“…are we there yet?”

by George Pletnikoff

August 17, 2007

"…are we there yet?" How many of we parents and grandparents have heard those wonderful and so touching questions when driving? Oh, I know it can be so annoying, especially when stuck in rush hour traffic, or when we are a bit late, but to those of us who are seperated for any length of time from our families, they are words more and more cherished.

So, for me, back on the Esperanza after a brief recharge and wonderful break with my family (we went dipnetting for salmon on the Kenai river, rested in hot springs pool east of Fairbanks, saw the bottom half of Mt. McKinley up close, and basked in being thankful for being married for 34 years now) it is, well, good to be back to my other love in life, the Bering Sea. And so, I ask "…are we there yet?" But, asked not until I saw, heard, looked, listened and wowed the results of our dives into the abyss next to my home on the Pribs. Oh my gosh, what amazing, and at the same time, saddening wonders! Amazing that my doorstep to my life, my childhood, my dreams are and were the Canyons! Saddening, because, someone came, or in our case, lots of someones, came and trashed my threshold to security, peace and a gift which He eventually allowed me to open and peek in. I peeked. I teared up. I smiled. I oh my goshed, and probably for now, will continue to oh my gosh. Our dive team went literelly down and beyond expectations. So much so that I walked the beaches of Dutch Harbor, beaches far from this industralized mess of killing for food, and finally learned, inner knowledge, that the marine cultural heritage zones are happening. We are doing it. A dream, seeminly impossible at its birth in my head, being made real by Greenpeace and our wonderfully dedicated group of people, and being done correctly.

So now, we are getting ready to listen to my question: "…are we there yet?" I am going home. I am coming back to my birthland, birth homes, both the Pribs. Coming back to smell, taste and see my playground, which now is in grave danger of becoming a tomb to dreams, to memories, to wonders. I am going home. And I am nervous, filled with butterflies, wondering if what I am doing is the right thing. And, you know what? Through those nervous, butterfly feelings? Through them, I know it is right. Without the help of all of you, having a chance to keep clean our home, our heritage, none of this would have been possible. I often ask: "Why is Greenpeace doing this, to help my people, our people, why?" And I learned; because its the right thing to do. In all humanity, from time beginning to now, it is the right thing to do.

We will once again, visit, talk, listen and learn. We will discuss where we are going to finalize our marine cultural heritage zone plans, what reports, studies, laws, and all that such, that will ensure parts of this bloodline of Mother Earth is not trampled upon, destroyed and mocked by anyone.

So, the answer to my question: "…are we there yet?" has been given. Yes, we are. We have a few more hurdles to overcome, this first being the most difficult, this research. We have some hurdles, and I know, you are going to help Mother Earth. It is the right thing. And me? I am going to know, yes, when we come together against seemingly insurmountable odds and put our collective hearts and minds into it, we are a force to be reconded with.

As we come closer to the midpoint of our two weeks left in our tour, I will try to put into words our final goals, the directions we need to yet go. However, just being at this point in the Bering Sea, working and growing, gives us all a sense that yes, we are doing the right thing in protecting this planet we call Mother…..Earth.

Until next time


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