This blog shares the research experiences and findings conducted at University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW faculty and students) in conjunction with Plastic Ocean Project. Earlier posts share open-ocean sampling and adventures in the North and South Atlantic, the South Pacific and the North Pacific Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Outreach and education is the primary purposes to bring global awareness to an issue that has reached a crisis level in the marine environment.
Day 1 & 2 Noon Position: 23° 5'9.60"N, 159°20'18.00"W
Anchor up and underway! Captain Moore, Gwen Lattin, and Jeff Ernst had their hands full trying to get two novice sailors, Lindsey Hoshaw and myself, up to speed in a matter of hours before we set sail yesterday(click here to read more about the crew members on this voyage.) They competed with our last minute emails, personal blogs and our Twitter accounts. Lindsey has been getting me up to speed on how to use some of the apps on my iPhone and showed me how to upload my Twitter account via my phone. Somehow I managed to get into a community network based on the name of my account “The Plastic Ocean.” Dan Norberg who commented on Lindsey’s “Garbage Girl” account saying “Capt. Moore is a hero” also contacted me inviting me to join the groups that are talking about “plastic pollution.” I joined and watched with awe as a map of the US appeared. Slowly, but continuously, names of groups concerned about the issue of plastics in our oceans popped up. There were over 100 of them. I’m talking about people from the coasts to people in the mid-west, groups from the lower part of the country to people up near Canada. I was blown away and couldn’t help but to show Charlie the names of groups that popped up on my screen. I explained to him what it was and how people all over the country have created organizations most likely based on the AMRF research and outreach on the North Pacific Garbage Patch over the past 12 years. AMRF because of your work people are getting it. There is still much work to do, but the hope is here.Okay now back to what happened on the ship. We seriously rode off into the sunset with sails filled with fair winds. As the sky darkened and the moon took over we had a visitor. A Red Footed Booby settled on our railing and stayed there like a hood ornament until 6am. I know because I was on watch from 2am to 6am and he helped keep me awake.