Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Noon Position 33 41.703N 149 36.926W
Day 16 Tuesday 9/22/09
Today is yet another travel day. It’s hard to believe that the latitudinal line we started from stretched across the Pacific and slid beneath the Baja Peninsula, nearly 1000 miles down from the US/Mexican border. The ocean temperature had been in the high seventies/low eighties, the air hot and slightly breezy. Over the past 1,440 nautical miles we’ve felt the hot air fade away as the winds picked up and the water cooled. Most of us are wearing long sleeves and pants. Jeff sports a cap when it gets below 80.o I’ll be breaking mine out that Danielle Andre made for me just before the cruise. Thanks Danielle, I’m going to need it! After we leave the Garbage Patch it’s going to be much cooler as we head back to Long Beach, California.

We have 414 more nautical miles to go to begin our sampling in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. We should be there in two days allowing us to start sampling on Friday September 26th. We will be re-sampling the precise locations AMRF sampled 10 years ago that led to Captain Moore’s first publication on plastic pollution. The sampling will take three solid days or more depending on conditions. The captain explained that it should be warmer in the Garbage Patch as the winds will die down along with the sea state due to this area typically being monopolized by a high pressure system. We look forward to getting back in the water to video and take some stills underwater as well as what we find on the surface.

In the meantime, the captain continues to entertain us with crazy awesome connoisseur concoctions. We had homemade limeade with lunch and since he was cleaning out the fridge, he decided to make smoothies out of random fruits on the verge of going to the dark-side. He added some soymilk for good measure and BAM, it shamed Smoothie King. Tonight he’s preparing Chicken Mole which I guess is chicken with a chocolate sauce along with a side of sweet candied squash dusted with cinnamon. I never had it, but he hasn’t let me down yet!

Since we are catching some perfect winds at 16 knots over a sea state of four, we don’t have the ability to maneuver to pick up plastics that float by so we’ve been counting. Just in buoys today alone, Jeff has seen a dozen and Gwen five. As I was asking her how many she counted she looked over my shoulder and said, “There’s one now!” And sure enough, there was a black one floating by our ship. I’m a neophyte yet and have only counted seven floating by in two days. Bill, the captain, and Lindsey say they lost count. On board, we’ve collected 17 so far. We could make our own totem pole of buoys with the number we have seen. Not that these are the only things we see out here, 100s of random things float by daily and that is just what we see.

“Corners,” I said in a trance-like state as I stared at the white corner of a crate or something similar that floated by. We see a lot of corners of objects. We guess it’s because corners are likely to be sturdier than the other parts. The captain pulled one out yesterday and entered on our data sheet along with many others that we’ve collected. Two days ago, I had a huge piece with two corners intact making a “U” shape. We were traveling at about five knots so when it came rapidly floating toward me, I squared myself to the bow. I concentrated on my timing watching it as it decided to float on the starboard side. It was coming around the pontoon when I made my move. Half of it went into the net, the other have wrapped around the pontoon - clung to it like a child around its mother’s leg. It was ridiculous. I had the net on one end of it, but was afraid to pull for fear it would go down the other side of the pontoon. I yelled to Bill who was filming at the time to come help. Just as he got there, it let go. I clawed at it as it floated past me and on it went. I hung my head. “Don’t worry,” Bill said, “there’ll be plenty more opportunities.”

More later.

Answers to comments:


I went to San Francisco last Thursday Sept 17 to the President’s
Interagency Ocean Policy Task Force, and made a 2-minute talk which
included a reference to the Algalita Blog. Maybe we will get some
additional people watching your Blog. Marieta was also there and made
a 2-minute talk for Algalita.
Our Surfrider Gyre Technical Engineering Team also attended
“Surfboards in the Sand” at Huntington Beach on Saturday, where we had
about 600 surfboards on display. I got some Algalita brochures from
Marieta, and we handed them out to people excited about the Gyre, and
talked about the Algalita Blog. Our theme was “Surf the Gyre”, and we
had t-shirts made with that on them. Tim Touve Surfrider



We appreciate any attention you can draw to this issue and love the
theme!!! Algalita appreciates the attention too. I bet those
surfboards looked amazing! How cool of you to handout the brochures.
Donations would be great. We lost our spinnaker the other night and
not sure if it can be mended. We're all sick about it.

We will be keeping a close eye out for bags and will let you know if
we see any as well as collect them if we can.

Best to you Tim and thanks again from the bottom of the ocean.



wow! That is amazing, thanks for the shots! Posted by Trina S.



You are welcome and keep sailing with us, we promise there will be a
lot more in store.



I found this website by accident as well and would just like to thank
all the vessels involved in this project for the work you are doing.
Kudos to all of you. It is a VERY necessary workload you have. Many
wishes for success in all your projects. I will be checking out your
map of vessels often.
Kizzy, Langley, B.C., Canada


Hi Kizzy in Canada,

So glad you stumbled on our blog. You can contribute too by letting
people know about the issue of marine debris and the great work that
Captain Charlie Moore is doing on behalf of our oceans. Algalita
Marine Research Foundation is a small group of volunteers and people
committed to this issue so any kudos they receive is a huge reward.
Best to you and come along with us for the rest of our journey blog

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