Day 8 from the Sea Dragon

We have not seen land or any boats since we left, about 1,000 miles. We started sampling 2 days ago. We had to wait to be 200 miles from international water to start. We have not yet reached the “accumulation zone”, but each trawl has some pieces of plastic. We have seen very little debris so far—a Styrofoam cup here, a bucket there. Life on the boat is based on our watch schedule: 3 hours watch, 6 hours off, with the hardest watch from midnight to 3 am. I have learned to steer the boat. Doing it at night, following the stars, is a great feeling. The team has some really fascinating people: from Bob, a 63-year-old Vietnam veteran and great adventurer, who just came back from a month in the Sahara; to Kristal, 22, from the Bahamas, who works for Cape Eleuthera Institute in the aquaponics research department. Our captain has over 300,000 sea miles under his belt. More later!
– Valerie Lecoeur