eXXpedition North Pacific crew member and eXXpedition Office Manager Soraya Abdel-Hadi shares her feelings on the first day of leg two

“It’s an amazing experience to be surrounded by individuals who are as passionate about making a difference as you are.

Working for eXXpedition has given me the opportunity to spend time and connect with an amazing group of women, but there is nothing quite like the energy you get by meeting people in person. Anyone who knows me, knows that I love that interaction with new, fascinating people. It’s why I was so passionate about joining a crew for a sail this year and, now, on the first day, I know that I made the right decision.
And it’s not just our amazing multidisciplinary crew, who you will find out much more about over the next few days. Today, on our first day, we co-hosted a public clean up on Granville Island, alongside fantastic partners Surfrider and Sea Smart. We were joined by 100 other people who wanted to make a difference to the waste that is entering our oceans through local waterways.
These passionate individuals ranged widely in age, background and experience, but were brought together for a common cause. From the man who worked for the space centre, to the passionate activist of First Nations rights, everyone had an interesting and motivating story, and knowledge to willingly share.
We had planned to clean for an hour and we had a great turnout, so on first glance, I wasn’t sure that we would be able to keep busy for the whole of that time. The park looked pretty clean. How wrong I was? Bucket after bucket of waste came back to our waste sorting station and the waste included the usual suspects – straws, cigarette butts, lollipop sticks, bottle tops – as well as some unusual, park-related finds.
A bubble gun, a mini drone, tennis ball, numerous pens and pencils – the reminents of a spring spent outside by families. It was a stark reminder that so many places look clean and as if they are not impacted by waste, but once you really look, you start to see the damage our habits are doing to our environment.
It’s the same case with our ocean – the water often looks pristine and pure from above the surface, but once you look closer you begin to understand the scale of the often unseen problem of ocean plastic. That’s eXXpedition’s mission – to make the unseen seen – and I’m excited that we have started as we mean to go on.”

This update from Sea Dragon is made possible by Iridium Communications, the only mobile voice and data satellite communications network that spans the entire globe.

The North Pacific Crew will be sending us daily updates from Sea Dragon, which will be posted here on the eXXpedition website. You will also be able to see updates from the crew and ground team throughout North Pacific on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

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