THE REMARKABLE Ms PENN

Emily Penn is a young woman with a mission. She describes herself as an “Oceans Advocate, Skipper and Artist”...

THE REMARKABLE Ms PENN

Emily Penn is a young woman with a mission. She describes herself as an “Oceans Advocate, Skipper and Artist”...

…but this short description hardly begins to cover the scope of her canvas.

While studying Architecture at Cambridge, Emily set out for Shanghai to see at first-hand an ecobuilding project there. To minimise her carbon footprint she chose not to fly, completing some of the final stages of her journey across Russia, Mongolia and China by horse and camel. After graduation she accepted a job in Australia and, determined to get there by sea, applied for a crew position on the biofuel-powered circumnavigator, Earthrace. She was offered the job, joined the boat there and then, and did not see home again for three years. In Australia, Emily decided not to take up her post as an architect, opting instead to go back to the Tongan Islands to organise a mass community clean-up involving 3,000 islanders and 56 tons of rubbish.

With every sea passage she subsequently made, Emily’s concerns about plastics in the oceans grew. Before long she made her way to California where she joined the 5 GYRES organisation – specialist researchers and campaigners on ocean pollution by plastics. There she led a team of sailors, scientists and film-makers aboard the 22m / 72ft sloop Sea Dragon to locate, analyse and publicise the lesser-known plastic gyres.

Emily later expanded this concept to form Pangea Explorations, now in its sixth year. With Sea Dragon continuing to provide an oceangoing platform, Pangea offers scientists, filmmakers and private individuals access, research and adventure opportunities in some of the world’s most remote and fragile regions.

At the presentation of her Fitzroy Award, Emily was cited as “the explorer who achieved the most to further ocean conservation in the past 12 months”. What is truly impressive is that, during the same period, she was also globally active as an inspirational public speaker, artist, sailor and expedition organiser. There can be little doubt we will hear more of the remarkable Ms Penn.

“The remarkable Ms Penn” was first published in a previous edition of inhuis: one of several stories which withstood the test of time. Therefore worth recycling and minimal waste on the environmental front!

The marine environment: playing our part

Sailors have a strong affinity with the oceans and few can fail to be concerned about the steady degradation of the ocean environment. Many superyacht sailors not only care a great deal about the oceans but are seeking to use their influence and resources to counter the threats. Read more via this link (click here) to find an overview with links of various initiatives including Ms Emily Penn.

Emily Penn: winner of the Fitzroy Award at the Ocean Awards jointly presented by Blue Marine Foundation and Boat International.