As a class, we have been following Ben Lecomte’s journey since he first attempted the Longest Swim in 2018, attempting to swim from the coast of Japan to the shores of Hawaii. Unfortunately, the Longest Swim had to be cut short due to typhoons and the danger to the crew’s safety. Now, two years later, we are anticipating Lecomte’s arrival in San Francisco from his latest expedition: the Vortex Swim.
The purpose of this swim from Hawaii to California is to raise awareness about the massive amount of garbage floating in the ocean known as the Pacific Garbage Patch. He planned to swim 300 nautical miles, directly through the millions of tons of plastic debris in the water. His arrival is scheduled for Saturday, August 31 in San Francisco. Swimming eight hours a day consistently since June 14, Lecomte and his team have been collecting data and water samples throughout their trip, counting and reporting the amount of waste and plastic they find as they travel.
I find Ben Lecomte’s project incredibly inspiring. I love seeing how hard he works and pushes himself to raise awareness and work on an issue he cares about. I really hope that he will inspire others to take action to undo the damage we have done to our planet. I am excited to see the information we can find out from the data he and his team collected on their trip and to see what we can do with that information. I am curious to find out about what kinds of plastics were the most common in the Pacific Garbage Patch and how we can prevent more of those plastics from getting into the ocean. If you want to read Ben’s logbook from his swim, you can read it here: benlecomte.com/logbook/#filter=article–crew–log.
Icebreaker, director. The Vortex Swim – One Man, One Mission: Ben Lecomte | EN. YouTube, YouTube, 28 May 2019, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=35Uo7Nd03XQ.
Munoz, Josh. “Ben Lecomte with Plastic Crate.” The Vortex Swim, 2019, benlecomte.com/day-57-58-in-a-fog-of-microplastic/.