Author of The Big Whizzo, David Raine explains what he hopes to achieve from The Jimmy Ocean Project and how he believes that through his adventure books, children and parents alike can help change the world, just like Jimmy Ocean.
What is The Jimmy Ocean Project and why does it matter?
The Californian based 5 Gyres Institute have estimated, based on years of oceanic research that there are 5.25 trillion individual pieces of plastic in our oceans today; when I was sailing as a child, I would estimate that there were none.
We have had an Iron Age and a Bronze Age and now we have a Plastic Age and this Plastic Age will be deadly unless we change our behaviour – plastic lasts for ever, iron rusts. In the ocean, plastic biodegrades into smaller and smaller pieces and enters the food chain. Toxic chemicals are used in the manufacture of plastic, also as plastic passes through the sewers, streams and rivers on the way to the sea it attracts other toxins. This toxic plastic is being eaten by microscopic proto plankton, and, the toxicity multiplied many times over, as it rises up the food chain to the largest marine mammals, whales. ….so this is why it matters. Is there a magic answer to the ocean plastic pollution problem?
In the series of children’s books that I have written, there is a magic answer. In the world away from the fictional characters of Jimmy and Bibi Ocean, not to forget the mermaids, there is not one yet! I build my first sea going craft when I was thirteen and wrote my first book about pirates when I was nine, neither amounted to much except that they led to a lifetime involvement with the sea; to building and sailing dugout canoes in the Indian Ocean, building and sailing a Viking longboat in the Norwegian Arctic to sailing aboard my own square rigger for film work in Greenland – windsurfing there too amongst the bergs. What did I learn? I learnt to fall in love. I learnt to fall in love with the sea. I learnt to love our amazing planet, two thirds of which is covered by oceans.
The Jimmy Ocean Project is reality turned into fiction and fiction that can be turned back into reality. We have put enormous quantities of plastic into our oceans but we can remove it and we can re-use it. Throughout the world there are very many brilliant universities, marine institutions as well as millions of ordinary people both aware of this problems and also dealing with it in a variety of ways – but there are also billions worldwide that are not aware of it being a problem at all.
The Jimmy Ocean Project seeks to inspire the very young through story telling, through puzzle making, and board game playing – and possibly, just possibly one of those inspired children, one of those unaware billions, will become a scientist and discover THE magic solution to ocean pollution– and Jimmy and Bibi, made by the mermaids out of beach plastic garbage will forever be in their memories, and to always remind them to love and to care for our oceans.
You might laugh at my romanticism for the oceans but then I have lain in the bowsprit netting of a square rigger plunging in and out of the sparkling swell, out in the ‘Far Ocean,’and I really have talked to dolphins. www.facebook.com/jimmyoceanproject – www.jimmyoceanproject.org
The story of The Big Whizzo…
What is a real and truly awesome adventure, an adventure that changes the entire world? Of course, it could be discovering flying boots and zapping and zooming and looping the loop. Or it could be going on a voyage to the Far Ocean in a super-fast sailing boat with a boy made of beach plastic and magic parts. Or then again, or then again it could fighting off the biggest and angriest shark that has ever existed in the entire history of the world. What if the voyage took you whizzing down the deepest and scariest whirlpool on the planet? The Big Whizzo – the whirlpool of whizzing terror – and down there you found a massive octopus factory. A factory that converts ocean polluting plastic bits, with the help of the vital magic ingredient, ‘Horrid Green Custard’, into lifesaving Mermaid Stones. Which are all then baked in Granny Bluebell’s old bakery replica oven in a parallel world? And what if, ocean creatures team, the mermaids, the octopuses, the crabs and your friend, the plastic Jimmy Ocean, desperately need you to make the whole insanely, mad and dangerous, and ocean-saving scheme work in the human world? If that is what you would call a real adventure, then read The Big Whizzo.
Buy The Big Whizzo children’s book on Amazon.
The second book in the series, Blue from the Moon out soon and, in the next few months, the third book Flippo’s not a Nerd will be published. All aboard!!!!