Cal Major

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Since a very young age, I wanted to work with animals, and age 7 I told my teachers I would like to be a lady farmer. This quickly became a mad desire to become a veterinarian, and in 2007 I started vet school in Edinburgh. But the year before, I had been introduced to, and fallen in love with, the underwater world while learning to scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef.

I realised that the ocean is where I come alive.

After moving to Devon to work as a vet, and rekindling my love of surfing, I started to become acutely aware of the plastic I was finding on every beach after every surf session; be that crowded beaches in Cornwall or remote Scottish islands. My resolve to do something about it was set. I joined forces with Surfers Against Sewage, running beach cleans in my local community and talking to people about what we were finding.

In 2016 I began the Paddle Against Plastic campaign. Positive engagement became my mantra, and I used epic stand up paddleboarding expeditions as my vehicle to do this. The first expeditions were embarked upon with dangerous naivety, and the steepest learning curve was that of respect for the power of the open ocean. I also gained a profound respect for my own strength and resilience.

I feel that as a society we are disconnected from nature, and that reconnecting to the oceans is imperative if we are to stand a chance of protecting them. I also strongly believe in the importance of reconnecting to nature for our mental wellbeing.

I use adventure to help communicate my messages, and hold the world-record for the first and fastest person to stand-up paddleboard the length of mainland UK. I was recognised by the Prime Minister’s Point of Light Award on World Ocean’s Day 2018 for my expeditions and Paddle Against Plastic campaign.

I’m a passionate surfer, kite-surfer, wild swimmer, downhill mountain biker, hill climber and camper. I am an advocate for about time outdoors for mental wellbeing. If you can’t find me, chances are I’ll be in the sea.

 

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