The making of One Island, One Ocean: The Epic, Environmental Journey Around the Americas (on Amazon for $35), a new book out this month, was personal and driven by passion -- from Weldon Owen publisher Terry Newell who learned to sail before he learned to swim and whose great-great-grandfather was a whaling captain, to David Rockefeller Jr., an avid sailor who joined the exhibition and who opened his private New York residence for a small, book launch gathering.
TreeHugger was on the scene to get a first-look and hear first-hand accounts from the journey.
A small cocktail party to celebrate One Island, One Ocean was held in the Upper East Side Rockefeller residence. Newell opened the evening with remarks, calling the story a "publisher's dream." He said, it looks great, has a great adventure story, and has a message about what the next generation needs to understand about the oceans and climate change.
Sifting through 70,000 pictures was the hard part.
David Rockefeller Jr. hopped on board as a representative of Sailors for the Sea, one of the two nonprofit sponsors of Ocean Watch, and joined the crew for part of the expedition. Sailors for the Sea is a Newport, Rhode Island-based NGO that, in recent news, has become the official sustainability partner for the Americas Cup, which will take place in San Francisco in 2013.
Rockefeller asked guests, why care? Why care about the state of our oceans? He then provided his own answer:
Oceans are the thermostat, the food supply, the highways of the world and a source of spiritual rejuvenation for half the world who live next to them. As the global population grows from seven to perhaps ten billion people by the year 2050, will our life support systems still function as we need it to do? I think that's a key question.
This is the question that "One Island, One Ocean" asks. To simplify the journey, Mark Schrader pulled out a map of the Americas, sating that "the overriding mission was to bring home a couple of concepts that we could all understand." He continues, below.
We're looking at North and South America as one island surrounded by one ocean. One molecule hits the next one; we're all in this together, we're all contributing, or not, to what happens here. To further explain to school kids and anyone else who will take the time to look at this, everything that goes on in the green effects the blue, and vice versa. That was our overriding message when we stopped at all of our 53 stops along the way.
Every stop was not smooth sailing though. The journey brought the core crew, comprised of photographer David Thoreson, first mate Dave Logan, writer Herb McCormick, and oceanographer Michael Reynolds, through the nearly ice-locked Northwest Passage and around Cape Horn.
Part adventure story, part call-to-action, the book that was five years in the making shares a snapshot of an expedition that brought crew members on the adventure of a lifetime to boost awareness of the impact of global warming on the ocean.