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Swab
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Everyone should be aware of this issue. More than that, we should all be doing something about it. This is no eco-nut exaggeration. We sailed through the "Trash patch" in the middle of the North Pacific for two weeks in 2007. Every time you see a plastic bag blowing down the street you can believe it will wind up in the ocean.


Let your conscience be your guide.
 

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interesting; I've heard about this plastic mass out in the north pacific. But I've also heard many many sailors who sailed the N Pacific say they didn't see any quantity of plastic. This is the first account I've seen of this.
 

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interesting; I've heard about this plastic mass out in the north pacific. But I've also heard many many sailors who sailed the N Pacific say they didn't see any quantity of plastic. This is the first account I've seen of this.
Really?



 

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In my opinion this is one of the most issues of our times. The human race has treated the oceans as a dumping ground for too long. The oceans are not infinite! The oceans ultimately sustain all life on Earth.

The conditions of plastic contamination in the ocean gyres are horrific.

I urge all sailors to be part of the solution, saying no to plastic bags is one easy thing everyone can do and legislation to outlaw them at a local level is a great idea!

Never throw plastic in the ocean and avoid plastic packaging are other great things to do. Recycling is another option.
 

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Vega—

Nice to have independent confirmation of this... I agree it is a serious issue.
Everyone should be aware of this issue. More than that, we should all be doing something about it. This is no eco-nut exaggeration. We sailed through the "Trash patch" in the middle of the North Pacific for two weeks in 2007. Every time you see a plastic bag blowing down the street you can believe it will wind up in the ocean.

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Let your conscience be your guide.
 

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I think I'm on a mission.
A worthy one. There's an often retold story of 10's of thousands of yellow rubber duckies lost to sea when a container ship spilled them in a storm in 1992(?). Those little buggers are still washing up all over the world. Ocean currents are amazing. They are the true lifeline for life and climate.

Here's a wicked long version of those ducks' story, complete with Garbage patch.

Excerpt: ...“the garbage patch”—a purgatorial eddy in the waste stream that is approximately the size of Texas. “It’s like Jupiter’s red spot,” says Ebbesmeyer. “It’s one of the great features of the planet Earth, but you can’t see it.”

You can find a "cliff note" version out there, too...
 

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Ahhh! The poor little Rubber Duckies. All alone on that cruel cruel Ocean drifting heather & Yon across the world. :laugher
 

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During my years in the USCG I noticed an increase in floating garbage. We should all be careful afloat and ashore.
Unfortunately, I've observed that poorer countries have an old fashioned attitude about trash: just drop it.
 

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On the work boats in the Oil Patch we put our trash into large cargo bags and at the dock have a crane lift it off and into the dumpster.
Most of us Captains stay on top of the crews to ensure that they use that trash bag at all times. But have had to chew out a new hire a few times because they couldn't (too lazy) take a couple of steps and throw their trash into a bin or the bag. But they do learn quickly. Something about having the Capt down on your case all the time puts an END to bad habits.
And in case you are wondering... The Oil platforms put their trash bags on our back decks to be hauled back to the dock and off loaded there...
But it seems as if it is the land lubbers who are the worst offenders in this area.
 

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Swab
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Curious how many on this board have a written trash management plan for their boat. We do, and we follow it religiously.

In general, we transfer everything possible into reusable containers and try not to bring anything aboard in plastic packaging. You never know when something might get away from you and blow off the boat. Since our vermin control rule prohibits paper shopping bags, cardboard boxes (Including cereal boxes and the like) and egg cartons from coming aboard, we have very little trash to deal with at sea.
 

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Curious how many on this board have a written trash management plan for their boat. We do, and we follow it religiously.

In general, we transfer everything possible into reusable containers and try not to bring anything aboard in plastic packaging. You never know when something might get away from you and blow off the boat. Since our vermin control rule prohibits paper shopping bags, cardboard boxes (Including cereal boxes and the like) and egg cartons from coming aboard, we have very little trash to deal with at sea.
That's laudable behaviour. We do that too but here's the thing.

