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First Sampling


On the early watch, a colourless sun turns the shifting waves to a runway of dynamic molten silver. At dusk, as the light leaches away, the sea turns pewter, then gun-metal grey, the wave surfaces etched and chiselled and constantly in motion. At night, there’s an immensity of stars, silent above the black sea. It’s the biggest space I’ve ever been in. It’s extraordinarily, exhilaratingly, utterly wonderful. And I suspect, as I notice my distinctly mixed reactions to the news that we might reach land tomorrow, addictive.



Highlights of the trip so far have involved dolphins; Steph giving an excellent talk about her research with laptop slides on deck and dolphins arching in the background; and bioluminescent dolphins lighting up a dark night like waterborne fireworks. From our perspective, in many ways so out of our element, that there are creatures so at home in the sea seems amazing. Amazing and, inevitably, bittersweet to watch them leaping and sparkling given what we know about how we are changing their world.



Brilliant. That’s the word in mind today. The combination of people, skills, professions, interests and passions on board – marine scientists, photographers, film-makers, plastic pollution activists and campaigners, commercial project managers, conservationists, philosophers, generally interested folk and, of course, sailors. With luck and a fair wind, bringing these perspectives to bear on the horrible challenge that is ocean plastic pollution will throw up some genuinely constructive ideas and solutions.