Sailors Called Upon to Help With Ocean Clean Up!
ASA caught up for an interview with Dutchman Boyan Slat, Founder of The Ocean Cleanup. Slat is an amazing young guy who, at 19, announced he had a solid plan to clean the world’s oceans of harmful plastic pollution faster and more efficiently than any have proposed before. In 2012, the skinny longhaired teenager spoke on a TED Talk stage of a plan that would harness the existing tendencies of the ocean and, in essence, coral the garbage for a manageable and cost-effective removal.
Fast-forward a year and half later and the ambitious environmentalist has begun the operation. Last year he published a feasibility report that confirmed his concept indeed had legs. From there, he has formed a team, raised funds and is now creating pilot phases that will actually test his theories in the real world.
Part of the process involves more accurately understanding just how much waste is out there and that’s where sailors come in. Slat is organizing what they’re calling the Mega Expedition. – up to 50 vessels will cross the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in parallel, in what will be the largest ocean research expedition in history. They have yet to sign up 50 boats, but he is confident that he will reach that goal before August.
ASA: What is the Mega Expedition? It’s not a clean up effort, but more of a research expedition, correct?
Slat: The Mega Expedition isn’t to clean up the oceans – it’s to determine how much plastic is in the ocean. Using computer models we determined we would be able to clean up half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 10-years time using a single 100-kilometer system. The question however is how much, exactly, is half the Great Pacific Garbage Patch? Is it 100,000 tons, is it 1-million tons; is it 10-million tons? Nobody really knows. There have been many estimates about how much is out there, but they vary. This is quite important for us to know for primarily two reasons. One of them is economic. If there are ten times the amount of kilos [than we thought] in the ocean to extract, obviously the cost per kilo (to extract) goes down almost to a factor of ten considering that the plastic we extract we will reuse and recycle. That’s quite important for the business model. Although it doesn’t fully rely on it, it would make things easier.
The second reason is – to design the extraction equipment, to scale them correctly, we need to know if they have to process a ton of plastic or ten tons per hour…things like that. So that’s why we came up with this thing called the Mega Expedition. It’s a project taking place in August of this year. Using 50 sailboats, we will cross the great Pacific Garbage Patch in parallel. We’ll do more measurements in the course of three weeks than have been collected in the past 40-years combined. This should enable us to give an accurate estimate of the plastics in the ocean.
ASA: How is the Transpac [race from LA to Hawaii} involved in this?
Slat: Yes – many boats are participating – not all of them because some are being shipped back, but most of them will be. It will be the boats that are doing the delivery voyage back to Los Angeles. Since there is a lot of motoring being done anyway, we can use those vessels to go through the more southern latitudes. Our research area is 25-north – up to 40 north. It will allow us to cover three and a half million square-kilometers. The important thing is that the vessels leave around the same time, this will provide us with a high resolution snap shot of what’s in the ocean. What organizations like NOAA and some other non-profits do is they go out to the ocean take a few measurements, come back and repeat the same thing year after year. There are problems with that. For instance, the patch is moving around. If you take a measurement of one spot and come back a week later, you would get an entirely different reading. Therefore it’s important to get a lot of measurements in a very short time and the only way we felt that was possible was doing the Mega Expedition. Continue reading
Outstanding Instructor Spotlight
Black Rock Sailing School’s twenty-four-year-old ASA Sailing Instructor Paul Sullivan caught the sailing bug young, sailing his Sunfish around the small lake of his hometown. A self-described sailing addict, Sullivan lived for sailing.
As his skilled progressed he raced in high school and college but after countless bruises on his knees and shins, the young sailaholic started to appreciate boats with a bit more room and comfort.
