Sunday, March 28, 2010

Two hurricanes in two months

March 24 Latitude: 22 13.3 South Longitude:91 20.9 East

With a name as beautiful as Imani, none of us quite believed we were really nearing a tropical cyclone. Nor were our weather reports conclusive – a weather fax from a Belgian crew stated “nothing to worry about”. And a wildly different report from a French ship warned of an impending hurricane.

Better safe than sorry is always the rule of thumb, so we detoured North, making a wide arc around the possible weather. The crew sprung into “batten down the hatches” mode, taking down sails, putting up the small storm sail, stowing away all loose gear, and stringing up a network of thick safety lines around the entire boat. The seas continue to build unmistakably.

“Lets go watch from the bow!” Marcus and I step outside. We’re immediately enveloped in a thick sauna of warm, wet air. Thankful for the safety lines, we grab ahold, clip our harnesses on, and slip slide our way to the front rails. Mountains of water, deep valleys, and howling winds replace yesterday’s gentle blue tapestry. The crew now wear their waterproof foul weather gear. Less prepared, we’re soaked in a matter of minutes.

Just the other month, we found ourselves sailing through hurricane conditions in the North Atlantic. Our second hurricane, in another gyre! No one is concerned, least of all our Captain. Our detour will put us far from danger, but we will be in for a ride.

Meanwhile, we’ve been having a series of intense brainstorming sessions about real solutions to plastic waste. We’ll share those in tomorrow’s blog – assuming satellite connections work. And will ask that you start thinking too.

Answers to Student Questions

Hey Students, sorry for the communication gap, we've had a tropical cyclone pass through. 2nd hurricane for us! Hopefully weather should be calm from here on out. Cheers, Anna

Q: Many of you (including Chris and Michael from Las Vegas, Nevada) have asked what we are most excited to see, what our goals are and what we hope to accomplish. Marcus answered this question in the last blog, here I will add to his answer;

A:I'm most excited to see what new marine creatures, people, and adventures we'll encounter in this voyage, and what new ideas we might have long the way about solutions. We have more students than ever - you all - following the journey. And as a result of this, we now have thousands of young people that will learn about this issue, and begin thinking about ways to solve this problem in their own communities. We hope that some of you will join us in Los Angeles next year, when we hold our first international conference for young people - the next generation. You are our next great hope for making this world a better place. -Anna-

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