Friday, February 8, 2008

Introducing our crew - meet Jeff!

Our noon position: Our noon position: Latitude: 36 50.456 N, Longitude: 153 46.324 W

Today was a straight travel day – no trawling, no standing outside on debris watch – gray skies and frothing seas kept the crew inside, reading, napping, and dealing with the challenges of preparing meals while trying to stay balanced. Let’s just say there is lots of spilling going on….

We thought this would be a good time to tell you a bit more about us, and why were here. So for the next few days, we’ll introduce our crew, starting with our youngest member, Jeff Ernst.

You’ve all seen photos of Jeff by now – he’s the young blonde guy, with boundless energy, always running around keeping us under sail, fixing something, catching a fish, setting up an elaborate photography project, and generally keeping busy.

Here’s Jeff to tell you more about what drew him out here:

“I’m the newest member to the crew of the Alguita and the fact that I’m here is a combination of being in the right place at the right time. While finishing my last semester as a natural science major with a marine science minor at the University of Hawaii Hilo, I participated in a guest lecture series on marine debris that was made possible by a grant from Algalita. The idea was to bring a collection of the worlds foremost experts in all aspects of this emerging issue to speak almost every week at UH Hilo. Captain Moore and the Alguita played a key role in the class taking students out to help sample and gain invaluable field experience on his one of a kind vessel. I expressed my interest in learning the workings of the vessel to Charlie and made as much time available as I could to learn and help teach other students how to deploy scientific equipment and participate as part of the boat. Apparently my enthusiasm paid off as it landed me an internship with the vessel, and a spot onboard crewing her back home to Long Beach.

Every time we bring a net up there is always something surprising to see, the biodiversity of organisms living throughout this vast expanse of the planet is amazing, and should speak to the importance of preserving this important and productive habitat. However, despite all the natural wonders that exist here, we consistently bring up way more plastic than plankton. It’s strange being so far from humanity and having a constant reminder of its impact all around you. If we can share a little bit of that experience and of what is happening out here with the rest of the planet then perhaps the need for a change in how we view our garbage and our oceans can be brought further into perspective.”

If anyone has any specific questions for Jeff, feel free to send them in, he'll be happy to answer you directly.

Aloha and gracias from the Captain and crew of the ORV Alguita!


Anonymous said...

Hi Herb Machleder! It's Judy from Rancho Palos Verdes. I'm looking forward to your return and the stories of your trip. You're all doing a great job out there, from what I read in your posts.

Really makes me think about how Long Beach used to put up posters to warn people that whatever didn't get into a trashcan would end up in a storm drain which inevitably led to the ocean.

Can we meet your catamaran at the Long Beach pier to welcome you home?

I planted six citrus trees in my landscape just last week: Owari Satsuma, Gold Nugget, Kaffir lime, Washington navel, Oro Blanco and Rio Red Grapefruit. I'm so excited about gardening right now, I have trouble sleeping in the middle of the night.

Just thought you might like some news from home.

Keep on trawling and look forward to your return...

Susie said...

Aloha from UH Hilo Jeff! This is exciting news. Keep up the good work, you make us very proud. Imua! Susie