35 knot winds! We pulled the 7th trawl out of the sea just in time. It's likely the last one for a couple of days, until a large low pressure system blows over us. We're finding more plastic in every surface sample we collect. We're heading to the center of the accumulation zone (28.5N,50W). From there we'll turn and sail to the Azores.
We use the manta trawl to skim the surface of the sea for micro-plastics. It’s working as expected, and the samples we're collecting look a lot like samples from the North Pacific Gyre. There are plenty of fragments of plastic in each trawl, but there’s little debris related to the fishing industry. In the Pacific we find plenty of lost nets, line and floats. The Atlantic Gyre appears different in this regard.
Winds are still howling. Our skipper, Clive Crosby, works with us to find the optimal course and speed so that we can get a trawl every 100 miles or less. Right now we’ve got the storm jib up. We’re moving slow, maybe 4 knots. Hopefully we’ll trawl tomorrow.