredients – fulfilment, happiness and service to a greater good. I’m adaptable and insatiably curious with a boundless enthusiasm for life and learning.”
Glenn: “I fell in love with the Ocean at age 5 when I watched a Jacques Cousteau film about sharks. The Ocean has been my passion ever since and has been my “office” for 30 years. I’ve worked as a professional diver and commercial skipper. I’ve studied Ocean ecology and worked as a marine naturalist. She enticed me to sail beyond the blue horizon.She inspired me to become a cameraman so I could record her diverse beauty, and a writer so I could describe her many moods and primal power. As an Ocean ecologist, the scientific understanding of how the Ocean works as a complex system fascinates me, but as a practitioner of Deep Ecology, I’m filled with profound reverence for the intrinsic beauty and powerful life force that is the soul of the Ocean. Our very existence depends on a healthy Ocean. I can’t think of a better reason to celebrate, or a greater motivation to act.”
Our home base is currently on the Tutukaka coast in Northland, New Zealand, with a spectacular view of the Pacific Ocean.
How did Ocean Spirit come into being?
Ocean Spirit came into being through our shared passion for the Ocean.
We met in Tonga in 2008 when Janey, as a founding trustee of OceansWatch, went to Glenn’s diving and whale watching base in the Ha’apai Islands for Reef Check training. On returning to New Zealand Glenn invited Janey to sail back to Ha’apai with him on his 38ft Polynesian style Wharram catamaran, CatKnapp. Being a sailor, impulsive and loving adventure she leapt at the chance. The next three years were spent taking people out on CatKnapp to be with the humpback whales during their tropical breeding months.
Becoming increasingly dissatisfied with the limitations of the ‘tick and click’ mentality, we began searching for deeper meaning in our lives and in 2011 were led to Schumacher College. Glenn gained his MSc in Holistic Science and Janey worked on their Short Course Programme - one year turned into four, and after a rich and deeply transformative time, we returned to New Zealand ready for Ocean Spirit to emerge.
What is Ocean Spirit?
Ocean Spirit is the ‘vessel’ to hold and nurture our passion for living in harmony with this big, beautiful blue planet we call home and as a way of sharing, not only our own journey, but also those of the amazing and inspiring people we come across on our travels.
The media happily feeds us a diet of bad news, while good or positive news takes 2nd place or gets ignored completely, making us feel disempowered and discouraged. Our focus with Ocean Spirit is not only highlighting the beauty and magic of life, but also exploring some of the many issues threatening the very web of life from the perspective of “What can we do about it?” Our intention is to inspire and encourage positive action.
We see the Ocean Spirit journey as a co-creative one with you. We intend that this shared journey will evoke a sense of wonder, awe and connection. We hope to ignite in you a deep desire to plunge below the superficial, to dance on that exciting edge where we open ourselves to new possibilities, ways of seeing and being.
We are convinced that for greater harmony between all life on Earth to become a reality, there is an urgent need to move away from the current anthropocentric perspective to an eco-centric view point, in which all life has intrinsic value beyond what it offers humankind.
To be effective and encouraged in this vital work, we all need to feel supported. We would like Ocean Spirit to be instrumental in bringing together like-minded people and organisations to create a network of support, idea-sharing, actions and commitment to a healthy, harmonious planet.
What we are currently doing?
We are currently involved in a variety of projects and initiatives including:
- Tutukaka Coast Plastic Free Initiative (check out this intro video)
- Just Pick It Up (yep you guessed it: just picking up plastic and rubbish wherever and whenever)
- Presentations and talks (see an example here)
- Articles and publications including three books: The Ocean is Alive (2016, see Amazon reviews here and here), Humpback Whales of the South West Pacific (2010), Poor Knights Wonderland (2001)
- Teaching and tutoring about Ocean ecology and Gaia theory
- Developing the Reef Guardian program in support of community monitoring of marine ecosystems.
- Producing informative and educational videos, connecting people and their stories (see some examples here, here and here).
Why we are on Patreon.
Being supported by Patrons offers us the gift of Time to devote to the projects we are passionate about.
It gives us Freedom – the freedom to say “yes” to new projects and challenges as they are presented to us. It also gives us the freedom to stay independent in researching and reporting on important ecological and conservation issues.
We love the connection with Patrons; it feels like a real collaboration, involving others in our projects, brainstorming on new projects and reaching out to more people who share our passion for living in harmony with this beautiful planet we call home.
How will we use the support we get from our Patrons?
First and foremost we will use the support we get from Patrons to directly fund our projects. Secondly (and importantly) we will use some of the funds to support ourselves so that we can free up more time to devote to projects. And finally we will be able to work towards new goals including: additional camera equipment (including an underwater drone to help us create baseline surveys reefs and coastal ecosystems), and ultimately the purchase of a new expedition sailing vessel (a Wharram Tiki 46) so we can expand our reach.