Sunrise, Marine Debris and International Coastal Clean-Up

23 08 2010

19 August 2010 Thursday
Latitude 35 degrees 24 minutes North
Longitude 138 degrees 10 minutes North

This morning we saw our first lovely dawn. Since our departure, we have had overcast skies. Leaving San Francisco (August 14, 2010), we saw dolphins followed by whales near the Farallones Islands, part of the Farallones Marine Sanctuary.

Part of our passion for cleaning the global ocean comes out of concern for marine mammals and other ocean life that is killed each year by ingesting plastics or being caught in ghost nets.

With the overcast skies clearing, we enjoyed a colorful sunrise. With enough breeze for sailing, our engine is off. George Schneider went astern and discovered a bright green net caught on our prop. One of our expedition’s major operational concerns is catching a net or a line in the propeller and damaging the ship. We came up into the wind to slow the ship and sailing master, Steven and crew members Kaniella Lyman-Mercereau went into water to free the net. Nets like this one roll over in the ocean, catching other nets, sea life and plastic debris becoming huge “ghost nets” that are a hazard to shipping, reefs, and sea life.

The rest of the morning was spent enthusiastically recording and collecting trash, boats from KAISEI and from our inflatables. The spirit of the crew is great, knowing the importance of our mission. Ocean Conservancy’s 25th International Coastal Clean-up has begun in the gyre (August 19, 2010) in collaboration with Ocean Voyages Institute/Project Kaisei.