December 2016 on the Great Barrier Reef

Better Than That

Captain Trevor Jackson

So we play this little musical show on the last night of each trip. The boat has a band of sorts: guitar, singer, drummer and back-up singers/dancers. All the crew pitch in…It’s a ritual and a highlight. Post gig there is another ritual in that the drummer and I head to the front deck like a pair of Elvis’s and ‘debrief ‘ the gig , so to speak…what went well, what didn’t etc. Last night we did neither, it was complete silence till one of us chimed in with a corker of a question…”If the whole human race needed to leave Earth and head to Mars, never to return, what would we take and what would we leave behind?”

Now sitting on the front deck under the Far North tropical night skies can occasionally prompt questions like this but this one was a doozie and needed some serious thought.

“Well, you’d need to take the means to create food and water obviously, shelter from the elements, can’t be too hot or too cold, and of course the breathable atmosphere may need some attention”.  I can’t imagine that on an urgent dash to save ourselves we would be too concerned with much else.

In fact, one might imagine that almost all of the things we concern ourselves with on a daily basis would be placed in the ‘leave it back on earth’ basket. Things like cars, guitars, scuba diving, the Pepsi V Coke argument, Democracy and Netflix – a random selection of course but you get the drift. We don’t NEED any of those things, they just make life a whole lot more interesting and fun…and they are a constant reminder that we have evolved well beyond what would have been a never ending cycle of chasing those three old chestnuts – food, water and shelter.

The whole idea of having to leave all that stuff behind made me realize for a moment what we would stand to lose if we don’t start taking care of our back yard. We would literally have evolved full cycle back into ‘cave men’. I don’t know about you, but I always thought we were better than that.

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