Monthly Archive for: ‘October, 2014’

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    eXXpedition Caribbean 2017

    Come and live aboard Sea Dragon as we hop between islands, sampling waters, surveying waste and reach out to local communities.

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    Lanzarote, on the horizon for hours as a question mark – cloud or land? – came into focus as an extended sprawl of volcanic hills. A fantastically arid landscape, all browns and tans like the dried pelt of a brindled creature, a stark contrast to the lush greens of the Azores. Clusters of white buildings ran in lines like barnacles on a low-tide rock.

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  • Deck

    Studio Swine and the Golden Machine

    Reconfiguring our conception – and use – of ‘waste’ is a theme running through Studio Swine’s work, which has seen them crafting chairs from aluminium cans in Brazil, and extraordinarily beautiful, tortoiseshell-like table-tops and other objects from human hair and bio-resin in China. They first became interested in ocean plastic after Alex heard a BBC Radio 4 programme about a previous Sea Dragon voyage from Brazil to South Africa through the South Atlantic gyre. On our current journey, as we lower the fish-mouthed trawls into the sea for the daily collection of plastic and plankton, we’re witnessing an intriguing, real-time intersection of science and art.

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  • Eric Blog 1

    Ocean Friendly Design

    According to the UK Design Council, 80% of a product’s environmental impact is ‘locked in’ at the design stage. Take the humble toothbrush. Most of these apparently simple objects are made from three or four different kinds of plastics. For a toothbrush to be recycled, the different plastics would have to be separated, making toothbrush recycling, even were this technically feasible, an immediate non-starter financially. The toothbrush as a whole is a short-lived item, but actually, the only short-lived bit of it is the bristles in the head. The plastics in the handle will probably last upward of 450 years.

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  • Dragon Sailing1

    Plankton Poo

    Steph, who is normally based at the University of Exeter, talked about the research she’s been doing en route. She’s asking two main questions: 1) where on our route will we find the most plastic and plankton occurring together; 2) can we find ‘real world’ evidence (as opposed to lab-based evidence, which already exists) that plankton ingest plastic? The critical question is the second one, and the method is brilliant.

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  • Arjen 3


    That night, by now so used to falling asleep in motion, our berths surging and swaying through the waves, the sudden lack of movement felt unnatural and abrupt, as if someone had slammed on the brakes. These are truly strange transitions, I’m finding, from ocean and motion to stationary land; from the mini-world of our boat, at once small and yet travelling through an immensity of ocean and sky, to the endless-but-limited options of land-life.

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