Thursday, February 21, 2008

Meet the crew: Anna and Herb

Our noon position: Latitude: 35 13.230 North Longitude: 123 06.940 West

We’re two days away from our final arrival, a fine time to tell you a bit about our last two crew members. You’ve “met” them many times in the blog, through photos and stories….but here’s a few words directly from Anna and Herb.

Anna is our blogger, she’s been writing up most of the posts here (including writing this one about herself, which is kind of strange, writing about yourself in the 3rd person…) and is also the only female on board. Which hasn’t been nearly as rough as she imagined!

Here’s Anna, to say a few (more) words:

“For me, the opportunity to join Captain Moore on this voyage to the gyre, strange as it may sound, was a dream come true. I’ve been fascinated by this issue since joining Captain Moore on a research trip to Baja California in 2004, to collect stomach samples from Laysan Albatross on Guadalupe Island. Every single sample we collected contained evidence of plastic ingestion. Here, far from civilization, these beautiful creatures were suffering because of our irresponsibility. When I returned to Los Angeles, I started a campaign called “Bring Your Own”, to encourage people to cut back on unnecessary plastic waste by replacing single use disposables with reusables – bags, cups, utensils, etc. We desperately need top down solutions such as policy changes, changes in the way we produce and dispose of our waste, and more responsibility from industries that manufacture plastic products. In the meantime, there are many small shifts that we as consumers can make simply by being more mindful of our consumption habits.

I’m hoping on this trip to gather more first hand experience with the issue, as well as to help Dr. Marcus Eriksen, Algalita’s Director of Research and Education collecting educational samples to distribute to schools, legislators, and the media. We believe that this issue has largely been the result of an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality, and one powerful way of combating this is to put the evidence directly into peoples’ hands. We are planning an educational tour this coming fall, to travel from Seattle to Los Angeles, on two amphibious bikes capable that can cross rivers and lakes, to distribute samples, and talk to schools. We think that when people see directly what plastics are doing to our oceans, they will be moved to action.”

And now here’s Herb,our resident physician, our weather fax guru, and our veteran sailor. Herb is a man who really “knows the ropes”, and always keeps his good cheer, no matter how rough the conditions.

A few words from Herb:

“I’m a Sailor, Organic Horticulturist, and Emeritus Professor at the University of California (UCLA) School of Medicine. I regard this mission as a unique opportunity to gain valuable insight about the workings of one of the grandest of our planetary features. After years sailing around the periphery it’s exciting to visit the great central Gyre.

Today we encountered a floating coil of discarded rope. Beneath and in the interstices of this flotsam mass was an entire ecosystem of marine creatures. It’s fascinating to view the generative capacity of the Ocean. Patiently waiting for this fortuitous island to drop from a passing vessel, then populating it from its rich repository of biologic potential. It was a very impressive message.”

By morning, we will see land for the first time in WEEKS!

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

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What's up Yall??
I don't know if yall know this or not, but yesterday our gorvernment shot down a SPY satelite. If they completly distroyed the satelite, then the debris is predicted to fall in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. How would an event like that effect the ecosystem of the area?
See Yall Later!!
Edwards Middle School