eXXpedition North Pacific crew member and marine scientist Laura Leiva shares our event-filled last few days on board (and on land!)
“After a phenomenal talk at an event Patagonia hosted for eXXpedition crewmembers in Victoria, BC we all felt proud of each other and sad because our journey together is almost over. Even though we were no longer enclosed in our 72 ft long home, we couldn’t manage to put more than 5 ft between each other. Reminding us of the special women empowerment bond we formed over the last week. Our talk was about our reasons for joining eXXpedition, how to communicate the issue of marine plastic pollution, solutions toward stopping it and the scientific sampling done on board.
As part of the science team alongside brilliant marine researcher Imogen Napper, we explained how we took sediment samples, air samples and water samples to look at the amount of plastic fibers, nanoplastics, and contaminants absorbed by microplastics. Reminding our audience that sea birds, fish and other marine life are feeding on plastics and toxic chemicals and potentially ending in out plates through seafood consumption.
Afterwards we enjoyed our first and only meal on land and had a vivid talk about our favorite moments (top 1: Orca sighting, my top 2: delicious veggie burger dinner on deck) and our future plans towards tackling marine plastic pollution. We all went back excited to finally have at least 6 uninterrupted hours of sleep, but the safety of sleeping on dock didn’t last long.
At around 7 am we were awoken with a repeated: “Sea Dragon , Sea Dragon do you need assistance?“ As our incredibly brave and competent boat crew sailed toward Port Angeles, WA, our steering cable snapped just 1 mile and a half away from the harbor. Luckily we had a group of insistent coast guards ready to tow us, “boat drama” we all laughed as we wondered if their eagerness was solely based on the appealing task of ‘rescuing’ an all-women crew ship.”