exploratorium

The Vortex Swim

Saturday, September 7, 2019 • 11:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Included with museum admission and free for Daytime members.

What’s it like to explore the most polluted areas of our oceans? Long-distance swimmer Ben Lecomte was the first person to swim the Pacific Trash Vortex northwest of the Hawaiian Islands. With his team aboard the support ship I am Ocean, they documented how the largest ecosystem on Earth is being threatened by plastic pollution. 

Scientists, sailors, and photographers collectively set out on an adventure anchored by the goal of prompting a better understanding of the Pacific Trash Vortex’s origins and impacts and encouraging people to think about how individual actions can change the course of marine plastic debris.

Working with science partners around the world, they collected the first transpacific dataset on floating debris, microplastics and microfibers. Along the way they rigorously tracked their trip and produced a collection of short films that offer compelling insight into their adventures and findings. 

Hear from the crew who escorted Ben Lecomte, attend a film screening, and tour the ship I Am Ocean.

The Team
2:00 p.m.
Osher Gallery 1, Kanbar Forum

The team will share stories of the surprising things they discovered in the Pacific, as well as showcase a collection of some of the trash they found.

The Films
1:00 and 3:00 p.m.
Osher Gallery 1, Kanbar Forum

Over 2 expeditions and 230 days at sea, Ben swam over 1800 nautical miles in the Pacific. In this screening, enter I Am Ocean and hear about the crews surprising, and sometimes troubling, discoveries.

I am Ocean Ship Tours
Water Taxi Stop South of the Bulkhead Entrance
11:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m. and 3:00–5:00 p.m.

Step aboard I am Ocean, the ship that traveled alongside Ben Lecomte on the team’s expedition.
 


Photo: Vortex, @seamarshall.jpg