So here we are... within a week, I'll be onboard Sea Dragon with my new friends, setting off across the Pacific with eXXpedition.
As I write this, I can feel a little tingle go down my spine for the first time because, with all the things that I've accidentally crammed into this week before I set off for Hawaii on Friday, I still haven't really had time to let what's ahead sink in. It's a combination of terrifying and exhilarating. I'm waiting for the nightmares where I'm standing on stage at Glastonbury but don't know the words of my songs to begin. They should've kicked in by now... Or maybe I'm now old enough to realise that everything always works out somehow at the last minute so it will probably all be ok.
It feels like it's been a pretty epic journey to reach this point to be honest. The planning, fundraising, proposal-writing, connecting with people, etc, has all be a steep learning curve for me but I can already see that it has been nothing but positive. I now can't wait for the real journey to begin.
It's a good moment to thank everyone who has been instrumental in getting me here so far.
My Kickstarter superheroes - you are all brilliant. The film has been seen by 15-20k people and I'll be rebooting it for it to be seen by more when I get back. The combination of raising funds towards the cost of my trip and hopefully inspiring more than a few people to think twice about that coffee cup is something I hope you are pleased to have been part of and I am so grateful for. With this plastics issue, there is a big role to be played by companies and governments. They need to step up to deal with our waste properly but also to make it easy for us all to make the right choices so that we cut the amount of plastic used at source. But it's also about us having conversations about plastic. One thing that made my heart refill with enthusiasm and energy was hearing a scientist say that she had been working on plastics for over a decade but the biggest transformation she has seen has been in the last few months. And that is because the public are asking for change. Sometimes it can feel like there's no point. But there is!
I'd also really like to thank the inspirational companies and small businesses (Continental Clothing, Cheeky Wipes, EcoStardust, Elephant Box, KeepCup, Bristle, Anglian Water) that supported the Kickstarter. I wanted to work with you because you offer people alternatives and again, I am grateful for you support.
ProCam have saved the day at the 11th hour by really kindly giving me a discount on the equipment hire. It's not surprising that kit costs because it is amazing technology and will enable me to get awesome footage. I hadn't raised quite as much as I had hoped to so this brilliant hire company saved my bacon. And I am so pleased to be going on the expedition with the equipment that I wanted to use rather than "make-do" kit. THANK YOU!
And last but absolutely not least, Anglian Water... They supported the Kickstarter where our superheroes drank tap water rather than bottled water (why wouldn't you?) which was a great way of coinciding with the launch of Refill in Colchester - an initiative that encourages cafes and bars to put a sign in their window to let people know they can refill their water bottles inside. Things like this are so cool and so vital in helping people reduce their plastic use. Anglian Water have also been a great support for the expedition itself and in getting media coverage. The company launched their 'Plastic Promise' on World Oceans Day. They are the first water company to announce a radical commitment to rid the East of England of plastic waste by 2030. Brilliant! I was so pleased to be interviewed by BBC Look East and BBC Essex radio alongside them to talk about our expedition and their launch. I'll be doing a live Q+A with them from the boat mid-trip so keep an eye on their social media for that.
I'll be adding more blog posts until we leave. You can also follow what I'm up to on Instagram
I won't have access to the internet while I'm away but we will be sending photos, videos, blog posts off the boat as a group. You'll be able to find them here:
I'll treat you to that interview here! I'm not used to being on that side of the camera so it was an interesting experience!