Log: The Vortex

[DAY 23] Chasing drifters

Today we had two drifters to retrieve. These were more difficult to find than the last one because they were transmitting their locations every hour instead of every 15 minutes and their white color blended with the white caps on the surface of the ocean.

On our way to the first drifter, Adam did a debris watch. He counted 32 pieces and they were household objects like bottles and lids.

After his watch, he took upon himself to gather everybody’s bedding sheets and washed them. The smell of freshness on deck took over all the other smells. To have clean sheets had an amazing impact on everybody’s moral.

Corbin climbed the mast and sat on the first spreaders to help locate the first drifter, after about 45 minutes he finally spotted it. Josh, Drew and Ty jumped in the dinghy to intercept it. 

The biological panel was missing but the rest was intact. They took pictures of the life on it and around it, attached a new panel and came back.

The second drifter was about 7 miles away but by that time it was already mid afternoon and we had to rush to get to its location to make sure we would still have sunlight for our search.

Once it was located, Josh, Corbin, Ty and I got in the dinghy and motored toward it. On our way we found few plastic debris. One of them was a bottle, in it we found a frog fish that apparently had been there for awhile because it was too big to get out. Later, when we were back on I Am Ocean, we used an utility knife to cut the bottle open and released it.

The second drifter was damaged too, it had lost its biological panel and the wring to attach it. Heavy fishing lines were tangled all around its cable. We pulled the buoy on the dinghy and attached the new panel the best way we could. The buoy was covered with black eggs and an elastic web that looked like a thick rubbery spider web.

Once we completed our task, we motored back to the sailboat and enjoyed a colorful sunset on the way.

28°46 N / 145°48 W


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Photo credits @joshmunoz, @sea.marshall

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