Andy Torbet shares news of his friend Monty Halls’ latest project, to highlight the state of British seas with a new wave of undersea explorers.

As some of you may be aware, I have had the dubious honour of being friends with Monty Halls for way more years than I care to admit. And not just ‘media’ friend, actual friends. I was an usher at his wedding as he was at mine (I’m pretty sure I did the better job logistically… although he was more entertaining) and he’s even the Godfather to the craziest (and the competition is stiff) of my feral children.

Our families spend quite a bit of time together, usually in, on or around the sea, you’ll be pleased to know. And this theme will continue through 2023 and 2024 as, I hope, we’ll be joining him for sections of his latest project – Generation Sea Change.

since this is a very coastal project, involving children of all ages.... snorkelling will be an important vehicle to investigate the nation’s underwater realm

As a marine biologist and conservationist, Monty will be circumnavigating the UK to investigate local and national marine issues, how these are affecting our ecosystems, wildlife and people; and what is being done to help. As well as highlighting some of the most important problems effecting coastal communities and environments, the project will look at the practical impacts of the way our marine environment is changing.  

As he sails around Britain, he’ll be visiting people, groups and communities who are already having a positive effect, highlighting their work, successes and future plans as well as delivering packages to schools to encourage and facilitate the next generation in setting up their own ocean conservation schemes.

Monty will be joined by his family, and occasionally ours, as this project, at its heart, is about people. It’s about this generation, our generation, of communities working together. It’s about the next generation, our kids’ generation, what they can do and what we can leave them.

You may be wondering why I am using my snorkel column to draw attention to my friend’s new project. It is something, I think, readers of SCUBA would be interested in following and potentially even getting involved with, and of course snorkelling will also feature significantly. We may don scuba at some point, but since this is a very coastal project, involving children of all ages, the general public and those new to the sea, snorkelling will be an important vehicle to investigate the nation’s underwater realm. 

As I’ve said before, snorkelling is the simplest form of diving and the best ‘gateway drug’ to the submerged world.

The project will set off along the South Coast this summer with the remainder of the UK being covered in 2024 and I hope to join him, snorkel in hand, family in tow for as much of the submerged summer shenanigans as possible. 

Watch this space for updates and Monty’s social media channels to follow the adventure.

Article ‘Re-Generations’ by Andy Torbet first published in SCUBA magazine, Issue 138 September 2023. Images in this online version have been substituted from the original images in SCUBA magazine due to usage rights.

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