Log: The Vortex

[DAY 39-40] Meeting a legend in the middle of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch

This morning is a rare occasion, the ocean is so flat that I can sit on deck with my iPad and not worrying it might slide off.
The last two days have been packed with action preparing for our rendezvous with Captain Charles Moore from Algalita, and yesterday spending the day with him and his crew.

Two days ago, I started my day with a Skype interview with FOX TV in San Francisco. The reporter’s background was the Golden Gate Bridge. I don’t know how many more days I have at sea before seeing it in person but I will get there sometime…

Ty and Adam were on the dinghy. I started my day with an odd feeling. My head wasn’t in the right place. Usually when that happens, I am able to refocus during my swim but that day I couldn’t do it. I told myself, let’s swim at least until 4pm and if I still feel off, then I will call it a day. I pushed myself mentally during those 5 hours but at 4 pm I was still stucked in that negative mindset and called it a day. What frustrated me the most was that I couldn’t put my finger on the reason why I was out off my zone. I left it behind and focused on our meeting with Charles the next day.

What an surreal moment it was yesterday to wake up and see at the horizon Charles’ catamaran. It was a picture perfect moment, his vessel was at the base of a rainbow and we slowly progressed toward him motoring because of light winds.
We had worked on this rendezvous weeks ago, so that we could create that very unique event of meeting the very person who was the first to bring attention to plastic accumulation in this region, two decades ago

We met at a specific location where a satellite flew over us at 7:30 am and took pictures of the area from a high altitude. The pictures taken by the satellite will be compared with those taken by the drone at the same time to evaluate the possibility of spotting debris with satellite pictures in the future. This was a first.

After that we went to their boat and then they came to ours, we had many dinghy rides from one vessel to the other. Charles had a filming crew of 3 from Korea doing a documentary about plastic in the ocean. They were interested about our expedition and interviewed me about it.

We spent an amazing and memorable day with him, Marty and Raquelle (his crew) and his filming crew. During the day I swam to his boat and he jumped in the water so that we could both swim around his catamaran. At the end of our loop, he told me: “let’s do another loop”. I was swimming with a legend in the middle of the Garbage Patch, I could not have dreamed doing that, ever.

At the end of the day, we had dinner on his boat and ate some fish soup, rice, chicken and fresh vegetables, the veggies tasted sooooo good!

A fantastic dinner concluding an outstanding day.

33º49 N / 141º04 W


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Photo credits @joshmunoz, @osleston

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