Please select your home edition
Edition
Pantaenius - All Risk

Record-breaker Americas circumnavigator off on research voyage

by Sail-World Cruising on 21 Apr 2014
Matt Rutherford arrives showing off his barnacles from over 300 days of continuous sailing around the Americas, including the North West Passage and rounding Cape Horn .. .
Matt Rutherford, first sailor to complete a non-stop, single-handed voyage around North and South America, is about to depart with field scientist Nicole Trenholm on a nonstop sailing research voyage from Oakland, California, to Fukuoka, Japan. By deploying a high-speed trawl net off the side of their 29-foot Harbor 29 sailing boat while underway, the two sailors will embark on the first-ever continent-to-continent survey of plastic marine debris in the world’s oceans.

It was while was doing his amazing 309 day voyage around the Americas on a 24ft boat that he became convinced that 'something' needed to be done about ocean pollution.

So once Matt returned from his circumnavigation he immediately started working on starting a non-profit organization that would help scientists better understand the problems facing our oceans. Matt believes that no one person can do everything but everyone can do something. By creating Ocean Research Project, Matt plans to educate people about marine issues and give back to our earths oceans.



The expedition, already delayed by the non-readiness of the promised boat (when he went to collect it he had to help build it), is now anxious to depart as soon as possible. 'We need to leave as soon as possible because the later we leave the longer we will be at sea during typhoon season in the western Pacific.'

The net:
The specially designed net has limited drag. It will scoop up small pieces of plastic trash and plastic debris floating on the surface of the Pacific. Once the trip is complete in the summer, the debris will be cataloged and studied at onshore labs to help better understand the impact of plastic debris on marine life and on human health.

'When we cast off we’ll be attempting something that’s never been done before. The ocean is a vast and wild place, but unfortunately it’s not pristine. Human impacts can be seen even thousands of miles from shore. Our survey will help us understand just how much of an impact we’re having on the water that covers the majority of the planet, and on the countless species of marine organisms that depend on healthy oceans for their survival,' Rutherford said.

The 'expedition' vessel is a W.D. Schock Harbor 29 day-sailor designed primarily for inshore waters, but that doesn't faze the hardy sailor. 'People generally underestimate small sailboats, there not as comfortable but they can certainly cross an ocean.'

The trip is expected to take at least 70 days, and cross about a quarter of the globe.

Events in recent years, including the 2011 Japanese tsunami and the ongoing search for the missing Malaysian jetliner, have brought new attention to the problem of marine debris, both large and small. This is Ocean Research Project’s second offshore plastic debris survey in which they spent 80 days and 7,000 miles collecting data. A 2013 expedition to the North Atlantic gyre turned up as many as 200,000 pieces of plastic per square kilometer.



'The trip itself represents only half of the project. After we gather our samples and dock in Japan, we’ll then spend months analyzing the plastic in both Japan and back home in the U.S. Sailing across the Pacific Ocean will be a big adventure, but what we learn in the lab will be equally thrilling,' Trenholm said.

Samples will be analyzed for organic pollutants such as PCBs and pesticides through the University of Tokyo’s International Pellet Watch Program. Samples will also be processed at Baltimore Underground Science Space.

Throughout the trek, Maryland middle school students will build a BLOG based on the marine plastic debris problems & solutions with the guidance of the offshore team to be posted on both the Ocean Research Project and MD Sierra Club’s website. Post expedition, Maryland high school interns will join the team and help analyze the samples.

The trip will be the longest marine plastics survey in history. The planned route skirts to the south of Hawaii before turning northward toward Japan.

