10,000km – my journey to change … km 2,000: In the action by Charlotte Murray


It’s actually happening, it’s really happening. With all the planning, and preparing, the CANADIVE Expedition has really started. For me, this means the pathway to my career transition which I am documenting here is now officially in full swing!

I must admit, action feels good, really really good. While there are many reasons why it feels good to do something, the one that on the top of my list is what I am doing feels absolutely right. No regrets, no second guessing, no faltering in my determination. Although I have noticed this feeling before, continuing to feel like what I am doing is right for me is like an extra adrenaline kick that energizes me even more.

The second reason being in action feels good is because when you do something you get results. In my case, the CANADIVE expedition is about mobilizing local communities and divers across Canada to collect underwater trash and debris. So, in terms of results, it feels good to have collected almost 600 lbs / 270kg of trash, and to be welcomed and encouraged by local divers and communities, and to be invited to interview with CBC Radio. These are tangible results that are a consequence of action.

The third reason why action feels good - and this one might sound strange  to some - action feels good because there is an element of the unexpected. When we dive to collect marine debris* we do not know what we are going to find. So far we have found unusual items like a rotary telephone, a car radio case, and a glass bottle from the 1950s. Like with any action, you can plan and prepare, but there will always be a small pinch of the unexpected that adds a twist to your plans.

While being in the action (on the ferry between Newfoundland and Nova Scotia), here are my few points to share with you this month:

1)     Embrace the unexpected – this may be one angle of one of my points from last month (have fun) but it’s important for me to (re)share. The unexpected is the part of action that you cannot plan for. For better or for worse, the unexpected does happen, and so far it has just added to the adventure. It was unexpected that we would be invited and hosted by the City Mayor of the town of Holyrood to do a cleanup dive there. Likewise it was unexpected that from a casual conversation with someone in the local dive shop that it would turn into several days of activities and new friendships formed as a result.

2)     Keep a learning mindset – keeping an open and learner mindset has been invaluable. Keeping a learner mindset for me means that you remain open and curious. I have learned what it sounds like when your muffler decides to pop off on the highway and how to change a timing belt on our truck, I have learned how to shuck fresh scallops, and I have learned what it is like to be interviewed live on Radio.

3)     Keep your ‘to do’ list short – as always, I have my daily ‘to do’ list, but when being on the road, all I can say is, spread out what you want to do. Especially because of unexpected events (see point 1); if you have too many items on your ‘to do’ list, then the adventure and learning could turn to stress (at least it could in my case). I am now keeping my ‘to do’ list to a daily maximum of 3. For example, yesterday my three things were: i) interview with CBC radio, ii) do a cleanup dive, iii) make sure the moose steak we were given by our Newfoundland friends is thawed for dinner. Luckily I did not have more on my list, because we spent four hours later in the afternoon walking along the beautiful beach and spontaneously continuing our debris clean up on the shore (and carrying all the 59kg / 132 lbs of it back to the recycling depot). Today it was i) drive 4.5 hrs in time to make the ferry, and get some good footage of the route ii) write this blog, and iii) contact dive shops for our upcoming stops in New Brunswick and Quebec.

*Marine Debris definition (Wikipedia):  Human-created waste that has deliberately or accidentally been released in a lake, sea, ocean or waterway.