[DAY 1] First day, first ghost net

We left at 16:00 on the 12.1.19 the day that felt like never was going to happen happened. It wasn’t with the pomp or fan fare that we would have liked, when your trying to reach people and connect on a matter everything becomes a way of engaging an audience. 

Ben swam off of Grays beach Waikiki and was escorted by Alika and Luna a fellow Frenchman and his surfing jack russell , both of whom paddled Ben in as he arrived to Hawaii at the end of his transpacific swim attempt. 

With the islands rapidly disappearing behind us as sunset painted silhouettes, the wind picked up and we cruised north eyes on the horizon. With ten of us onboard and sailing for the entirety of the next 90 days, we started the watch system. In teams of 3 our day is divided into 3-4 hour chunks. 2am saw us swing north and pass through the kaiwi channel.

I had my first experience manning the helm by night and keeping the north star (Polaris) on the port shrouds and a constellation unknown to me on the starboard shroud, and most importantly kept our course true. 

Our first full day was a crew either totally adapted or very sick! I was glad to be sea sick free and ready to pass out water and ginger tea! No one wanted any of the stashed pills, preferring the ‘natural adaption’. 

At midday most were on deck and the reality of a now landless horizon and the mission ahead firmly sinking in. The topics turned from the nature of our departure to protocols and fulfilment’s we need to rapidly get upto speed on. 

The first protocol easily adopted was the marine debris watch. Dishearteningly no sooner had we discussed it and our attention scrutinise the water around us than the first ghost net and bottle drifted past. I know I’m supposed to expect plastic but seeing so much so close to Hawaii and hundreds of miles south of the garage patch still hit home. 

Adam – Medic of the Vortex Crew

Photo credits @joshmunoz and icebreaker

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