Before I became a journalist, I was a sea captain, spending almost two decades sailing the North Atlantic Ocean.

More than anything else, life on the open ocean shaped who I am. I’ve weathered hurricanes, administered my own stitches, and felt the weight of others’ lives. I stripped away life’s excess, fitting all my treasured items into a five-gallon Spackle bucket. To this day, I never underestimate the power of focusing on the basics to lift my spirits: a well-crafted meal, a game of twenty questions, and jelly pens. I love jelly pens.

In the summer of 2010, an iceberg almost five times the size of Manhattan broke from the Petermann Glacier, making headlines worldwide. I was asked to co-produce a documentary about a journey in a small sailboat to find that record-breaking iceberg. “One Simple QUESTion” premiered as a finalist at the Blue Ocean Film Festival and won several festival awards. Weaving climate science into an adventure narrative and collaborating with talented filmmakers made the film a turning point in my life.

I leveraged my sailing expertise to fuel my media passion by founding Hello Ocean, supporting early-career scientists with a research vessel and communication strategy. A 3,000-mile voyage from Panama to Maine, the same route as the leatherback sea turtle migration, laid the groundwork for a NatGeo Explorer’s grant and a film that explores traditional wisdom’s role in sea turtle conservation. Following my passion, I found myself naturally taking the lead on media projects I cared deeply about. This was the start of my formal commitment to a multimedia journalism and communications career.

Now my sea legs are firmly rooted on terra firma. I earned a science communication degree from UC Santa Cruz. As a freelance communications strategist, journalist, and media producer with Nightwise Media, my freelance venture, I partner to craft impactful media campaigns. Let’s collaborate and make waves together! 

~Teresa L. Carey