A blog by Marja van den Houten

Day four. We have successfully crossed over to England, bit like to good old days: galleon full of pirates to noise up our anglo saxon (ish) neighbors a bit. For my third expedition I had to Brexit myself, ironically crossing over from Newcastle only to make my way back there in a thoroughly enjoyable if not exhausting way. A few things have changed, others have not. The camaraderie is still the same. We still get gentle pointers and supportive advice brought to us in a thoughtful phrasing by our beloved leader, that will never change. This is a good thing. The changes are positive too, rules are sharper, we know more, we know each other better, and personally for the first time I am at ease playing different roles. So far I have done three dives disguised as a biologist, basically a dreamy state of hunting.

Two dives as a support diver, where in zero visibility me and my buddy established a very effective telepathic communication in order to avoid me cutting his hands off. I even wangled myself into the prestigious last man standing job, reeling the guidelines back in and making sure anchor and bags make it safely to the surface. Bit of a scam, as the bags had pulled the anchor free already, so apart from dealing with bags and stage at the surface (by my buddy, as I hopped..well got hoicked onto the bodyboard bus) a walk in the park really.

But change is what we´re here for, and everywhere we pass, we know we leave the North Sea cleaner and safer then how we found it. More usually groups of visiting humans tend to do the opposite. Change is what this sea and indeed all seas and oceans need, a fundamental change in the way we use and appreciate their resources and their wild beauty. By making our action visible to the public we try to repair a disconnect, because only when people start to know they will start to care about what they are losing, and the decline of our seas be halted and reversed. So here´s to the doers of this world with or without salt burn who refuse to accept the status quo, because invariably to make change happen is hard work.