40 years ago, eleven men set out to Amchitka to prevent the United States government from carrying out a nuclear weapons test. On that day, possessing hardly any sailing skills on a ship that was barely seaworthy, Greenpeace was born.
Today, after years of fighting for a better planet, I stand with hundreds of people from all around the world—of all different cultures, backgrounds, genders, and races—to celebrate the baptism of Greenpeace’s brand new ship, the Rainbow Warrior 3, in Bremen, Germany. It is an incredible sight to see; the ship stands tall at 174 feet, with sails that cover 13,563 square feet and a top speed of 15 knots under sail. The ship is our first ship of our fleet to be completely commissioned and designed by Greenpeace. It was designed by Dutch naval architecture firm Dijkstra and Partners and constructed by Germany’s Fassmer shipyard. It is the most eco-friendly ship of its class in the world, and was designed with sustainability in mind, all the way from the aluminium A-frame masts to the green paint (both literally and figuratively).
Along with being a ship with one of the lowest carbon footprints, the new Rainbow Warrior is a state-of-the-art campaigning ship, fully equipped with high-speed broadband, a campaign room, a conference room, a heli deck, and many other tools to continue our mission of traveling to the frontiers of ecological destruction, bearing witness and taking action. She is built to last for fifty years, and is a promise to our supporters that we will keep up the struggle to one day see a sustainable world where all of us can live in peace.
All of this, and more, I knew before first seeing the ship, but no statistics nor numbers could have prepared me for what I saw in the shipyard in Bremen. The impressiveness of the ship is beyond words and stunned me into silence. The only way I can really describe this entire experience and opportunity to be such a special part of Greenpeace’s past, present and future, is honored. My time onboard the Warrior will be spent as a New Hand on Deck, where I and seven other people from around the world will work to connect Greenpeace’s history to our strong future. We are eight to match those original eleven that boarded a ship to Amchitka 40 years ago, but this time we represent the world, not just the hopes and dreams of a small group of North Americans; we represent all genders and sexes, not just men; we represent the nearly three million supporters and members of Greenpeace that have stood up to environmental degradation and resource greed and have said “ENOUGH!” We represent those who are fighting back.
As the day moves on and I am continually inspired and impressed by everyone (including you!) that made this ship possible, my mind keeps going back to the Cree blessing that Melina Laboucan-Massimo, the Godmother of the new Rainbow Warrior, gave the ship this morning. She quoted the Cree prophecy where “There will come a time when the Earth grows sick, and when it does a tribe will gather from all the cultures of the world who believe in deeds and not words. They will work to heal it...they will be known as the "Warriors of the Rainbow’.” This is exactly what the New Hands on Deck aims to do, and could not have been said any more eloquently.
To be a Warrior of the Rainbow is something that I knew was in my heart since I was a child, and the best part about the Cree prophecy is that everyone can, and must, be a Warrior as well. Join me and the rest of the New Hands on Deck at http://facebook.com/newhandsondeck to come along for the journey and have a chance to take action to save the only planet we have, and fulfill the prophecy so we can all have a green and peaceful future.
For the Mountains,
Harmony will continue to update our site with news from onboard the Rainbow Warrior 3 as it makes its maiden voyage around Europe and the Americas, and will connect you with ways you can get involved with our new Warrior. Stay tuned!