Sunday, May 29, 2011

The middle-ish of the South Pacific Gyre

Another morning closer to the center of the South Pacific Gyre. Our watch is very musical. Well, Charlie and Ben are talented in that way. We're lucky that they are. 

Our routine is fairly simple. We stand watch, we trawl, we process the sample, we cook, we sleep, we do it again. But wait! What in the world could we all be huddled around to look at?

We pull in an old fishing buoy that has become a floating marine eco-system sustaining crabs, gooseneck barnacles and probably a lot more than we see out of the water on our boat deck.

Sure, there the rope is probably made from nylon (plastic) and the buoy that is buried under all that life is most likely styrofoam, but now it is home to creatures floating through what could be termed the "blue desert" of the ocean. 

So when no one considers chucking it back in because now the flotsam has partially transformed into a very useful object, I feel sorry for the critters. The crabs that get pulled away first float down into the water out of sight 

I ask Garen, "Can they swim?" 
He says, "Some of them are swimming crabs."
But swim to where? Chile?

Over the next several hours I am aware that the Gooseneck Barnacles are drying out completely. The smaller ones flake off onto the deck to be swept over during someones 8-2pm shift. 

The buoy comes along for the ride. Its final destination - a landfill in either Easter Island or Tahiti. What do we do with all of the modern detritus that looses it's function in the world and "floats" around on land and in the sea? 

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