Less than 100 miles to go per recent satellite phone conversation!
And a few words from Joel on a recent pet he found on a piece of floating debris:
While on watch earlier this week I spotted something large floating towards us. I put JUNK hard over and managed to scoop up a chunk of a plastic crate. We often see plastic crates in the Gyre. I’m not sure way we see so many. Maybe a nearby fishery uses - and often loses them overboard. The crate had started the process of photodegredation. Not only did we fid a bristleworm hitching a ride, it was brittle, cracked, and had the owner’s name or boat’s initials “JR” with a floral design melted into. Anybody know any fisherman named JR missing a crate?
Read on for Joel's continued Marine Debris Observations
Now that we are in the North Pacific Gyre the amount of debris that floats by has greatly increased. Last week I saw a basketball sized ball of rope float by. The fish that have been with us since they hatched and were recently swimming around with their yolk sack still attached, swam out to check the ball of rope out. They came back to JUNK with some friends, two black and white fish that all are also staying with us now.
When getting in the water to spear Mahi Mahi it’s almost like swimming through a snow globe of plastic confetti. From the surface you may only see a fleck of plastic here and there but once in the water you can see the plastic bits floating deeper in the water column. I’ve seen the all too common packing strap both on the surface and underwater while diving. JUNK’s debris trawl does a great job of collecting the plastic fragments from the surface and concentrating them into a sample that make quite a visual impact when you hold in our hand and see all the little plastic pieces swirling around. It’s a great way of educating people on land about the magnitude of the problem, but getting in the water in the middle of the ocean and seeing more plastic floating around me than life make even more of an impact and gives me profound feeling that we are smothering the planet with all of our synthetic waste.