29/05/13: Logbook

Sampling station n° 2

GPS coordinates: 30° 35’ N and 132° 00 ° W

 

 

We have reached the exact point recommended by Paola and Danielle, our expedition coordinators at CNES.A team effort in localisation together with our partner Mercator Ocean and MyOcean – many thanks to you all.

In the morning, we put all our equipment overboard – the Gyroplastic buoy, the pollutant sensors and the nets. Once the Manta net is hauled back aboard, Claire unscrews the top and on seeing the contents pouring out into the container, we all give a shout! Plastic!

We’re like gold-hunters finding their first nuggets.

However, reality quickly gets the upper hand – the seventh continent well and truly exists. Indeed, we may not be able to walk on it but the pollution is right there, insidious and very widespread, about 6 times the surface area of France apparently. What an ecological disaster!

We were a little doubtful yesterday when our net revealed only plankton.As for macro-waste, we are coming across it more and more frequently. This afternoon within the space of 3 hours, we encountered 5 buoys, 2 bottles and 2 pieces of polystyrene. The further we get into the gyre, the more waste it churns out beneath our very eyes. We could circle around here for hours and pick up an incredible amount of floating waste scattered far and wide. It may be that the unidentified signals picked up by satellite are linked to all this micro- and macro-pollution. It would be a major step if the satellite confirms these readings.

 

Patrick has a special thought for Alain and Georges, last year’s two crewmembers who were unable to participate this year, especially when he dived this morning to take some pictures which was Alain’s role last year. We are bringing some samples back for Georges. Poor consolation, we know.

Soizic is doing her best to document this open-air rubbish heap with significant images. This is quite difficult since the waste is scattered over the whole area. We now understand why it is so difficult to bring back images of this disaster.Another 100 miles remain between us and our final goal at 30° N 134° W. What will we find there???

 

 

More news soon. – 7th C Crew

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