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Old 19-09-2016, 20:06   #1
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Great Pacific garbage patch

Does anyone have any experience and evidence of the Great Pacific garbage patch? This subject never seems to be initiated by cruisers which seems to validate a recent article attempting to debunk the idea. See The Garbage Philosophy Behind The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Myth
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Old 19-09-2016, 20:20   #2
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Re: Great Pacific garbage patch

Have been sailing the north pacific for most of my life and I haven't seen it either.
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Old 19-09-2016, 20:46   #3
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Re: Great Pacific garbage patch

There is a lot of trash inside the high. I have seen it. Even so, it's nothing like that photo from Manila.
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Old 19-09-2016, 20:51   #4
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Re: Great Pacific garbage patch

It's Bogus...
I'm not sure why some people feel that the only way to get attention to an important cause is to exaggerate it. Then when it comes out, they do more damage to the issue they are trying to promote than just being honest about it from the start. I guess hype sells
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Old 19-09-2016, 20:53   #5
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Re: Great Pacific garbage patch

I've done Hawaii to the West coast twice and there's more trash between the Hawaii Yacht Club and the Chart House Restaurant than I saw in 4500+ miles of sailing. Seriously, a little bit of commercial fishing gear, floats, line and dunnage was all I saw in 33 days at sea. Also, none of the many fish that happened aboard, Mmm yummy, had anything that looked unusual in their insides.
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Old 19-09-2016, 20:56   #6
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Re: Great Pacific garbage patch

If it were real don't you think Google earth would have pictures with coordinates online.
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Old 19-09-2016, 20:57   #7
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Re: Great Pacific garbage patch

I thought the garbage patch was mostly comprised of broken down plastic; tiny pieces that add up to a larger sum? Of course in our polarized world both sides have blown it up to make their drum beats louder.

I can't remember where I saw it, but there were a few racing yachts that took samples on their return from the Transpac and picked up a decent amount of micro sediment trash. Maybe it was Latitude 38?
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Old 19-09-2016, 21:07   #8
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Re: Great Pacific garbage patch

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Originally Posted by SF Bay Dude View Post
I thought the garbage patch was mostly comprised of broken down plastic; tiny pieces that add up to a larger sum? Of course in our polarized world both sides have blown it up to make their drum beats louder.

I can't remember where I saw it, but there were a few racing yachts that took samples on their return from the Transpac and picked up a decent amount of micro sediment trash. Maybe it was Latitude 38?
The current estimate is a whopping 5 kg per sqkm
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Old 19-09-2016, 21:12   #9
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Re: Great Pacific garbage patch

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Originally Posted by newhaul View Post
The current estimate is a whopping 5 kg per sqkm
One man's "whopping" is another scientist's "critical". Does anyone know of any published/vetted papers that could lend some insight to what the said 5kg of bits and pieces actually affect and how so?
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Old 19-09-2016, 21:29   #10
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Re: Great Pacific garbage patch

The first USSR nuclear tests were discovered by filters fitted to BOAC airline aircraft fitted with filter devices that opened when the aircraft got up to cruising height, they also discovered that tiny little spiders were being transferred trans oceanic in the jet stream.


We could all tow filter bags for say 10nm each day whilst in transit and send the location marked bags to interested institutions for their edification. Since we go a lot of places the commercial folks don't might provide info on just how much micro plastics are out there?
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Old 19-09-2016, 21:40   #11
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Re: Great Pacific garbage patch

If the garbage patch was real all those docks from Fukushima would not have got to California so quickly.
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Old 19-09-2016, 21:48   #12
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Re: Great Pacific garbage patch

Ded Reckoner,

We haven't been through there for a long time, but on two occasions, we were. One time, picked up a glass ball fish float. There was, as stated above, other flotsam, and no density approaching that of Manila Hbr. Also, we felt no concern about connecting with something awful, sharp, or hard at night. It is quite a large area involved. It may be fuller now, since the tsunami in Fukushima, we understand some of that flotsam reached the west coast of North America, too. Probably won't dissipate in my lifetime, but also not as bad as the Greenies suppose. They do lose credibility by not retracting statements found to be erroneous.

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Old 19-09-2016, 22:09   #13
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Re: Great Pacific garbage patch

Here are tracks from four of our Hawaii trips, and since then we've done two more round trips:

(the two straight-ish lines are the great circle and the rhumbline between San Francisco and Oahu)

We've covered the "gyre twice the size of Texas" pretty well by now, and we've seen more trash than we would like, but certainly no mountain. At the worst we typically see a few floating bits of junk -- water bottles, floats, unrecognizable debris -- every fifteen minutes or so. On one trip we took along two "debris observers" who were working with NOAA to measure the situation. We were going to bring a towed sample net, but they couldn't get that together in time for our passage. The observers were usually bored out of their minds and really surprised at how little there was to see. I considered throwing trash off the bow just to cheer them up.

Perhaps the micro debris is bad, but the density appears to be pretty low. I do suspect that much of the gyre mythology is due to the fact that you just can't see debris when the water is churned up by the wind waves. The middle of the Pacific High often sees mirror-calm conditions, and this is when you see the floating debris. This is also near the center of the gyre, as the currents are wind-driven.

In 2014 we did see what appeared to be Japanese tsunami debris, including a possible floating dock. Others saw capsized Japanese boats. But on the whole the trash wasn't hugely increased from previous years.

While I hate seeing trash on the water, I also hate it when "activists" lie about it, or (more likely) speak out of willful ignorance.
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Old 19-09-2016, 22:27   #14
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Re: Great Pacific garbage patch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Elliott View Post
Here are tracks from four of our Hawaii trips, and since then we've done two more round trips:

(the two straight-ish lines are the great circle and the rhumbline between San Francisco and Oahu)

We've covered the "gyre twice the size of Texas" pretty well by now, and we've seen more trash than we would like, but certainly no mountain. At the worst we typically see a few floating bits of junk -- water bottles, floats, unrecognizable debris -- every fifteen minutes or so. On one trip we took along two "debris observers" who were working with NOAA to measure the situation. We were going to bring a towed sample net, but they couldn't get that together in time for our passage. The observers were usually bored out of their minds and really surprised at how little there was to see. I considered throwing trash off the bow just to cheer them up.

Perhaps the micro debris is bad, but the density appears to be pretty low. I do suspect that much of the gyre mythology is due to the fact that you just can't see debris when the water is churned up by the wind waves. The middle of the Pacific High often sees mirror-calm conditions, and this is when you see the floating debris. This is also near the center of the gyre, as the currents are wind-driven.

In 2014 we did see what appeared to be Japanese tsunami debris, including a possible floating dock. Others saw capsized Japanese boats. But on the whole the trash wasn't hugely increased from previous years.

While I hate seeing trash on the water, I also hate it when "activists" lie about it, or (more likely) speak out of willful ignorance.
Great first hand account.
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Old 19-09-2016, 22:48   #15
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Re: Great Pacific garbage patch

Here's a good article I read a few years back

https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4132

Seems the Patch myth has died a bit, at one point Underwater World spouted off about it in their seal shows which they have now stopped doing (yep, I wrote a polite letter that never got a response).

The message is good, but I dislike it when the evidence is false.
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