Microplastics Adventure Scientist
Sørvika, Murchisonfjorden, Nordaustlandet
Now we are sailing and, having helped hoist a jib and the mainsheet, I’m so happy. Every day on this trip I think THIS IS THE HAPPIEST I’VE EVER BEEN. Especially when I’m climbing out of the water having just jumped in the 2-degree (Celsius) Arctic Ocean. It doesn’t so much feel cold as shocking. It’s not that you go numb but rather you forget your name, your age, everything except being alive, and then you run stumbling out of the water over the rocks onto the beach or, on a lucky day, up the ladder onto the deck of the ship. It doesn’t feel cold, just shocking.
Today we cleaned up the beach at Sørvika in Murchisonfjorden in Nordaustlandet. A tide line covered in trash, much of the beach covered with too many microplastics to totally collect, and me so happy and sad and angry at the same time. The feeling of wanting to punch and cry at the same time while also knowing the extreme luxury of being in this place–this place where humans don’t live, this place that is a nature reserve, this place at the end of the Gulf Stream where so much trash from around the world accumulates.
“This is not an excuse for further damage.”
-Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing