The Expedition starts with a 2.5 hour bumpy ride out to the Gulf stream where we set out to look for Sargassum mats. Launching the device was very hard by hand due to the cork like bobbing the crew were undertaking. Luckily saltines were eaten heftily and no accidents occurred. The photographer for our voyage was Julian Kehaya. After casting off the NOMC (non oceanic material collector) the job of cleating it to the boat was made difficult by the ropes constant tangling in my hands. Luckily my persistence pulled through when I cleated the NOMC 1 off for its first trawl!!!
Top: Bonnie Monteleone on left, Montgomery Carter on right testing NOMC filtering device
Right: Montgomery Carter pulling in NOMC1
(In the top photo gloves were decided upon after struggling with the rope’s wet nature and reeling the NOMC in.)
Bottom: NOMC comes out of the water
Left: looking into the filter
Right: Plastic Juice box with barnacles growing on it. September 30th.
Bonnie Monteleone and I ventured into the atlantic to find some micro plastic. What we found was interesting and somewhat unsettling. A typical trip to the edge of the sargasso sea would play out in finding a few patches of sargassum.
However this was not the case. After 5 hours of searching for sargassum patches we came up short. Fortunately for Adopt A Gyre we were able to do more than just look for patches of sargassum. We were able to test our prototype for ocean plastic removal called the NOMC (non oceanic material collector). The deployment went as planned in that we trawled twice for a period of 20 minutes. Selection of the trawling sections were at random. The debris collected can be seen below.
In this picture the larger brown particles are coconut shavings that were used to track the efficiency of collection. The small bits and pieces are plant materials. It is important to note that during our trawl we caught 6 sargassum fishes, multiple salp’s, and one jellyfish. We found in our trawl that the water penetrating through the filter was minimal compared to the ammount of water bowheading around the device and onto the sidewalls of the funnel. Some important things were learned from this test. The first is that the device must be modified to reduce the ammount of water bowheading around it. Secondly the funneling mechanism shall needs to be also altered to prevent loss of materials due to the bowhead effect.
Stay posted in the coming weeks as we will try to test the modified device more. Aswell we will post pictures of the process to gain feedback from our followers.
July 14th 2012
WE HAVE LIFTOFF!!! I am pleased to say that the first prototype is built and ready for testing. Through the help and support of Captain Kirby Farrell and the Beach Monkey Two we will be testing within the coming month. We are very excited to have resulting data to display once the tests have been carried out and improvements have been made to our prototype.
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