I was honored and very grateful to be included in this expedition and to be an Ambassador for the extraordinary work of the 5 Gyres team. One of the best ways to understand what we did during the expedition is to VIEW THE VIDEO HERE.
Participating in this trip is an opportunity for me to learn more about aspects of my environment closest to my heart. I hope to learn more about how I can minimize my impact to the health issues involved with the ocean. The health of the oceans and reefs have been a big motivating factor for me to continue pushing forward towards my competitive goals. The ocean is more than just a pool of water for me, it’s my playground, church and place of refuge open 24 hours a day 7 days a week.
Throughout my lifetime spent connecting with the ocean it’s easy to see that our voiceless friend, mother nature and our oceans, have been under major threats from human habits and disrespect. Many species and different forms of life are paying the price for it. During my travels to some of the most beautiful locations in the world for surfing, I’ve noticed something that is consistent with this issue of pollution in our oceans. All this damage is coming from the work of the human hand and the daily convenience in our lifestyle. While in the water or on the beach collecting rubbish and plastic it is easy to see that a lot of these items of “rubbish” are things we use in our lives daily.
This is consistently a reality check that there is something wrong here, either with the design flaw of plastic and its lifespan or simply because of the users’ irresponsibly using or disposing of these items. I’m excited to learn more about marine plastics, how they breakdown, reoccur/affect all levels of our food chain, and how I can be a positive influence on our ocean and environment from the knowledge and inspiration attained!
We went to Bali in July 2018 on the #5GyresExpedition2018 to monitor microplastics in a one of the world’s most biologically diverse coastal environments! 5 Gyres brought together more than 50 athletes, activists, students, academics, filmmakers and partners to sample for plastic pollution, using their #5GyresTrawlshare methods. Each leg of the Expedition included local plastic pollution experts from the region to help us all better understand the issue and the best solutions. The crew went through an intensive training and we came out ready to tackle plastic problems in our own community. Bali is a beautiful island and it was amazing to learn and explore there. You can follow the 5 Gyres journey and keep up with their #FieldNotes on Instagram and Facebook.
While we were in the area a nice swell came in allowing for one quick day of surfing.
Here is a list of the islands we visited and a summary of our activities each day:
Day 0 || July 20th – Sanur: Evening dinner at Soul in a Bowl
Day 1 || July 21st – Flores Island: Airport, fruit bats
Day 2 || July 22nd – Padar Island: Sunrise hike – here, cleanup during hike and at beach, Manta #1: Komodo Island: Snorkeling, Pink Beach – here, First visit to Komodo Park – here
Day 3 || July 23rd – Rinca Island: Manta #2, Morning visit to Komodo Park – here; Komodo Island: Sunset at northern island Gili Lawadarat – here, SOS picture, and Sunset hike
Day 4 || July 24th – Banta Island (here): Manta #3, snorkeling, beach cleanup, Claire and crew hydrofoil, surfing excursion around Banta, #plasticbeach in evening with part of team – here
Day 5 || July 25th – Sangeang Island: Bubbles Reef snorkeling and black sand beach cleanup (full audit completed on this cleanup, northern point of island), Manta #4, Visit village (here) with boat building, cleanup with local kids, and weaving.
Day 6 || July 26th – Satonda Island (here): Salt water lake in old crater, beach cleanup, swimming, Manta #5, Full #plasticbeach Analysis on Satonda Island beach – here, All sails up on Sea Safari VII, Manta #6
Day 7 || July 27th – Moyo Island (here): visit classroom and explore small village, Manta #7, Sea Safari VII crew music and dancing, Full moon eclipse
Day 8 || July 28th – Lombok (here): Manta #8, Day bus excursion on Lombok, Gili Trawangan visit in evening, beach cleanup with part of crew
Day 9 || July 29th – Early morning, Flight back to Bali
LEARN MORE (ABOVE PHOTOS: PHOTO CREDIT: 5 GYRES INSTITUTE AND MOCHAMAD ADI SEPTIONO (BALIFOKUS FOUNDATION)
This comprehensive article from #BreakFreeFromPlastic is a great summary of the work 5 Gyres did throughout the expedition and links to solid research.