Posted by: sealifeconservation | November 15, 2009

A Day with the Captain!

No day has been more anticipated than November 13th on this voyage of hope and inspiration. We have been preparing for our day with Charles Moore and his Algalita Marine Research Foundation, the Long Beach non-profits , state, and federal representatives since July. Nearly 80 people attended the two hour screening of Sea Studios’ Dirty Secrets and panel discussion. Charlie shared his perspective on the growing gyre of debris in the mid pacific since his first visit there 15 years ago. I had 10 minutes to share our mission with the group and leave them with some solutions to help lessen their impact on the growing debris field in the pacific.

Celia, Capt. Moore, and Marieta

Afterwards we took 22 attendees out for a sail on Alamitos Bay and a discussion of our work and the potential in the Long Beach area for improving debris reduction efforts. We discussed our sample findings from the prior day’s survey in San Pedro and the assumptions we can make from those findings. This information can more effectively steer local efforts since understanding the types of debris that are getting by the capture devices and booms provides the opportunity to better target education. I think our guests were thoroughly entertained as Kathy Carney, Mark, and I netted and logged debris while short tacking inside the Alamitos Bay channels! We had Ron Kilgore from KNX1070 as well as Karen Hawes who is podcasting her journey from Alaska to Argentina at Charlie seemed to really enjoy the sail and the differences between his Alguita and the DMB.
Once we had docked again at the Long Beach Yacht Club (fantastic hosts) the three of us were sitting for a discussion on the day’s events and we heard someone hop aboard. Charlie stuck his head inside the cabin and asked “Will you join me for a bite up at the club?” How could we decline! We had a very entertaining meal with Charlie, his wife, and her mother discussing different facets of the trash problem and potential outcomes. His work has inspired thousands like us and the opportunity to speak directly to the man who brought the pacific gyre into the public eye was priceless! Afterwards he invited us to walk back to his house and see the Alguita, his research vessel that he has put over 50,000 sea miles on in his research on the Pacific Gyre.
The Alguita is all business. She’s a 50 aluminum sailing catamaran that is equipped for serious offshore research. Even her A-frame on the stern is impressive, rated at over 1 ton of lifting capacity! Alguita is berthed directly across the street from the Moore family home which has been in the family since the 30s. The house is a modest affair equipped with a very functional workshop and surrounded by over a dozen different types of fruit trees. I’m always inspired by those who work in conservation and who set the standard for sustainable living, eating close to the source and being aware of their footprint. These are the individuals that show the rest of us that it can be done, thanks Charlie!

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