F@$K tha Plastique, Goin’ Straight South Atlantic Bound


Yes, that’s an N.W.A. reference. Here’s another, less controversial one:

“Once a journey is designed, equipped, and put in process, a new factor enters and takes over. A trip, a safari, an exploration, is an entity, different from other journeys. It has personality, temperament, individuality, uniqueness. A journey is a person in itself; no two are alike. And all the plans, safeguards, policing, and coercion are fruitless. We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.”  John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley

I’m barely getting through my days right now without the aid of antiquated gangsta rap and John. I’m in the hustling trenches. Wake up. Write, then market. Phone call, email, phone call, email, wait, wait, email telling you to wait, phone call, rinse, repeat. Support our mission! Give us money! Yes, you’ll get pro photo assets. Yes, we’ll shout you out. Yes, we work with the UN, yes, big media is going to cover it. Yes, we’ll rock your brand as long as you give a demonstrable, objective crap about the earth. We’re here. We’re epic, we’re leaving soon. Give us money.

This is my life for the next four weeks. It’s good, though: I believe in what I do. Perennially on the road, I’m fund hunting via iPhone (I once filled out a 12-page grant application on it). Red into the black, that’s my mission. Float the boat.

So, no reports this week from far flung locales. I’m at home doing the dirty work that makes this plastic trash studying in the ocean work possible. And I’m antsy. I can’t hunch over my computer saying “I need to do more yoga” one minute longer, reading about Sun Chips ditching their compostable bag because it’s just too noisy. Or Coburn, the small-minded bastard, not having an issue with shark finning. It’s crazymaking. Forget ethical integrity so we can snack quietly and enjoy a tipple of exotic broth.

November 1, I leave for Rio De Janeiro, Brazil to join my 5 Gyres team to prepare for our departure to Capetown, South Africa, aboard our trusty lady, The Sea Dragon, to study plastic pollution in yet another oceanic gyre. Then I’ll hang in South Africa doing events and presentations (and surfing) for the month of December. Next, it’s up the coast of Africa to Walvis Bay, Namibia, to an island named St. Helena, then to Montevideo, Uruguay. I’ll be “home” February 11, 2011.

The crew will consist of our usual suspects and we’re in the throes of selecting the fresh meat. Sailing across an ocean is no joke, and you need to vet your crew if you’re going to occupy a 72 by 15 foot space for 30 days straight. And our ship is a working vessel. No whiners or dilettantes allowed. We take journalists, artists, pro surfers, industry reps, students, teachers – if you come back and fight for the cause, then it’s worth you seeing something that very few people on earth even imagine exists: A plastic trash vortex in the middle of the ocean.

If you’re a plastic warrior and have some skills, talk to the Ed. at EcoSalon and I’ll get you on the ship. It’ll change your life. It did mine.

These are the areas we study. What you’re looking at here is a computer model of buoys that drifted in the ocean for 10 years, pinging their locations everyday. This is their path. The gyre, as we say, is the red parts. Some are more concentrated, some are more diffuse. All have an incredible amounts of plastic in them.


If you have an interest in this subject (which I so warmly refer to as our little marine disaster of incomprehensible scale), I’m going to be reporting via satellite on what we find “out there” in an area of the world’s ocean that has never been studied for plastic pollution a few times a week.

Stay tuned. And fight everyday. Even just a little.