Watching the sun rise

December 8, 2015

Day 3 –  Amazon 2015

My team’s watch this morning was from 4 to 8 am. Normally you wouldn’t get me out of bed at this time of the morning but knowing I would see the crescent moon and the sun change places in the sky I was up on deck pretty quick.

Mars was shining under the moon a few stars were still in the sky when I got up on deck all kitted up in my life jacket. An amazingly white iridescent sun came out of the sea by 5 am – we are now very close to the equator so the days are getting shorter and hotter.
I was on the helm a few times during the watch. I was amazed that one could get into a meditative zone doing it. you must pick a point on the horizon to stay your course – if you look at the numbers on the boat you cannot do it! I saw loads of birds and flying fish but sadly no dolphins yet.

By 5 am I was starving so I offered to make porridge for my team. Tania and I ate a creamy porridge with fresh Brazilian passionfruit (big yellow fruit completely different to what we have in Europe) and agave juice on deck.

At 8 am I went to rest for a few hours but it was simply so hot that I could not sleep. I just lay there is a state of stupor – how could I be sweating without moving. What has been so surprising is how little I am worried about my world outside this boat – I know I can’t do anything to change or fix things. This sense of remoteness and distance is surprisingly not disempowering – quite the opposite.

This is the first long break I am taking since I set up my own law firm 8 years ago. It was scary planning for it, not taking on new work, finalising things and explaining to clients I will not be contactable for three weeks. Three weeks – gosh I may not even have any clients when I come back!

But the ocean has such a calming effect, puts thing in perspective and the boat gliding across the ocean in silence brings peace and joy. Joy for being alive and of being so lucky to be part of this amazing crew of women dedicated to making the unseen issue of plastic seen.

You may wonder why there is no discussion in my blogs of our research. Is she on holiday or what? As we were not able to get permits to take samples in the Brazilian exclusive economic zone we have to wait until we reach the high seas (beyond 200 nm ) before starting our work. As of the time of this blog we have travelled 130 nm. It will take us another day of sailing to reach 230 nm at which point we can start our work. Lots more time to practice our sailing and watch the sun rise!

By Ana Stanic, Environmental Lawyer in Residence

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