Building viewership across the Atlantic
Published on November 13th, 2019
We’ve become enamored with the weekly video episodes from Elayna Carausu and Riley Whitelum, whose YouTube channel Sailing La Vagabonde chronicles their life aboard a 48-foot catamaran, and soon these shows may include a notable news figure:
(November 13, 2019) – Teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg has found a carbon-free ride back across the Atlantic to attend the COP25 environmental summit in Madrid, thanks to a pair of Australian vloggers.
After hitching a ride across the Atlantic to New York City for the 2019 UN Climate Action Summit in September on the IMOCA 60 foiling monohull Malizia II, the Australian couple responded to Thunberg’s plea for help as the 16-year-old refuses to fly due to the high levels of emissions from air travel and instead uses boats, trains, and electric cars to get around.
Leaving today from Hampton, Virginia with Carausu, Whitelum, and their 11-month-old son, Lenny, they’ll also be joined by Thunberg’s father, Svante, and British yachtswoman Nikki Henderson.
However, the trip is not without risks, and Whitelum admitted he was originally hesitant about the journey, in part as November is considered offseason for sailing across the Atlantic but also because of their baby son.
“It is a bit of a mission and we do have Lenny,” Whitelum said. “Heading across at this time of year is not something you take lightly so there was always going to be a lot of preparation and a lot of big decisions to be made, but we were very happy to certainly entertain the idea.”
The couple say they’re working with weather routers to help keep them on course and feel confident ahead of the journey, whose endpoint isn’t yet decided. “We’re actually not too sure just yet,” said Carausu. “It’ll be either Portugal, Spain, or France.”
Thunberg has become a symbol of a growing movement of young climate activists after leading weekly school strikes in Sweden that inspired similar actions in about 100 cities worldwide.
She’s also drawn criticism from conservative commentators in the U.S. but she brushed off the criticism, saying that yes, she is too young to be doing this.
“It should be the adults who take that responsibility,” Thunberg said. “But it feels like the adults and the people in power today are not.”