Trent Hodges, the returned Peace Corps Volunteer who led the construction of the bottle school in Las Mañanitas on the Pacific coast of Guatemala, did not stop thinking about the impact of plastics on the environment after he left Guatemala. Trent is now part of Plastics at SEA: North Pacific Expedition 2012, a scientific research expedition dedicated to the study of the effects of plastic marine debris in the ocean ecosystem. Below you can see the start of a blog entry that Trent wrote during his voyage:
It is Tuesday and here we are, sailing along, a group of diverse and passionate souls bobbing around the North Pacific Ocean. The wind has left us for a brief spell and we see only the giant smooth rolling swells produced by ripping winds to the west. The waves are a solemn and impressive remnant of a violent storm we don’t see, but we are able to experience through the energy created in the swells. It is often my experience that the weather can induce certain moods and patterns of thought and reflection. The calm waters and absence of forward momentum seem to stir reflection in the souls of the crew as we all take a moment to sit back and remember why we decided to embark on this adventure.
For all I know, the reasons are many and can’t be simplified into a single focus. However, as we sat around for class yesterday and listened to fellow shipmates Kim and Emilee speak about connecting the important scientific conclusions we are making with the general public, it became clear that we are all here because we love the ocean, we want it to be healthy, and we’re concerned about how it is changing. Different experiences and visions were brought to light and all the crew participated in thoughtful conversation on the meaning of this expedition and what we will take with us and give out when we reach land.