North Atlantic Gyre | Bermuda to St. Thomas
Aug 08 2013
Depart: St. George’s, Bermuda
Arrive: St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
Length: 9 days
Focus: Plastic Pollution research with Boyan Slat, The Ocean Cleanup
The Ocean Cleanup North Atlantic Gyre Expedition
During this 7-day expedition, sailing from Bermuda to St Thomas (Virgin Islands), you will become part of Boyan Slat’s crew, helping to conduct experiments as part of The Ocean Cleanup’s feasibility study.
Sailing through the North Atlantic Gyre, The Ocean Cleanup will deploy their new multi-level trawl, capable of measuring plastic concentrations at eleven depths simultaneously.
Over the past 15 years, lots of data has been collected to measure the surface concentration of plastics, but very few researchers have measured concentrations below the surface.
Data on the concentration of plastics at different depths near the surface is essential to determine the necessary cleanup depth, and to know what cleanup efficiency could be achieved.
The trip price includes a donation to The Ocean Cleanup.
November 13: Guest Crew will join Sea Dragon at the dinghy dock in St. Georges between 12-1 pm. Everyone will have an opportunity to settle into the yacht, and put away their personal belongings. The captain and first mate will give crew a safety and expedition briefing, followed by Boyan Slat’s briefing of the research to take place. After an evening meal, the crew will retire and sleep on Sea Dragon for the night.
November 14: Sea Dragon will clear customs in St. Georges and depart Bermuda for St. Thomas.
November 15-19 Underway to St. Thomas, deploying and retrieving the trawl collecting samples.
November 20: Sea Dragon will arrive in Red Hook, St. Thomas. After clearing customs the crew will be free to explore ashore or enjoy the warm tropical waters of the Caribbean.
November 21: Crew will leave the boat by 9 AM for wherever adventure takes them.
Boyan Slat – Founder of The Ocean Cleanup
Boyan Slat (1994) combines environmentalism, creativity and technology to tackle global issues of sustainability.
Currently working on oceanic plastic pollution, he believes current prevention measures will have to be supplemented by active removal of plastics in order to succeed. “The ultimate solution will do to close the tap, and prevent the plastic from reaching the ocean at the first place. But that won’t be a solution to the plastics already trapped in the currents of the gyres.”
Together with a team of over 50 people, The Ocean Cleanup is now investigating the feasibility and financial viability of passive and large-scale removal of plastics from the ‘oceanic garbage patches’, driven by the currents. Covering all aspects of the concept (including engineering, oceanography, ecology, recycling, finance and maritime law), Boyan estimates this study to be ready for publication around the end of this year.
Besides leading The Ocean Cleanup, Boyan is an Aerospace Engineering student at the Delft University of Technology (though temporarily halted his study to focus on this project), and is an avid photographer and diver.
- Enough clothes for a 7 day voyage (warm weather clothing, plus layers for cold nights)
- No hard suitcases or roller bags with frames
- Sunscreen and and required medications
- Sunglasses and a hat with a brim
- Pen and notebook/diary
- Camera or video camera (optional)
- Snorkeling gear (optional)
- Set of twin sized sheets for bunk
Everything you bring (with the possible exception of snorkel/dive gear) must fit in a box next to your bunk, dimensions- 50cm x 40cm x 26cm. Please avoid bringing anything in plastic packaging that will need to be thrown away.
Please note that Sea Dragon is a dry vessel. No alcohol or cigarettes will be permitted on board.
- 8 nights accommodation on board Sea Dragon
- All meals, snacks and drinks on board
- Sailing instruction
- Safety equipment and foul weather gear
Contribution does not include:
- Transportation to Bermuda and St Thomas
- Transportation to and from the dock
- Personal expenses while at port
Crew will require a passport from their home country that will allow them to travel to Bermuda and the US Virgin Islands. There may be specific visa requirements for travelers from countries outside of North America. For specific visa information, contact the US Customs and Border Protection. Non-US citizens will need a B1/B2 visa in order to enter the United States by sea.