No turkey on Thanksgiving day – No problem. Argentine Beef will have to do! But Thanksgiving was not until day 6 of our 10 day adventure, so that story will have to wait. On day one, we set sail from our home in Ushuaia, Argeninta and sailed to Puerto Williams, Chile, a small navy town at the end of the world. There we stamped into Chile and our adventure started as we sailed towards the Fjords along the Beagle Channel.
Our plan was to sail during the day and tuck into different fjords at night – often in the shadow of looming glaciers. In addition to our sailing adventure, we teamed up with ASC to collect water samples for their microplastics project, an initiative to collect water samples around the world to better understand microplastic pollution in the world’s water. Microplastics are generally defined as pieces of plastic that are less than 5mm (and often much smaller) – basically small pieces that are nearly impossible for our eyes to see. Very little research has been done on microplastics, so ASC and their partners at the Marine Environmental Research Institute (MERI) are trying to understand the extent of the issue.
Thankfully, we had had the foresight to send my sister, Tesia, below to start dinner – Thanksgiving dinner. When we came below with the mix of salt water and fresh dripping from our noses, we found mashed potatoes, BEEF, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie ready on the table.
This trash on the beach made me think about the samples we were collecting during this trip. In this cove I collected two sets of samples: one in the middle of the cove and one near the shore. Unfortunately, with visible trash on the beach, I think these samples will be contaminated with microplastics too.
We felt a great deal of satisfaction as we ended our adventure as modern day Darwins. We had explored lands that he, too, had explored, and each of us studying problems of our day.
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