We sailed off from Simrishamn leaving a beautiful sunset. Since then, the sea has been calm as a lake (as in the Swedish name for the Baltic Sea).

When we where getting ready for the first sampling, I think most of the crew was excited for some action. For the first trawl, the Manta went in by a ten point throw by Bert and Jonas, and the rest helped get organized for the remaining sampling using the pump and the bucket. When the pump was in the water, we where thrilled to get 15 minutes for a swim off the boat. It was absolutely fantastic!!! We jumped into 25 C, soft, brackish water. Luckily, everyone was able to get up, although there was no ladder on the boat.

Unfortunately, we were not as lucky with the pump. Suddenly, the monitor controlling the pump went black, and we had to stop sampling with our brand new, high tech pump. Fingers crossed, we can fix it tomorrow. For the trawling, we did find some pieces of plastic, and the water sampling was fool proof (I managed to through a bucket into the water and pull it back up).

During dinner, we made a big catch that the Captain spotted. There were some arguments as to what it is called: a raft, a lilo, or some sort of floating device. Whatever you call it, it was the catch of the day – a big piece of bright pink plastic in the middle of the Baltic Sea.

Now we hope for some more wind and some luck with the monitor.

– Ingrid Ericson Jogsten, Örebro University, Researcher on board, August 7, 2014, Baltic Sea Discovery expedition with MTM Research Centre

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