Ocean Research Project is committed to serving the ocean research community. Their mission is to provide data that explores man’s relationship with our planet’s oceans. For more information, visit www.oceanresearchproject.org

Sail Exchange 660x82 Used SailsBarz Optics - FloatersJeanneau Sunfast 660x82

Related Articles

Super Series Sailing Spectacular
News arrived of at least one Australian outfit going for a new build 52. Someone had to entertain Beau Geste and SMB During the week, news arrived of at least one Australian outfit going for a new build 52. Someone had to keep Beau Geste and SMB entertained at the sharp end of the 52 bracket. Two other camps were linked to other former 52 Super Series craft, Phoenix and Spookie, but the one touted as going after Phoenix has denied it, saying that Hasso (SAP) Plattner of Germany has bought her.
Posted on 20 Feb
More marina space and exciting firsts for GC Boat Show and Marine Expo
More marina space and exciting additions to an impressive Fleet of Firsts have set scene for a colossal marine showcase More marina space and even more exciting additions to an already impressive Fleet of Firsts have set the scene for a colossal marine showcase both on water and on land on Queensland’s Gold Coast from 17-19 March.
Posted on 17 Feb
Tenth blog from on board Perie Banou II
The irrepressible, charismatic and yarn-spinning record-breaker known as Jon Sanders is back sailing the oceans The sailor who cannot garden; the irrepressible, charismatic and yarn-spinning record-breaker known as Jon Sanders is back sailing the oceans he knows so well. After his ribs episode on the quay in Cape Town, and making more friends everywhere he goes, Jon is now making for St Helena. So here, in his typical rapid-fire style are his latest exploits...
Posted on 17 Feb
B&G adds enhanced Navionic functionality to Zeus and Vulcan range
B&G® announces the latest updates will bring PredictWind weather services direct to Zeus and Vulcan chartplotter range. B&G®, the world’s leading sailing navigation and instrument specialist, is pleased to announce the latest in its software updates will bring PredictWind weather services direct to its Zeus and Vulcan chartplotter range.
Posted on 16 Feb
Beneteau Open Day at Cruising Yacht Club of Australia
The Beneteau Team will be exhibiting three new Beneteau models at the CYCA this Saturday. The Beneteau Team will be exhibiting three new Beneteau models at the CYCA this Saturday.
Posted on 16 Feb
Lisa Blair enjoys a sunrise crossing of International Date Line
At sea for 20 days, Lisa Blair, 32 reached a key milestone in her attempt to circumnavigate Antarctica solo At sea for 20 days, 13 hours, 4 minutes and 39 seconds, sailor and adventurer Lisa Blair, 32 reached a key milestone in her attempt to circumnavigate Antarctica solo and unassisted crossing the International Dateline at 16:25:39 UTC (05:25:39 local time) on 11 February 2017.
Posted on 11 Feb
Six weeks to go to 2017’s Gold Coast International Boat Show
Come and see over 600 boats for sale on water and on the land as well as engines, accessories and electronics. Come and see over 600 boats for sale on water and on the land as well as engines, accessories and electronics, live entertainment and boating education every 15 minutes across a giant 3km display circuit.
Posted on 10 Feb
On board interview with Lisa Blair - solo Antartica circumnavigation
So far, Lisa is tracking very well in her attempt to become the first woman to sail solo around Antartica. So far, Lisa is tracking very well in her attempt to become the first woman to sail solo around Antartica. After the setbacks of a delayed departure due to gremlins in the electronics, we are delighted to have these answers from her on board. She is well and enjoying her time. Climate Action Now, her Hick 50, left Albany in Western Australia on January 22, 2017.
Posted on 8 Feb
Growing Fleet of Firsts for Queensland’s biggest GC Intl Marine Expo
A very impressive Fleet of Firsts is taking shape even more world-leading marine brands/businesses step aboard this week A very impressive Fleet of Firsts is taking shape as even more world-leading marine brands and businesses step aboard this week with first releases at Australia’s first major boat show of 2017 – the Gold Coast International Boat Show and Marine Expo in March.
Posted on 2 Feb
Yachting cartoonist Mike Peyton dies at 96
“The World’s Greatest Yachting Cartoonist” died on January 25, 2017 just five days after his 96th birthday. Mike Peyton, dubbed “The World’s Greatest Yachting Cartoonist”, died on January 25, 2017 just five days after his 96th birthday. A modest, shy man, he eschewed the spotlight and seemed unaware of the esteem which in sailors all around the world held him.
Posted on 27 Jan