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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Traversing Through Trash

Courtesy of Paul Lecomte, Pacific Ocean.

After only swimming 1.74 nautical miles on July 14th, Ben Lecomte knocked off 23.26 nautical miles on July 15th and 27.49 nautical miles on July 16th on The Swim where he is nearly 500 nautical miles off the coast of Japan.

But there was no swimming today. Although everyone is safe onboard Seeker, the mother ship of The Swim, Lecomte and his team is currently facing a series of squalls. Crew chief Paul Lecomte reports, "The state of the ocean is not safe for the escort kayaker. This situation will probably continue the same tomorrow.

We are looking at potential 1-day offshore rendezvous in Japan in the next few days to replace our dinghy engine parts and other equipment
."

Over the last 32 days, the crew on the Seeker has encountered storms, squalls, massive cargo ships, sharks, whales, dolphins and turtles while Lecomte has swam through countless amounts of plastic garbage.

Seeker released a video [see here] as part of #PlasticFreeJuly that documents the large amounts of plastic trash Lecomte is swimming through and seeing on a daily basis. Discoveries include everything from plastic water bottles to large coolers, shoes, balloons and more.

His team explains, "Tracking plastic pollution in the marine environment is a big part of Ben's mission on The Swim. We are collecting microplastics from the net attached to the ship, separating the pieces and particles in the lab, and conserving the microbiomes that grew on the largest pieces of plastic. Our goal is to track changes in the ecosystem caused by the plastic garbage and raise awareness to limit the amount of single use plastic we are using every day."

For additional videos and reports from The Swim, a 8,721 km transoceanic stage swim across the Pacific Ocean from Japan to California is nearly 10% finished after one month on the Pacific Ocean, visit here.

Lecomte is currently riding along the Kuroshio Current under the guidance of skipper Yoav Nevo.

For more details, visit benlecomte.com. The daily logbook is posted here.

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