By crew member, Liana John, Environmental Journalist, National Geographic Brasil

After two days of ups and downs on the waves and on the wind speed, the Friday, September third starts with smooth sailing and a flatter sea. By 2:30, the waning moon sneaks out of the dark clouds ahead. Soon there is this horn shape facing up, as if a giant bright yellow rhino was about to get out of its hide for a dive at the pitch black ocean.

With this weird image in mind, I untie my small video camera from the fast trawler, anxious to watch the new images. Some days ago we had it facing out towards the sea and got some nice footage of the trawler perspective. Now we tied it facing inward to get the plastics fragments coming into the nets. But – deception – the camera memory is empty! It didn’t record anything at all! A setting problem, I guess. Maybe tomorrow we’ll get luckier.

Dawn comes with more ups and downs on wind speed, ranging from 5 to 10 knots, what means some bumping and potential domestic disasters inside. Not to mention the doubled  effort and all the funny positions in order to compensate boat inclination and do common things such as to cook, take a shower, do laundry and just walk around.

The sun doesn’t come out the clouds almost all day. Trawlers bring less and less plastic as we leave behind the concentration zone of the gyre. Dr Marcus makes the dissection of three lantern fishes caught on day 3 and – good news! – there is no plastic in their stomachs.


Before supper, we have a very instructive and scientifically based demonstration on nautical gym, something hybrid in between working out and doing yoga, by Dr Marcus, Gigi, Dale and Jose. Using nothing but the boat movement and quite a bit of dangerous equilibrium, they’ve managed to exercise arms, legs, backs and many other muscles in a series of odd ups and downs. We’re seriously thinking on launching a DVD on this new gym wave!

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