10 August 2016

Ocean Currents, Friendly Floatees, Great Pacific Garbage Patch

Garbage Island: An Ocean Full of Plastic (Parts 1-3):

Video playlist above (3 videos): Vice sails to the North Pacific Gyre, collecting point for all of the ocean's flotsam and home of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch: a mythical, Texas-sized island made entirely of our trash. Come aboard as we take a cruise to the Northern Gyre in the Pacific Ocean, a spot where currents spin and cycle, churning up tons of plastic into a giant pool of chemical soup, flecked with bits and whole chunks of refuse that cannot biodegrade. Hosted by Thomas Morton @Babyballs69 | Originally aired in 2008 on VICE.com

Travel patterns of the Friendly Floatees. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Friendly Floatees are plastic bath toys marketed by The First Years, Inc. and made famous by the work of Curtis Ebbesmeyer, an oceanographer who models ocean currents on the basis of flotsam movements including those of a consignment of Friendly Floatees, containing 29,000 plastic yellow ducks, red beavers, blue turtles and green frogs, washed into the Pacific Ocean in 1992. Some of the toys landed along Pacific Ocean shores, like Hawaii. Others traveled over 17,000 miles, floating over the site where the Titanic sank, and spent years frozen in Arctic ice to reach the Eastern Seaboard, British and Irish shores 15 years later in 2007 - Wikipedia.

"[T]he North Pacific Gyre is home to what has been called the Great Pacific Ocean Garbage Patch, a massive island of floating debris, mostly plastic, that the gyre stirs like a giant pot of trashy soup. Though the rubber ducks (Friendly Floatees) have helped raise awareness about the gyre, most of what makes up the garbage patch is hardly so cute. Most of it consists of tiny plastic fragments and chemical sludge, but just about anything discarded that floats can be found there. Some of the trash got there the same way the rubber duckies did, via lost shipping crates. Though no one knows exactly how many shipping containers are lost at sea every year, oceanographers put the figure at anything from several hundred to 10,000 a year, a startling estimate, though still only a tiny part of a global trash problem."--What can 28,000 rubber duckies lost at sea teach us about our oceans? | MNN.com - Mother Nature Network

NOAA: Great Pacific Garbage Patch
Great Pacific garbage patch | Wikipedia"The Great Pacific garbage patch was described in a 1988 paper published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the United States. The description was based on results obtained by several Alaska-based researchers between 1985 and 1988 that measured neustonic plastic in the North Pacific Ocean. Researchers found high concentrations of marine debris accumulating in regions governed by ocean currents. Extrapolating from findings in the Sea of Japan, the researchers hypothesized that similar conditions would occur in other parts of the Pacific where prevailing currents were favorable to the creation of relatively stable waters. They specifically indicated the North Pacific Gyre. Charles J. Moore, returning home through the North Pacific Gyre after competing in the Transpac sailing race in 1999, claimed to have come upon an enormous stretch of floating debris. Moore alerted the oceanographer Curtis Ebbesmeyer, who subsequently dubbed the region the "Eastern Garbage Patch" (EGP). The area is frequently featured in media reports as an exceptional example of marine pollution."

more about sailing below (@ web version link below for mobile)

Recent Updates for U.S. Coast Guard Digital Newsroom

CSSN News&Reports

sailing - Google News

America's Cup - Google News

More Sailing News

ISAF sailing - Google News

Rolex sailing - Google News

US sailing - Google News

Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race - Google News

Vendee Globe - Google News