[Day 45-46] Rendezvous in the middle of the Pacific

Day 45 – 46
Day 45 was a big contrast to Day 46. On day 45, Josh and David paced me
on the dinghy and even though they found plenty of plastic, large and small debris, nothing was out of the ordinary and they didn’t stop me along the way for more observation. My only breaks were at the top of each hour for food and fluid. Yoav had a “day off” and used it to work on repairing the mainsail, stitching the long ripped pieces together.
On day 46, everything we did was new and unexpected, we spent a full day with Maersk Transporter’s crew and The Ocean Cleanup (TOC) team.
We were picked up by Maersk’s small safety boat to start the day with breakfast on their vessel. After a safety brief and a continental breakfast, the TOC team gave us a presentation. They talked about Wilson, their first version of their plastic recovery device they had deployed a few months ago that broke, and how they went back to the drawing board to design and manufacture a new one in two months. The second version is smaller and they focus on assessing its performance at the moment.
After a boat tour, we had an amazing lunch all together. The chef served food we could have only dreamt about. So many fresh fruits, vegetables and multiple main dishes! 
Then it was time for Josh, Corbin, Ty and I to go back to our boat to get ready for a swim in and around their device. They had given us full access to it to take footage with our drone, from our dinghy, and from the water. We had more access to their device than they did as they shared with us that due to liability issues they aren’t allowed to swim with it. As I got closer to the device a massive school of mahi-mahi escorted me all the way around it. Before entering it, I picked up a piece of plastic near me about the size of a small laptop, a small crab hung to it.  About 20 minutes later, I found the other pieces inside the device, the same crab still riding along.
Once the dinghy team and I were back on our boat, we invited the Transporter crew and the TOC team for a visit of I AM OCEAN. After that, it was time to go back to the Transporter for dinner and another amazing display of food. I could not stop going back to the quiche, I had 5 pieces! They even had ice cream!!
We finished the day with a series of pictures on the stern deck with them, few last interviews and after thanking them we went back to our boat loaded with all kinds of food and even carts of cigarette for Yoav (he really has to stop smoking!). We were offered to use their showers and wash machines. Some of us took this opportunity and my crew and I went back to our boat smelling better with fresh clothes. 
I cannot thank the transporter’s captain enough, his crew and the TOC team for their hospitality, taking the time to answer to all of our questions and for letting us capture footage of their boat and device with no restriction. 
It is a very unique moment to rendezvous with a boat in the middle of the Pacific and so rare to meet a group of dedicated people who are so welcoming. Thank you for this day and building such a wonderful memory!

33°49 N / 145° 5 W

Ben

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Photo credits 
@joshmunoz
@sea.marshall
@osleston
@dwlangdon

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