DIETER PAULMANN & CREW of the Pacific Voyagers 2013 YachtWorld Hero Finalist

Who is your Hero?

Searching for the best way to convey an urgent message of marine protection, Dieter Paulmann, with his foundation Okeanos Foundation for the Sea, was inspired by Pacific Island culture and their ancient stories of voyaging, to fund a fleet of vaka moanas, or ocean going canoes, to sail across the Pacific as powerful messengers to raise awareness about contemporary threats to the sea.

The result was a fleet of seven vaka moana sailing canoes, sailing as one and crewed from many nations, traveling 20,000 miles to make this world aware of what is happening in our ocean – our planet – our Blue Canoe. The story of this spectacular voyage can best be seen by viewing the trailer of their soon-to-be-released movie, Our Blue Canoe.

All of the crew and team of the Pacific Voyagers are my heroes, and their voyage served only as the jumping off point for other initiatives, including the Island of Hope, a vision for the future where the Pacific is the first fossil fuel-free continent on Earth. The Pacific as a continent is an image adapted from the writings of Le Clézio, where each island is only the emerging peak of a vast, interconnected, undersea continent. Their goal is to protect the ocean by preventing activities that contribute to sea level rise, ocean acidification, warming oceans, over-fishing and reef destruction, as well as preserve tradition for children including myth and story; the values of cooperation and caring; and the old traditions of voyaging, fish farming, canoe building, craftsmanship, art and wisdom about the sea.

How has your Nominees efforts made a difference for the better?

As founder, chairman, and through the support of his foundation Okeanos Foundation for the Sea, Dieter has made it possible for the voyagers to share their stories along their 20,000 mile voyage to raise awareness, touch hearts, and inspire unity, empowering a movement for change, to create a healthy future for children. Their message is that we are all crew members on this voyage. There are many changes we can make personally and in our own lives to help protect the ocean, and request that we join them in their journey, for each individual action becomes woven into a wider web of collective change.

How will being recognized as a YachtWorld Hero further your nominee’s cause?

By spreading the word about their journey and foundation, they hope to engage our efforts in their belief that we can only survive if we come together as a culture, as crew mates of our communities, to pursue the health of planet ocean, our Blue Canoe.

Please share any website or online articles about your nominee’s activities.

Pacific Voyagers Foundation

Okeanos – Foundation for the Sea

Paddle Silently Through the Water, Navigating by the Stars, Seven Crews Sail Across the Pacific, Our Blue Canoe – The Film, coming soon to a theatre near you

Dieter Paulmann was nominated by Curley Carswell of Princeville, Hawaii, in the category Defending our Ocean.

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