My Style – Emily Penn
I feel more at home on the water than I do on dry land. The way sunlight sparkles on the surface of the ocean, the infinite horizon, that all-consuming joy of plunging into the planet’s deepest waters for an evening swim; I can’t think of anything that gives me a greater sense freedom.
And it’s not just how it makes me feel. Every breath we take literally comes from the ocean; I think we feel so calm near water because it’s so crucial to our survival. In turn, I feel a duty to protect and preserve it.
After university a job arose in Australia and I decided to get there without taking an aeroplane. While looking for a way to hitch halfway around the planet I was offered a role on the world-record-breaking biofuelled vessel, Earthrace, and ended up not going home for three years. I’d found my passage.
It was during that first year at sea that my eyes were opened to the degrading state of our oceans and the challenges faced by small islands and their communities. I never made it to that job in Australia, there was more important work to be done.
I visited the remote low-lying islands of Tonga, which were dealing with a massive rubbish disposal problem. We organised one of the largest clean-up campaigns ever instigated, motivating 3,000 people to collect 56 tonnes of rubbish in a single day. A freighter was diverted to haul eight shipping containers full of rubbish away from the islands.
I then hitched a ride on another freighter to California to meet and learn from plastic pollution experts, and shortly afterwards Pangaea Explorations was born. I now spend my life at sea, taking scientists and film makers to the most remote parts of our planet to discover and document plastic pollution, via our sailing vessel Sea Dragon. We want to help people establish an understanding and a connection with the ocean – it’s much easier to care about something we love. And I get to spend every day doing it!
My entire life possessions pack into two dry bags – so I have to choose clothes very carefully. I absolutely adore the few items I have. The Leon Max clothes I chose are very versatile; you can dress them up or down, which is exactly why I love them. I feel great in them and most of all, they fit into my crazy lifestyle!
Get Emily’s Look: