You could say I have a one track mind. The sea. But it's not a narrow track. The sea is big and a lifetime is not enough to encompass it.
My relationship with the sea started in childhood. I was a voracious reader, and my favourite books were adventures on the sea. Whether true stories or fiction, I couldn't get enough of that stuff.
Not coming from a family with a background on the sea, nor having bundles of spare cash lying around to indulge expensive hobbies, it took a while before I owned my first boat. But in 2008, I sold my house, bought the most beautiful boat I could find, and set off on an adventure voyage around the UK and then onwards to the Mediterranean. And I've been here ever since.
For most of the year I teach Mediterranean Oceanography, Climate Change, and other environmental science courses to international undergraduate students spending a year in Barcelona. When the students go home in the spring, I leave the lecture hall and take to the sea, sharing a few hours on the water with guests from all over the world. It's a hard life, but hey, someone has to do it!
My teaching keeps me grounded in the bigger picture. On a sparkling summer day sailing on the Mediterranean it can seem like the world is in great shape. The truth is, we're edging closer and closer to the tipping point where the pressures of our modern lifestyle are pushing the ecosystem to its limits. The signs are clear, for those with eyes to see. We call these people scientists, and we better start listening to them before it's too late. The consequences of ignoring their warnings will not be visited on us, but on our children.
But it's not all doom and gloom. The science also shows us that nature is resilient. Nature has the capacity to support the lifestyles we want, but we need to step up to the challenge and control the worst excesses of our resource-stripping industries. History will judge our generation for the choices we make right now. It's daunting, and invigorating, to be alive at such a momentous time.