Day 12b S/V Kaisei: Passion for the Ocean

15 08 2009

Saturday, 15 August 2009
Lat: 34° 30’ N Lon: 141° 46’ W

Mary Crowley in Ocean

Mary Crowley in Ocean

A word from Mary Crowley:

Life on board Kaisei has been extremely busy the last few days but I wanted to take a moment and share with you a truly extraordinary experience.

Norton Smith and his niece, Melanie Smith, are key people to this expedition; they have been designing and building prototypes of the various marine-debris collection devices, which we are testing. On the 14th of August, we deployed the device nicknamed the “Beach,” as well as the device called the “Sweeper.” Both Captain Mike Smith and myself, along with a variety of collaborators, are extremely interested in these processes of collecting plastics, etc, from the ocean surface.

It was a beautiful sunny day, with very slight swell; Norton, Melanie and I spent hours in the inflatable, monitoring these devices as Kaisei sailed off, doing a manta trawl and other scientific studies. It was an epic moment to be in the water, snorkeling around these devices and seeing how well they were working at getting plastics out of the ocean; it is amazing in itself, to be swimming with 17,000 feet of deep blue water beneath you and a square-rigged ship on the horizon. With three people, mid-ocean aboard a dinghy, monitoring these innovative designs, the task at hand was placed into a stunning perspective.

We have much work still to do but, clearly, building larger versions of these passive collection systems is something we will be doing next year. The ocean appeared quite beautiful in this region, as there was not the proliferation of debris we had seen many other days prior; yet, the Beach and the Sweeper were quite effective in collecting small pieces of plastic, plus the occasional large pieces. Of course, the manta trawls also brought in good samplings of the marine debris in this area of the ocean.

I wish every ocean lover could have the experience we had today; being in the water and feeling the significance of our beautiful oceans, while contrasting it with the pressing need to deal with the marine debris issue. Both sharing the perspective of seeking ways to clean up some of what is there, in addition to stopping the flow of marine debris into our oceans.

Please join us on our expedition and join our mission. We appreciate you spreading the word to all of your friends around the world.

– Mary




3 responses

18 08 2009

Aloha Mary, Aleui and all hands aboard Kaisei! I’m catching up on your wonderful voyage via the website and wish I was there to join in the good work. Last time I was in the “high,” about a dozen years ago, the glass balls were minimal compared to the 70’s and 80’s, but there were plenty of plastic balls and heaps of styrofoam. Disheartening to hear that it’s alot worse but kind of expected given the mindset of disposability. The upside is you guys out there doing the right thing and Vic and I are proud to have family aboard! Thanks to all the crew on both vessels for the time you’re investing for the sake of our oceans. Malama pono i ka moana.

18 08 2009

i’m following both blogs…and my awareness grows daily…what to do with all the plastic bags in which the food is packed? i consider myself a conscious person, yet today i opened and discarded 5 bags! any suggestions? thank you for what you are all doing! as i told someone already, i share this with my non english and only spanish speaking congregation in colombia!

22 08 2009
Carol Carlson

Mary, Norton and Melanie,

This photo is amazing. Mary, I can feel the depth of ocean you are in – not really, I can only imagine it – but vividly, seeing the ship at the distance. Quite a rush!

I’m impressed by the design on passive collection devices since no one will do anything (usually) on a large scale to clean up pollution unless it’s economic and works very effectively. I’m curious how the design Norton and Melanie created collects plastic but very little marine life. Aren’t they the same size?

This is 6 days ago. How are you doing now?


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