"Apparent wind is the wind we feel when in motion. The relative velocity of true wind and our movement in relation to it. Apparent Winds is a journey around the world, using that concept as a metaphor, exploring human perspective in relation to shared natural forces." -- Tripp Brower
J. Henry will set sail from Charleston, South Carolina in November 2019 and return after circumnavigating the globe. In addition to observing the environmental changes and challenges faced by coastal communities around the world, we intend to explore the cultural impacts of globalization and a shifting climate. We will be connecting with people who are actively adapting to these changes and developing culture-shifting solutions within their communities.
The journey will be a shared experience through film, photography, and written word.
November 2019 - December 2021
Over two years of production, our team will be circumnavigating the globe to document the many ways local community groups and international organizations are working to mitigate the effects of climate change and repair our world for a resilient and sustainable future.
Charleston, South Carolina
Embark November 2, 2019
Homeport for our two travelers and for their sailing ship, the J. Henry, Charleston is a thriving historic coastal city so for many Charlestonians, the threats of sea-level rise, severe storms, depletion of sea life, and pollution are very real. Here we will meet Tripp and Zach, learn about their goals for the journey, their fears, and how the knowledge they gain from this voyage can help their community.
Currently, efforts are underway to protect and rebuild South Carolina's salt marsh wetlands, rebuild the Atlantic oyster reefs, and improve the overall water quality of the watershed by reducing pollution and rebuilding the natural systems that purify the region's rivers and coastal brackish water.
Fiji is ground zero for the fight against climate change. Like many of its neighbors, Fiji has already been forced to relocate several villages inland from its disappearing coastline. Along with other small island nations in the region, Fiji leveraged the moral force of these nations' peril to shape the global 2015 Paris Agreement. To survive, these nations need the global temperature rise to not exceed 1.5 degrees C. Even if they are successful, Fiji and its partners in the UN already plan to accept climate refugees from neighboring nations.
Near Fiji's main island we find the tiny island of Tavarua. Tavarua is home to one of Sylvia Earle’s Hope Spots, a network of marine reserves and initiatives around the world that empower and support locals to protect unique and endangered maritime ecosystems. Scientists at Tavarua Island Resort partner with the Fijian Department of Fisheries to repopulated endangered giant clams through a program of on-shore spawning of larva gigas and maximas before reintroducing them to their natural habitats. Islanders have joined the initiative by instituting an absolute ban on fishing in the surrounding reef system and establishing the island as a Fijian marine protected area. Through this partnership, formerly devastated coral reefs are returning to a healthy balance and the reintroduction of the giant clams returns an essential element to those reefs.
Australia's Great Barrier Reef is in trouble. Much like the coral bleaching events occurring in Tahiti, vast swathes of the Great Barrier Reef are succumbing to a warmer and more acidic ocean. The Reef is a barometer for the well-being of the whole planet. It is one of the first major ecosystems to suffer from the devastating effects of climate change and is a true indicator of the current state of the world. Protecting the Reef needs to be a major priority, so groups like Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef and Mission Blue are partnering with Australian universities, the Australian government, and international partners to test revolutionary means of reef stabilization and rebuilding.
On the southern end of the Coral Sea, Brisbane's Moreton Bay has long been exploited for its natural resources and has faced the pressures of being located so close to a large urban center. As one of Mission's Blue's Hope Spots, a diverse coalition of scientists and citizen scientists are working with government officials and indigenous populations to repair and protect this waterway that is home to shellfish, seagrass, coral, and endangered sea life like dugongs and grey nurse sharks.
Seychelles is an Indian Ocean nation of 90,000 people best defined as a Large Ocean Developing State (LODS). There are 58 LODS across the globe and by 2040 there will be roughly 80 million people living in these small island nations. The Seychellois hold a close connection to their islands and their seas. Part of the Seychelles Constitution guarantees every citizen the right "to live in and enjoy a clean, healthy, and ecologically balanced environment."
With the help of the Nature Conservancy, Seychelles are embarking on a great experiment to not only restore and protect their natural systems but also to create a more resilient future against climate change. Through a debt-for-nature swap, the country refinanced its national debts to establish a 400,000 square kilometer (roughly the size of Germany) marine protected areas by 2020. Seychelles's Marine Spatial Plan is being implemented through the Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT) with grants from the Nature Conservancy's NatureVest investment organization.
This public/private co-investment in LODS lands could provide the future for protecting massive marine and land-based ecological reserves, while also mitigating the effects of climate change on LODS nations.
Republic of South Africa
Our travelers eagerly set off south through the Mozambique Channel toward South Africa. As they near the South African coast they find themselves amidst a great migration. Whales from the Antarctic have arrived in these warmer waters to breed. With them come thousands of birds, schools of fish, and Great White Sharks. They are all gathering off of one of the most diverse and remarkable places in Southern Africa, the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. This region supports rich estuarine and lake systems, coral reefs, ancient sand dunes, coastal forests, and lush grasslands that thousands of indigenous species call home. This massive network of natural preserves represents a unique partnership of South African government departments, invested stakeholders and local communities working together equally in managing the wildlife and ecological systems of the area. In addition to providing protection to diverse and thriving ecosystems and natural features, the park empowers the local communities in leadership positions in conserving this historically and environmentally important region. Despite suffering crippling disadvantages under Apartheid, these communities are fully represented in the highest decision making body of the park and receive social and economic improvements to their communities through the economic and environmental benefits of the park. Rather than exploiting these resources for consumption and exotic exports, these communities thrive through careful conservation and sustainable resource management for a booming eco-tourism industry. They were able to create a future where both nature and humanity benefit by recognizing the value of protecting and promoting natural health and abundance.
Charleston, South Carolina
Return by December 2021
Two years after setting sail from Charleston, Tripp and Zach will return to their homeport. The world will have likely changed since they last saw their home. They will have likely changed. With newfound knowledge and purpose, they will draw upon the relationships they forged on their journey to share the ways we as individuals and communities can make a difference to make this a more resilient world.