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Mermaid of the month August: Christine Spiten

It is easy to see that Christine lives and breathes for the ocean. Whether she is hanging out in the cabin by the sea, on the surf board, in the sailboat, or with its underwater eyes, the Blueye drone. Christine loves the ocean, and she has created a lifestyle where she is working to take care of it. Christine is one of Norway’s young entrepreneur with the right values that we need many more of.

Text: Simen Knudsen

Who: Christine Spiten, 26, from Asker.

What are you doing these days??:

I have just landed in Trondheim after Lofoten, and oh my god – what a place! Now I live in slow speed at the harbor in Havna (Saltstein) with my family and friends. It is the last days of the holiday, and everything will be at half speed before I travel to Trondheim for work again, so now the brakes are on and everything is just to be enjoyed. Back in Trondheim I will live on board the boat I sailed from Lofoten, Viva Tavaha is her name..

In Trondheim I work on developing underwater drones, small robots that will make it possible for anyone to explore the ocean. I’m really curious about the ocean. It’s so big and holds so much we do not know anything about. So, a year ago, we started Blueye Robotics, with an aim that everyone should be able to enjoy the mysteries by having an “underwater” sight. We will launch in 2017, so it will be a busy fall (jeehoo!).

No thanks to plastic disposables as far as possible. Straws, ice-spoons, plastic bags, q-tips … I get angry thinking about how much plastic in the world is used only for a few minutes, and then hundreds of years breaking down.

What do you do to take care of the ocean? What does tavaha mean to you??

I spend as much time as I can near the ocean, trying to learn more about it and understand it. Now I will stay by the sea for the next year, it feels so good! I become aware of my own consumption and what impressions I leave behind. I also taken a lot of trains after moving to Trondheim. 

No thanks to plastic disposables as far as possible. Straws, ice-spoons, plastic bags, q-tips … I get angry thinking about how much plastic in the world is used only for a few minutes, and then hundreds of years breaking downThat is why I speak highly about the alternative solutions I have found; bamboo cutlery and my cool Tavaha network!

Living in a boat will naturally limit my consumption and cause me to think about what I REALLY need. The moving process has been great, towards more simplicity! I was embarrassed by how much crap I had, and realized how easy it is to go shopping for clothes and equipment that you just “must have”. Fortunately, I’ve been good at thinking that the things I buy have to last, and much is also homemade or inherited.

Tavaha for me is about giving something back to what has given us everything. It’s about caring for others than oneself, not just being human, but perhaps living with it – not ruining what we have, but taking care of it. Also, I think it symbolizes unity, because we have to do it together.

What do you consider to be the biggest challenge we have to solve to save the ocean?

To make people care – to understand that this is important to we can change attitudes and actions. Today, many people have some sort of distance to nature and the ocean, it is taken for granted and is expected to just be there. Provide us with what we need when we need it and at a price we don’t want to notice. It’s just common sense to make sure the ocean is still there for us in the long run.

I think the biggest challenge lies in communicating this in a way that is accepted and simple. Good examples, good alternatives and good cleanups. 

What do you do to take care of the ocean? What does tavaha mean to you?

I think the biggest challenge lies in communicating this in a way that is accepted and simple. Good examples, good alternatives and good cleanups. 

What are your 3 tavaha tips?

1. Connect with the ocean 

2. Give something back

3. Do it together

What are your happiest ocean moments?

Oh, I have had so many great moments at the sea lately, it’s hard to choose. Sailing in Northern Norway was absolutely amazing! I was a little nervous before the trip, because I’ve never stood behind the wheel on a bigger boat before, but it went so well! To cross the Vestfjord for full sail, and arrive at Steigen with crystal clear turquoise water and midnight sun was very nice. And from there it just got better! But I think the feeling of ecstacy I had sailing my own boat from Lofoten and having shared so many experiences along the way with people I love – that’s the nicest moment I’ve ever experienced at sea!

Who are your everyday heroes?

I have so many! My heroes are those who glow with energy and positive support in situations where I could give up. Those who see solutions and exciting challenges where others see problems. I love being around such people, and I believe in the ripple effects they can give.

And lastly, what would you like to thank the sea for?

For the finest moments, the biggest smiles and the best experiences I’ve had – and for those who come. (And because you take care of my boat so I can sleep safe.)