A few weeks back we received a text from the race directors; “Let us know what race number you want on the boat. First come, first served’.
We replied straight back with ‘three’.
This might seem like the obvious number, a three person crew, the first crew of three to row the Pacific, the youngest three females to row any ocean in the world. But it’s more than that. We’ve always said three is a magic number, you only have to look around to see the power of three. Earth is the third rock from the sun, the perfect position in the solar system for life to thrive. A triangle is the most stable shape in geometry, inherently rigid and strong. Good luck is said to come in threes, and the number three is seen throughout nature. There are ‘oceans, land and sky’ and the ‘Earth, Sun and Moon’. It seems fitting to be a crew of three at the mercy of nature out on the ocean.
But that isn’t where this stops. We are rowing the Pacific for something much bigger than just a personal achievement. We are rowing to champion solutions at source to reduce the volume of plastic that enters our oceans everyday and to raise money for Mind, the mental health charity.
Did you know that 1 in 3 young adults will experience a mental health problem? Suicide is the third-leading cause of death among persons ages 10 to 24 years. Women aged 16-24 are 3 times as likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, panic disorders, phobia or OCD as their male counterparts, whilst the leading cause of death in men aged 45 and under is suicide, with 3 times more men than women taking their own lives. 2 in 3 adults aged 16-74 report experiencing a mental health problem at some point in their lives.
Three small words of “How are you” can let someone know that you are there for them, and it’s likely to mean more to them than you realise. Of those people experiencing a mental health problem, only 1 in 3 are thought to be accessing treatment services. 1 in 3 of all sick notes issued by GPs are for mental health problems, and a study by Mind reported that 1 in 3 people who have been in hospital after experiencing a mental health crisis feel they were discharged too early.
If you do not count yourself amoung these numbers, it’s likely that someone else close to you does.
The stigma and discrimination associated with Mental Health is still prevalent in today’s society and it’s #TimeToChange. Stigma and discrimination ruin lives. They can deny people experiencing mental health problems the opportunity to live their lives to the full. They can deny people relationships, work, education, hope and the chance to live an ordinary life that others take for granted.
Want to engage? Try these three words. Time To Change.
As for Plastic Pollution, the stats are even scarier than 1 in 3. Every day, around 8 million pieces of plastic pollution find their way into our oceans. Plastic can be found on every beach in the world, from busy tourist beaches to uninhabited tropical islands, and microplastics have been discovered embedded deep in the Arctic ice. Recent studies have revealed marine plastic pollution in 100% of marine turtles, 59% of whales, 36% of seals and 40% of seabird species examined. Fish stocks are now so full of plastic that up to one–third of the fish caught off the coast of South West England is thought to contain traces of it – so we’re eating it too.
Cue rallying cry! We are asking every one of our supporters to join us in the power of three and commit to changing three plastic habits whilst we are out at sea rowing through the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Changing your habits and encouraging others to follow can have a huge impact on the world – individually we are one drop, together we are an ocean!
Some suggestions to kick you off:
- Carry a reusable bottle. In the UK we use over 35 million plastic bottles every year!
- Bring your own reusable coffee cup.
- Say no to plastic straws. Plastic straws are bad news for our oceans.
- Avoid excessive food packaging.
- Remember that bag for life!
- Say no to disposable cutlery (and those ridiculous little plastic coffee stirrers!)
- Get your milk delivered.
- Avoid products containing microbeads (https://www.beatthemicrobead.org/product-lists/).
- Join (or organise) a beach/river/canal/lake/park clean.
- Try “Plogging”!
- Make a resolution that every time you visit the beach, you will remove 3 pieces of plastic.
WHICH POWER OF 3 PLASTIC HABITS WILL YOU CHANGE? Let us know! You can also click here for a list of some fantastic organisations dedicated to reducing plastic pollution and how to get involved.
So there we have it. When we were asked which number would we like on our boat, there really was only one answer. For both the celebration of its positive associations, and for its statistical negatives – the ever present reminder of why we we are rowing across an ocean and the greater goals we aim to achieve…
To donate and be part of our world record attempt see our Sponsorship page – we really appreciate your support, without which, we couldn’t make this happen.
Donate £25 to sponsor a Pacific Terrific Ocean Mile – get a shout out as we row your mile(s)! £50 sponsors 2 miles and feeds a crew member for a day, and any donation of £100 or above will see your name on our boat – you will be with us as we cross the Pacific Ocean!