Greetings from Oahu!
After a bumpy ride, I made it safely into Hawaii on Monday morning. I’ve spent the last two days with Stanford graduate student and Waikiki Aquarium intern Micki Ream. While Micki is at work I’ve been busy making last minute preparations for the trip–checking my equipment, reading recent articles about SEAPLEX and Project Kaisei, responding to emails and kicking off the start of the blog.
And I’ve been talking to just about everybody about the trip. From my experience, about half the people I run into on the street seem to have no idea about the floating mass of plastic trash. The other half either vaguely know what I’m talking about or pretend to know and nod quietly as I explain the expanse of the oceanic “landfill”. One man I ran into in a coffee shop, Jerry Bush, a lithographer, suggested we get the Navy to clean it up, a woman I sat net to on the bus suggested we use the plastic pieces to soak up oil from oil spills since plastic in the ocean concentrates toxic chemicals anyway. It’s very gratifying to know that everyone has some opinion on the matter even if they’ve just learned about it.
In a few hours I’m meeting with Captain Moore, the first time since I interviewed him back in March for a mini-documentary about nurdles. It will be the first of four consecutive days learning to be a member of the crew–working the sails, mastering emergency rescues and scheduling my night watches to check for oncoming boats. I’ll have full internet access until September 7th when the 50-foot aluminum catamaran Alguita sets sail, and limited access from then on. Right now I’m working on my maritime vocabulary–if anyone knows the word for neophyte sailor let me know…