The conditions became a little more challenging today but it was still swimmable. Ty was in the dinghy with Brian and I knew I could rely on them to make everything possible for me to swim even in those very difficult situations. Some of the waves were crashing on me and in the dinghy, they were busy bailing off the water.
By the end of the day, we had already picked a few debris, a crate, a buoy and other smaller pieces, when all of the sudden, the density of particles in the water increased drastically and changed from almost seeing nothing down below me to being in a dense cloud.
I swam in those conditions for about 30 minutes and then the dinghy came to a stop. I quickly looked and saw Ty leaned over the engine. One of the main connections to the batteries was so corroded that it broke off. Even with all the precautions we took, with the grease, the tape and the plastic wraps, the water found its way.
Brian radioed the sailboat to have them come pick us up since the problem couldn’t be repaired on the dinghy. I was still in the water when I saw a net floating about 10 meters away.
I swam to it, nothing was caught in it, fishes were swimming below and around it. I grabbed one end and started swimming back to the dinghy. I couldn’t swim fast, the net slowed me down and the strong winds were pushing the dinghy in the opposite direction. I was losing distance and after trying for about 5 minutes, I knew it was a lost battle.
I left the net behind and swam back to the RHIB. A few minutes later we saw a green plastic crate floating. The crew on Seeker tried to capture it but again the wind and waves made it impossible. Before Seeker came to pick us up, we saw another debris, a dark bucket being tossed round in the agitated waters.
It looked like we have reached a part of the plastic accumulation zone that extends to the west. The main zone is found north west of Hawaii, but a few days ago we received a model from one of our research partners showing a long arm of the zone extending very far to the west and very close to our location, we might be in it.