We’re preparing to leave in a few minutes. Rodrigo, our skipper, has
giving the safety briefing. “Keep your life vest on, especially at
night, cause if you’re overboard we’ll likely not find you.”
Adventure sailing is serious business. Our science requires a boat
that can get us anywhere in the world. 5 Gyres and Algalita have
chartered the Sea Dragon from Pangaea Explorations to survey plastic
pollution in the Western Garbage Patch of the North Pacific Gyre and
in the Japanese Tsunami Debris Field.
As the Research Leader of the expedition, I’ll be engaging crew on the
science work. Everyone participates, and by doing so they become
ambassadors for the issue of plastic pollution. They know more, can
dispel misconceptions about “Plastic Islands”, and speak more informed
about the reality of plastic pollution, its global distribution, it’s
fate in our oceans and impacts on other living things. That’s our
purpose here, to understand what we’re up against when nations around
the world use the ocean as the “AWAY” in “THROW AWAY.” As you know,
all trash on land rolls, floats or flies downhill. The ocean is
downhill from everywhere.
We’ll talk more in the days and weeks ahead about our voyage goals and
objectives as we sail over 7,000 miles to Tokyo and then back to
Hawaii. Stay tuned. There’s always more on the horizon.
Marcus Eriksen, PhD
Research Leader – 2012 Asia Expeditions
5 Gyres Institute