Jon T. Howard North Atlantic Gyre Blog #21

I woke up today at 10:30 am after getting to sleep around 6:30 am. I was greeted with a big bowl of oatmeal Anna had made for me since it was my birthday. My next watch was set to begin at 12 noon but I could hear everyone up on deck very excited so I rushed up to see what was going on? Marcus was on the bow pointing at a long line of Sargassum and telling everyone to grab the nets and cameras and keep a look out for plastic. Sure enough there it was mixed in with all the Sargassum.… everywhere. Marcus explained it is all pushed together due to a Windrow which is where two currents converge and push the Sargassum and plastic together. We spent the next hour fishing out as much as we could reach. We found a bunch of bottle caps, a plastic bag, fishing line, broken fragments of plastic large and small and even a large fisherman’s boot covered with Barnacles. As excited as we were to find evidence it was also a sad reminder that we must do something about the world’s dependence and use of plastic now. That is why is here as a sponsor and seeing it firsthand really drove the point home to the need to get people to stop using single use plastic before it is too late. We marked the coordinates with our GPS and the Latitude and Longitude of the find was 25 33 18 North - 62 26 47 West. We were over 400 miles to the closest land and there was a garbage patch to be seen as clear as day. Everyone said we were lucky to find the patch because it was my birthday. I don’t know about that but I am sure I will still talk about this birthday for years to come. About mid afternoon the weather quickly took a change for the worst and the winds picked up again. We spent the next 14 hours rocking and rolling while the sea tossed us around like a toy. On a high note Stiv Wilson who is the editor of Wend Magazine ( made me a chocolate cake and everyone sang Happy Birthday. The crew is a great group of people and I feel honored to be a part of this special mission.

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