I live in New Zealand, often referred to as the "greenest" of societies. Greenpeace is a NZ product fer crisesake!! And weekly we separate our domestic garbage into paper, glass, metals, plastics and biodegradable refuse. And each part goes into a different truck and away it goes and we feel so good about this.

And then it all gets bundled onto the same ship together and sent to some sod-poor island somewhere in Asia who gets paid a bit of money and there it piles up indefinitely. So recycling? Yeah right.

So why am I telling you this? Because all the packaging you discard and diligently don't take onto your boat ends up in the ecology somewhere. So it's nice to be seriously green on your boat but all the refuse that you leave behind on land ends up stuffing up something, somewhere.

It's no different to the world going moggy about the development of electric cars as if they don't generate polution. Still, we have to do what we can . . . . .
 

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Swab
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Still, we have to do what we can . . . . .
Just so.

There is another, more immediate reason for being diligent about trash control on the boat: You have to either store the stuff on board or break the law by throwing it overboard.

Yes, I know that everything eventually winds up in the oceans. I have been to the grand canyon. Notwithstanding, we who travel the seas, in my opinion, have an obligation to do what we can. I am not one for government intervention but many cities here in the US are moving toward banning plastic shopping bags. Some stores charge extra for them and encourage the use of cloth bags. It's not much but it is a start.

To offer a tired cliche: The longest journey begins with a single step.
 

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Yes, I know that everything eventually winds up in the oceans. I have been to the grand canyon.
Interesting choice of words, Vega, as the Colorado River rarely flows to the sea. :( :(

On a happier note, have you seen the Fountain at Bellagio? They are fantastic!
 

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Swab
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Interesting choice of words, Vega, as the Colorado River rarely flows to the sea. :( :(
There are more than one theory of course but it is fair to say that the Colorado has been working on the canyon for tens of millions of years. I suspect it looked different back in the day. Perhaps the Amazon would have been a better example since you can see the earth being carried out to sea today. The point is: all the dirt that was in that hole went somewhere downriver. Whole civilizations may have been washed into the sea over time. Just as our present day landfills will be.

But you knew that :cool:

On a happier note, have you seen the Fountain at Bellagio? They are fantastic!
Yes! I have stayed at the Bellagio a couple of times, back when I had an impressive title and an expense account.
 

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There are more than one theory of course but it is fair to say that the Colorado has been working on the canyon for tens of millions of years. I suspect it looked different back in the day. Perhaps the Amazon would have been a better example since you can see the earth being carried out to sea today. The point is: all the dirt that was in that hole went somewhere downriver. Whole civilizations may have been washed into the sea over time. Just as our present day landfills will be.
I did get your point, I just thought it "funny" that the Colorado is one of the few (only?) rivers in the world that doesn't reach it's destination anymore.

The Grand Canyon is possibly the most impressive place on the globe. I spent three weeks floating through the Canyon with 15 friends; an experience that has an indelible effect on your soul. Of course that effect has a lot to do with your perspective. ARTICLE
 

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Yes, I know that everything eventually winds up in the oceans.

EVERYTHING??

I understand that this plastics issue is a problem.

But to say what I quoted above just makes you look bad and the folks on the fence will just write you off as a nutjob. The hardliners are not going to change their attitudes, it's the folks on the fence that will determine the outcome of stuff like this.
Those videos were a bit shaky on some of their premises too. Showing huge piles of plastics on land and repeated shots of one animal carcass can look manipulative. The public is very wary of more Michael Moore BS documentaries.

Stick to the facts and make sure you do not look like you are stretching the truth. Once you loose creditablility, it doesn't matter what you have to say, you will be tuned out.
 

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The oceans are vast and largely unprotected places. If sailors don't take up the cause for letting the general population know what is going on with the oceans then come on, what is the point.

If we sailors don't try protect the very thing that not only sustains the activity that we are so passionate about but more than that, it sustains all life on the planet... really what are we doing???

I realize that there are wildly different political views out there and I am not even going to go there, but come on... keeping plastic out of the ocean...this is a no-brainer!! Either you are part of the solution or you are part of the problem. What is YOUR choice?
 
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