By Teddy, Helen and Basil Horangic
Our names are Teddy (14), Helen (12) and Basil (8), and o
ur family is taking a yearlong sabbatical to sail a semi-circumnavigation of the Earth, starting in the Black Sea and then continuing through the Mediterranean, across the Atlantic, and finally up the East Coast of the United States and Canada.
We recently learned about the ASC Microplastics Project through Marjo and Edwin, of Orion of Aberdeen for Ocean Conservation, during the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers gathering on Grand Canary Island. Having caught wind of the project after it was set up among the other ARC boats, we’re conducting our experiments apart from the ARC, and continuing our sampling efforts throughout the Caribbean and the North Atlantic.
The Horangics with ASC Microplastics samples they collected during a trans-Atlantic crossing (Photo courtesy of Caroline Hubbard)
We have been on the boat for seven months already, and will try to fit as many sampling tests as possible in the remaining time we have sailing. We have already taken multiple samples during our trans-Atlantic crossing, and we’re really interested in seeing the results!
Microplastic pollution is obviously a big problem—one that affects the smallest fish populations and inevitably makes its way up the food chain back into our systems. As wildlife lovers, this project presented us with an opportunity to maximize our ocean conservation efforts while we are constantly surrounded by water. The fact that we saw very few seabirds on the ocean during our crossing, a branch of sea life that are one of the main casualties of microplastics pollution, really drove this home.
We hope our efforts will provide the ASC Microplastic Project with valuable data and contribute to worldwide ocean conservation.