[ THE WIRE ] Skipper’s Report
Position 50º12.87N 002º24.28W
Weather NW 3-4, moderate sea state, 1048mb
The sound of water running past the hull, lines creaking on their winches, the murmuring of voices from the deck, smell of good food in the galley, and the weather coming through the VHF. This is backdrop to my little nav-station, tucked away on the starboard side of the companionway. It’s feeling like a pretty good place to be right now.
I think I was expecting the first 12 hours at sea to be slightly more chaotic than it has been. The departure I always expected to be challenging, as trying to make sudden step from life on land to life at sea is a big jump, and chaos normally reigns as all the last minute jobs try to get done at once, which was compounded by the passing of Christmas slightly disrupting the flow of preparations. However without too much delay, the galley was stowed, personal effects confined to cabins, and the last few ‘do we really need this on a boat’ items removed.
As we slipped gracefully out of our now homely berth at Lymington Marina, I promptly re-parked the boat in a much less graceful and unintentional fashion across the opposite line of berths. Nothing like messing it up with an audience… A calm bit of re-planning occurred, and we were off for the second time, on our way to America, first stop Canaries!
Main and staysail went up in a nice breeze, and we rode the tide out of the Needles Channel for the last time in what will be a good while. We then started making our way down and West across the English Channel, en route to the Bay of Biscay. The team have slipped straight into what life will be for the next few months, and adjusting impressively quickly, giving me the confidence to get catch a few hours sleep after a long Christmas day and night of prep with no time for bed. Once the tide turned and the wind started to drop we hoisted our medium size headsail (yankee 2), and are currently making satisfactory progress against the tide.
Discoverer is still doing what she does best, and being a boat. This does however come with the usual boat characteristic of there always being something up. Our brand new battery charger decided to pack which I noticed when the kettle stopped working up at 3am this morning, and our wind instruments also seem to have gone on strike. We’ll leave tackling these until tomorrow, and focus tonight on getting the boat and crew fully before jumping in with the full workload. Wind instruments are definitely a modern day luxury anyway…
I’m heading back on deck as we’re approaching the TSS off Casquets. Have a great evening, and hello from the happy crew of Discoverer, pleased to finally be underway!
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Follow our progress across the Atlantic using our live tracker!
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[Day 57-58] 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 … Continued
[Day 56] Outdoor movie theater in the middle of the Pacific!
We reached the doldrums today. This is an area in the middle of the Great Pacific Garbage without any wind. Also, there are no currents shown on any of the maps we regularly get from land in this area. But for the past few days, storms passing south of us and going toward Hawaii have … Continued
[Day 54-55] The big 300
Yesterday was a pretty uneventful day. Yoav shared the dinghy responsibilities with Josh and nothing really stood out. Maybe we are becoming numb to the quantity of plastic we encounter… We had 10 eggs left from the 90 given to us by the Transporter’s chef. I wish we had taken the 180 he originally offered. … Continued
[Day 53] Full sails ahead
The winds shifted back – they were coming from the north today.This morning we arrived on the north side of the anticyclonic eddy. With calm seas, I started my swim with Heather and David on the dinghy. We had planned to end the day with a photo session of the crew in the water with … Continued
[DAY 51-52] The new focus
I started my day yesterday with a phone call with Jared from Nomadica Films, the production company from last year’s expedition. We talked about the differences between this expedition and last year’s and how I was in a different mindset. Last year I focused on my performance a lot and every day I pushed myself … Continued
[Day 50] Float on
As of today, we have been at sea for 50 days and I have swum 265 nautical miles, but we still have about a month before we will see land.We have planned to spend another week in a new location at the core of the garbage patch. After we will start sailing north to the … Continued
[Day 47] Eggs for breakfast!
We started the day with a couple of net tows around The Ocean Cleanup device, and once we were finished we said our goodbyes to the Transporter and TOC and sailed off. We have to retrieve a drifter west of us and we expect to get to the area in about two days.There was a … Continued
[DAY 44] Night swim in the ocean
Last night, I went for a night swim. I put on a second layer of wetsuit on my torso with a hoodie and slide into a dark world. It was surreal, all my usual reference points were distorted. I felt as if I was flying over my swim line, the space between me and the … Continued
[DAY 43] Full Monty
Last night the crew shined a light on the water. They wanted to collect lantern fish. During the process a couple of squids came up to get the fish at the surface. This gave me an idea, what if I swim at night with light shining around me, what would I be able to see? … Continued
[DAY 42] Man made ghost nets
We have settled on a new plan and route after leaving our rendezvous with captain Charles Moore. We have decided to travel about 200 nm west-south-west to get to drifter F. We will still be in the core of the patch. After reaching this new location, we will move north in the direction of the … Continued
[DAY 41] A crab hitchhiking on a turtle
Josh and Adam were up early in the dinghy with the drone and our net was deployed to synchronize our activities with the satellite fight over. Those footage will be used by Nikolai, the scientist working on refining his ocean current model. David and Hannah on the dinghy, spotted a turtle in my first hour … Continued