Jon T. Howard - North Atlantic Gyre Blog #18

Today was our first day of research and trying out the equipment to gather specimens. Working as a team we deployed the Manta Trawl to pull alongside the boat and did visual observance for plastic debris. Both times we deployed the trawl we captured fragments of plastic. We also spotted a few large pieces of plastic and even picked up one with the net around midday. We had to slow down to about 2 knots while using the trawl but used sail power the rest of the day which is a completely different feeling then when we use the engine. Other than that, we had a flying fish jump onto the boat that Anna Cummins dissected to see if it had any plastic in its stomach. Luckily it was all clear. We rotate taking turns cooking and tonight Ivan and I were in charge of dinner. We whipped up a hardy leek stew with beef, mushrooms and broccoli and big pan of corn bread for our 9 person crew. Everyone loved it and had seconds which is always a good sign. Our first mate John Wright from England had never had cornbread and really took a liking to it. We have been very fortunate that the meals so far have been very tasty. Last night Stiv and Steve made fish tacos from the fresh Mahi Mahi Steve caught off the coast of St. Thomas. As we run out of food supplies we will have to be a lot more creative and anything more than pasta will become a real luxury unless we are able to catch more fish along the way.

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