Aug 25 2010
Today we are go.
Everything dozens of people work and believe in is now converged on Rio and Sea Dragon is about Today. Months of planning, decisions, sacrifice, investment and personal challenge now become a tangible reality.
When we go to sea, or on any great human journey there are real hardships and challenges that people face. These are people with competing priorities, families back home, and the anxieties that we all face in heading out. While we may go for many individual reasons, the common purpose is exploration and a better future for the earth.
This mission is important. It is a first look into the great South Atlantic Ocean for man’s footprint of plastic marine debris. Like the other four oceanic gyres, we believe this region is now acting as a giant accumulator for marine debris. Carrying the aesthetic and chemical burden of a throwaway society, these central oceanic wilderness zones now symbolize our synthetic sea. Its important that we go out there and understand what exactly is happening. Tomorrow begins the first step in this process. The team will cross the northern edge of the Gyre sampling with two two trawls and then reach the volcanic shores of Ascension. Perhaps one of the most remote islands in the world, Ascension will give us all a sense of perspective. Will her shores be clear and pristine as the isolation would suggest…or burdened with the flowing debris of our world? What level of debris will we see in the open sea enroute? Will fish caught in the high seas be clean or carry the toxins of our land?
The team leaving today deserves our thanks. They have set aside their natural concerns about leaving land, personal challenges, and asked those close to them to share in this sacrifice. Despite our romance with the ocean, we must never forget what a hard and demanding place it is for us. As we say in all new crew briefings- The Sea is Not Your Friend.
Without them there is no mission. They go out and do the hard work of the trip so that we may all make better decisions going forward. In this they deserve our support and respect. Thank you.
Today is most importantly about a small team of people, just like us, that are going out into a vast, tough and yet greatly endangered sea. These people will help us all. Fair winds and good work to you.