As you bond with your crew members , their own personal stories start to unravel. Their reasons for being there - from break-ups to dealing with death, to fighting cancer. How they raised the funds, and what they want to accomplish from the experience - the motivation for deciding to escape the world for 1-11 months on a small boat are usually pretty fascinating ones.
Together with 11 other conservation and welfare organisations, HSI recently launched a petition urging the UK government to do just this. If you care about the whales and you are a UK citizen or live in the UK, please sign and share the petition to get your voice heard.
Our beautiful seas and oceans cover about 70% of our planet's surface, with far more species living in the oceans than on land. The marine environment provides livelihoods and food for hundreds of millions of people, so it is important that we protect it. Yet, right now, millions of animals, including whales, seals, turtles and birds are being mutilated and killed by 'ghost' fishing gear - nets, lines and traps that are abandoned, lost or discarded.
By continuing to allocate huge fishing quota to industrial boats, while leaving only the crumbs for our low-impact fleet, the UK government is continuing a business-as-usual approach which will do nothing to safeguard either fish stocks or the livelihoods of fishermen in the UK. The last 100 days have shown us that the Conservative government is missing a trick.
On at least two occasions since the moratorium on commercial whaling was agreed by the International Whaling Commission (IWC), member nations have circled around the idea of coming to some form of compromise between the pro-whaling and the pro-whale sides. These attempts at compromise have failed and the moratorium remains in place, but there are indications that another deal is in the offing. This is an unfortunate development.
Shark attacks are on the rise and the reason for this is entirely the fault of humanity... We need to look at it from the point of view of the shark. The ocean is their home. We are stealing their food. We are trespassing on their territory and we savagely slaughter 75million sharks each year, much of which goes to make a soup that has absolutely no nutritional value. When we look into the eye of what we perceive to be a savage monster, we see the reflection of a much more destructive monster - ourselves.
If this pint-sized porpoise does become extinct, it means that we will have discovered and exterminated the smallest of the cetaceans in less than a human lifetime. Its imperilled status has long been of concern and its main threat well established as incidental capture in fishing nets, sometimes called 'bycatch'.
The Claymore II had an impressive roll on as she trundled through a messy South Pacific Ocean toward Pitcairn, one of the world's most remote inhabited islands. I was aboard the 12-passenger working vessel nearing the end of the three-day journey from London to Pitcairn, a British overseas territory at the center of a proposal to create the world's largest marine reserve.