Log: The Vortex

In a smog of microplastic

I will keep on swimming even though I reached my goal of 300nm – our mission isn’t over and the perspective I get from under the water is too important to stop.

Adam has been a little worried about my low body fat percentage and has done a great job at making sure I have enough food and plenty of leftovers from my night snack.

Josh and Drew were on the dinghy today. The water was particularly choppy and even though we are in the highest concentration zone, it was very difficult to detect plastic at the surface. During my second hour, I started seeing more microplastic below me and asked Josh for his camera to capture it. It became denser and denser the further I swam. I stopped swimming and asked Josh to jump in the water to get footage of this awful display – it was disgusting. Microplastic pieces and fragments were everywhere from right below the surface to about 5 meters down. Had I not been swimming through it, we would have never seen it from our boat or the dinghy.

The following day David and Heather paced me on the dinghy. It was a short swim day – only 4 hours. I decided to swim for the last hour without my wetsuit. It was so liberating to feel the water on my skin. Each time I got a push from a wave I could feel the water speeding up on my chest. Nothing was between me and the ocean. I kept a faster pace to stay warm…what an hour it was.

32° 50 N / 143° 50 W 


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Photo credits @joshmunoz@sea.marshall

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