Noon Coordinates Day 9: 24° 1'22.80"N 135°56'60.00"WFlying kites, flying squid, flying fish, and a pirate ship (well not really)… We’ve been sailing downwind with a big sail called the "spinnaker" (or in sailing terms "flying the kite") for the past two days. Downwind sailing is wonderfully calm (even in 20 knot winds) and the spinnaker is really is like a giant kite.
On Wednesday morning we had a couple visitors on board the ship. Two flying squids made their way on deck. In the afternoon Christiana dissected them to see if they had eaten any plastic. The little guys were plastic free.
Today while reading on deck, several of the crew spotted flying fish. The vast expanse of water is no doubt a beautiful setting, but it really makes any sign of life especially exciting. After the flying fish sighting, the boat was full of excitement when a blurb popped up on the radar. The blurb turned out to be a large, rusty and fairly shabby looking vessel passing right through our course. Of course our active imaginations let us entertain the idea that they were pirates... Alas the boat fell off our radar without any crazy pirate antics.
We are still on course to the destination provided to us by NOAA as a possible accumulation zone. We are roughly 540nM away and the ETA is three days. We are all excited to see what this area has to offer us in terms of better understanding how marine debris accumulated within the North Pacific Gyre.
We are all in good spirits. The Captain and crew send hellos to everyone back home. Thanks for following Ship-2-Shore and keep the comments coming!
ANSWERS TO STUDENT QUESTIONS
Capt. Moore was thrilled to be able to give a presentation to your school from sea! The research project you and Katie are putting together in Hawaii sounds phenomenal. It has been estimated that 80% of the debris in the gyre originates from land and 20% can be attributed to the maritime industry. As far as I know, there is not much information on the amount of trash originating from the different land masses.
Our main area of focus is on small plastic debris, which is very hard to identify. So it would be hard to correlate that to the identifiable debris you find on land. We do catch large pieces of debris that we can spot from the boat and we keep a log of that information. We would be more than happy to share that information with you. If you want to talk further about how we could help you out with your project you can send comments directly to us here or email firstname.lastname@example.org