Hi. I'm the webbie on board our ship Esperanza currently sailing out into the North Sea from London - to confront the oil industry that's scrambling to get into the planet's last oil reserves - further away in riskier places. Being a webbie means I'm responsible for making sure you can join us - without actually having to join us - if you get what I mean. I'll be sharing every part of our journey online and offering you the chance to be part of our virtual crew. And I'm getting seasick and homesick - so you don't have to!
Usually, I'm sitting at my desk in the Greenpeace International office in Amsterdam but they've let me out to sea for a change. Last time I was on this ship - we were in the Pacific chasing massive fishing vessels in 2008. It's been two years and now I'm back here again - listening to the sound of the water swishing past the porthole of the campaign office as we steam ahead. It doesn't feel like it's been that long and many of the crew members on board are old friends of mine so I'm settling in quickly and getting used to this big blue ship again.
The Esperanza (meaning "hope" in Spanish) got her name from a competition where Greenpeace supporters suggested names and then people voted for their favourite. She's a beast. At 72 metres long and 14.3 meters wide, she can berth 38 people and travel at speeds of up to 15 knots (that's pretty quick for a ship this size). Built in 1984 - she was originally a Polish firefighting vessel called "Eco Fighter". She was converted into a Greenpeace ship almost 10 years ago - and made ready for action to defend our fragile planet. On board we have 5 inflatable boats that we use for actions. I will give you a proper tour of the entire ship soon with a video but we've been so busy getting ready to go to sea these past few days I couldn't walk around the ship without bumping into crew who have been buzzing around all over the place - making sure we have absolutely everything ready before heading out to sea.
Waldemar (left) is our captain (from Argentina) and Adrian (right) is our chief mate (from Panama).
We have a full crew and a pretty big campaign team on board with people from all over the globe including Argentina, Panama, India, Australia, Sweden, Germany, UK, Netherlands, Finland, Italy, Ukraine, the Cook Islands and Bermuda. I'll introduce you to various members of the crew throughout our journey and there will be opportunities for you to talk directly with them via twitter and maybe even live video if our satellite system is up for it. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.
There's plenty of time for you to get to know all of us. We're taking on the oil industry. It's not going to be easy and we could be out here for some time!
So - you're probably wondering where we're going. All we can say for now is that we're going beyond oil - with hope - and with you! You'll find out where we end up if you stay on board - by getting our updates. You can also follow us on - www.twitter.com/gp_espy
It's late. I'm going to find a quiet space and start a book I've been meaning to read for a long time. Ernest Hemmingway's 'An Old Man and the Sea'.
Love and peace from the 'Espy'.
Me - getting onboard in Amsterdam before we sailed to London on Tuesday.