Log: Swim Pacific

[DAY 88] The wooden cable stool

Day 88
No shark, no pilot whale, no albatross only two lonely fish were following me at the start of my day. Paul and Gonzo were on the RHIB, the wind and waves were in our favor and the sun was bright and shiny.
Every time we were stopped for my food breaks, Paul and Gonzo jumped into the water to cool off. The water was clear and the sun rays penetrated deep into the ocean making long white stripes that all converged below me. It was as if I was looking at a perspective drawing, with a deep blue precipice beneath my streamline and me. I was not walking on a line extended between two buildings, I was swimming above a line and a deep blue space with no bottom. I wondered what was below me deep into the ocean.

Paul stopped the RHIB to get my attention, a big wooden cable spool was bobbing in the waves, many different fish from different sizes occupied the space below it. It was an amazing sight, all those fish with different colors against the deep blue.

This image was soon removed from my mind when soon after we entered an area loaded with plastic. It was as bad as the one area I swam in a couple of days ago. Those two times were the worst concentration of plastic I had ever seen. Plastic from different sizes, mainly flexible pieces like bags, wraps and sheets invaded the ocean like a virus. Everywhere I looked I saw plastic and not one at a time but multiple. This is disgusting, sad and very disturbing. When are we going to reach a critical moment when we are all going to say enough is enough and really make significant changes at the global scale?


Weather conditions:
Sunny (could coverage 1/8)
Wind speed: 6 kts
Wind direction: WSW
Waves height: 0.5m
Waves direction: WSW
Water temperature: 27.1°C

10 thoughts on “[DAY 88] The wooden cable stool

  1. Ben,
    You are highlighting the enormous problem of plastic in the ocean. I am telling your tale whenever I can and limiting my use of plastic. Keep up the great work and swim!

  2. Ben, I echo what Trish said! I am telling so many people about your efforts and they are listening! I am a teacher at a Montessori school in New Hampshire and you are making a difference here!!

  3. Nenhuma garrafa com mensagem ?
    Tipo, vamos nos unir, esquecer o dinheiro e tentar salvar isso !

  4. Hi Ben,

    Helo from Berlin. Du guys are doing a great job. It is so important to make the peolpe aware about the terrible pollution! One Question: Are you going to take a rest on the Midway Atoll which should be in the middle of your journey?

    1. Hello thank you for following along. We aren’t planning it at this stage, but as this trip has taught me.. you can’t plan the weather! Ben

  5. Greetings from Tijuana, MX! Ben and Crew, my family and I are enjoying your educational journey. Keep up the great work because we need to save our oceans and planet. Thank you! My 8 & 12 year old boys, Julian and Nico, keep asking your SFO ETA. Would it be posible to add the ETA at the end of each trip log? I am assuming it changes based on your pace. Thank you!

  6. I am thoroughly enjoying following your journey, Ben and crew. It is so inspiring, and like the other folks who have commented today, I am also telling everyone I can about your trek. I would also love to know at ETA for your arrival in SFO, though it might be soon to determine that? Finally, I am so curious about why fish are ways taking refuge under the garbage that you are finding. Is it protection for them from predators or something else? If it is protection, is the presence of plastic and other debris somehow disrupting the food chain? Thank you so much for continuing to post! Stay healthy and know that there are many of us continuing to swim with you.

  7. Thanks for the amazing visuals of the cable spool and school of fish occupying the space around it. I’m wondering if you and your Team are starting to encounter the outer edges of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? I am sure your efforts and the visuals and words you post about it will make everyone see for real what is going on with plastic pollution. It’s one thing to read about this great big patch of garbage out in the ocean somewhere… out of sight, out of mind. But if we cannot help but see it for real, how much more urgent will this cause become for us!

  8. many people are working to end plastic pollution. Two young girls in Bali, Indonesia, started a project to ban plastic bags from Bali – byebyeplasticbags.org

    Plastic pens – get wooden or bamboo ones and refill them (a little plastic holding the ink). Send used plastic pens to artists – do not put into the trash.

    Carry your own metal straw if you really love using a straw.

    Carry your own containers to take left overs home from restaurants or parties. Bring your own dishes to parties and picnics (and carry in car, too) so you never use paper and plastic disposables.

    One of the biggest polluters is the fishing industry.

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