lost and found

August 12th, 2016 § 3 comments § permalink

We try, we really do.

Me, I devoted the bulk of my career to the Clean Water Act. My husband, he’s just cheap. But both of us are highly motivated when it comes to keeping our belongings on the boat. Yet whoosh goes the cockpit cushion off into a gale, and splash goes the plastic clothespin right from my hand.

Its one of those things that boat life does to you – you are confronted with all of your impacts. There is no “away”, and all of life becomes a pack in/pack out scenario. I started keeping a list of our lost items.

The response to losing is to go finding. Esoteric? Maybe. Guilt-driven? Yes.

Now we collect marine debris, (how much and what type depends on several factors) and deal with it. First it was plastic caps on the beach, then it was a torn beach ball in the parking lot.

Blue bandana is full of beach plastic.

Blue bandana is full of beach plastic.

Ultimately, I found myself on the bow with the boat hook snaring half-deflated balloons out of the open water.

Worn balloons and the boat hook.

Worn balloons and the boat hook.

Our list of lost items now has a second column for the things we have found. Can we come out ahead?

The last item that was lost from the boat, one of our best outdoor pillows, went over during our approach to Fairhaven, MA, where we are now. We straight up turned the sailboat around. If you sail you know that’s a pain in the butt and you don’t do that if you are going somewhere. That’s right, dear readers, we are officially performing man overboard drills on our own marine debris.

I guess the best we can hope for is to be both lost and found.

This is a sailboat embroidered onto a found beach ball.

This is a sailboat embroidered onto a found beach ball.

PS. If you are wondering why my Instagram has gone silent, its because I dropped my phone in the water.

no yolo

January 24th, 2016 § 0 comments § permalink

This week, via The Week: “The World Economic Forum predicts plastic production will increase threefold to 1,124 million tons over the next 34 years…if plastic consumption and production continues at current rates, the world’s oceans will contain more plastic than fish in terms of weight by 2050.”
see_saw We have been grappling recently with provisioning and how we can develop a pantry without disposable plastic. At sea, if you have a plastic waste hoard that needs tossing, you are faced with using your own two hands to pitch it right into the sea. Even though much of our land-based waste gets to the sea one way or another, there is something about this liveaboard scenario that evokes real personal responsibility.

For you, dear reader, a few questions: How is it not possible to buy food without buying plastic as well? How is it so that this mandatory plastic cannot be *really* recycled in my town? Not every town is so, but in many US towns this is still true. And, *drumroll* who/what absorbs these externalized impacts?

Take that one to church, y’all!


January 13th, 2016 § 4 comments § permalink

I’m just going to leave this right here:


The Exorcist (Google Image Search on Photoshop)

Over the holidays, my parents brought down my Grandpap’s massive SW radio that we have had in storage since his death in 2002. It has been really great to tinker with and also to be “visited” by my most tinkery ancestor. Even if it is a spooky thought, I often hope my Grandpap is looking on as we stumble through (especially the technical aspects) of the boat rebuild. He was an organized dude.

I tell you that to tell you this. I have set the SW to turn on at 6:30am, with soft public radio sounds to ease us into the day. This morning, we awoke to an interview about the recent federal ban on microbeads in bath products, and the larger problems related to plastic plankton. It is rare, but sometimes media places information in my way that I am actually interested in.

The Trump Show has been the dominant feature for me online and in the news…he sticks in my brain-baleen, he gums up the works, fouls the nets. Like so many jelly blobs before him, humanity is faced with the challenge of responding to a nuisance bloom.

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