“I had outgrown the Vanguard 420 and all the knee and shin bumping associated with it,” Sullivan says. “I left the world of roll tacks and team racing to enjoy the good life, establishing my new mantra; I will only sail a boat with at least two cup-holders.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – BEACHES RESORTS OFFERS NEW “SAILING FUN” EXPERIENCE THROUGH AMERICAN SAILING ASSOCIATION
Guests as Young as Eight Can Participate in Introductory Sailing Program
LOS ANGELES AND MONTEGO BAY, JAMAICA – February 11, 2015 – In conjunction with the American Sailing Association (ASA), the globe’s leading authority on sailing instruction and sailing schools, Beaches Resorts has launched a new sailing program at Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa, Beaches Negril Resort & Spa and Beaches Ocho Rios Resort & Golf Club. As part of the Beaches Sailing School, Beaches Resorts now offers a new Sailing Fun Experience, in which guests can participate in a sailing course consisting of four two-hour sessions designed to introduce both children (ages eight and above) and adults to the sport of sailing.
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In January ASA launched a new, and greatly improved, website.
The biggest change is in the schools section which has been restructured from the ground up to make it even easier for prospective sailing students to find an ASA Affiliate School. New search tools allow visitors to search for a school by City, State, Zipcode, and Country.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AMERICAN SAILING ASSOCIATION ANNOUNCES BANNER YEAR IN 2014
Leader in Sailing Education Sees Record Number of New Sailors
LOS ANGELES – January 20, 2015 – The American Sailing Association (ASA), America’s sail education authority, announced 2014 was a banner year. The Association, which has introduced more new enthusiasts to the sailing lifestyle than any other boating organization in the world, saw an overall annual increase of 10 percent in the number of new sailors who participated in its introductory sailing programs. The Association credits this growth to its progressive educational system, and its professional network of affiliated schools and instructors.
“ASA’s surge in the basic sailing genre is great news for the sailing industry in general, as these numbers predict an overall uptick in the number of new people coming into the sport,” said Lenny Shabes, ASA’s Chairman of the Board. “It also bodes well for future boat sales, for sailing apparel and gear manufacturers, and for the entire marine economy.”
Don’t miss out on the best charters in the US and abroad in 2015! Captained, crewed, and bareboat charters are available, but the best boats and deals are going fast! Find My Charter makes it so easy for ASA members to take the next step and explore new waters, especially with all the new boats and bases we’ve added this year. Whether you’re looking to charter in the Caribbean for the first time or the Mediterranean for the hundredth, Find My Charter is your charter concierge, working around the clock to assure that everything going smoothly. Chartering is effortless! ASA Members receive $100 ASA store credit when they book with Find My Charter.
It just got easier to bareboat in the Sea of Cortez with the opening of Dream Yacht Charter base in La Paz, Mexico! They are off to a great start as of October 2014 and have filled the void that the Moorings left when they pulled out over a year ago. Horizon Yacht Charters added another base to their Caribbean locations by opening their doors in St. Vincent – a much needed compliment to their Grenada base – making one way trips in the Windwards more accessible. There is more to look forward to in 2015 as Dream opens their base in Angra Dos Reis, Brazil – just south of Rio de Janeiro. SailCaribe has expanded their base in Puerto Rico – they have doubled their fleet and offer new Jeanneau’s and Lagoon’s, meeting a great demand for bareboats in the Spanish Virgins. We are now offering bareboats in Malta and the Azores – adding some spice to the list of destinations that can be booked!
Explore destinations, find boats, and book your next charter at www.findmycharter.com.
ASA members can now purchase ASA’s brand new boat, the ASA First 22. It was modeled after the successful First 20 and designed in collaboration with Beneteau especially for ASA members and schools! The ASA First 22 is recognized for its safety features, stability, comfort, and sleek design. The roomy cockpit fits five adults comfortably making it perfect for family sails and helping friends and children learn the ropes. The retail price is $29,900, but there is a special limited time price for ASA members! Contact Chris Doscher, the Beneteau America Sailboat Sales Manager, at 843.810.2020 or by email at email@example.com to learn more about this deal.
ASA’s new bareboat cruising book is the perfect addition to any cruising sailor’s collection. Whether they’re going on their very first bareboat cruise at home or chartering abroad for the tenth time, Bareboat Cruising Made Easy is a fantastic holiday gift. The all-inclusive text features everything from packing guidelines to sailing tips, and the gorgeous design, diagrams, and photographs make it a treat to flip through. Find Bareboat Cruising Made Easy online at www.asastore.org!