Posts Tagged ‘Plastics at Sea’

The Plastics at SEA North Pacific Expedition is finally over, and Thom is back from sailing across the Pacific Ocean (he actually returned home on Nov. 13, but things have been busy here).

The dynamic duo, Thom and Alia, are back to work at Orizaba Farm’s new location in Portland, Oregon.  Stay tuned for updates on Orizaba Farm as Thom and Alia build their soil, connect with their community, and plant the seeds for a sustainable urban food forest.

But first, here are some dispatches from the Plastics at SEA expedition.

The website:

Thom’s writings from the expedition:

October 6 — “The Science of Caring for Our Ship”


October 9 — “Singing to the Stars”


October 19 — “When Fish Can Fly”


November 6 — “This Ship Never Sleeps”


Thom’s Bio:


He is in the Day 5 and Day 15 videos
http://www.sea.edu/plastics/video_galleryPhoto gallery:
Check out the galleries for Oct. 2, 6, 9, 17, 18, and Nov. 3 for photos of Thom

Thom on Helmoct14_header2oct26_header2


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Trash that accumulated from Thom and Alia’s home in Queen Anne, Seattle, between January 01 and July 21, 2012. Does not include recyclable and biodegradable/compostable waste.

We promised in a previous blog entry that we would keep all of our accumulated trash for the year 2012. Due to two unexpected moves we were only able to hold onto our trash from January 1st to July 21st. Above is a photo of what we had accumulated during those seven months. We will follow up on this in the near future with some basic tips on how to reduce your non-biodegradable waste. The most important of these: Know Your Farmer. More to come….

We moved from Seattle to Portland last week. Alia has moved to the headquarters of the Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission in Portland and Thom is starting an organic garden consulting business. More on this later….

Although Thom’s back is getting some much-needed rest from the long hours of weeding, pruning, and planting at Bainbridge Island and Suyematsu Farms, Thom already misses Karen’s perennial smile and positive attitude, Mike’s congenial laugh and non sequitur humor, Carol’s infinite hospitality and amazing baking, and Betsey’s sage advice and dedication to her trade.  As Gerard wisely suggested to him, Thom aims to continue to tackle life’s challenges by keeping his hands in the soil and his head in the bottle (No, Gerard and Thom are not alcoholics; they are both winemakers).


The pumpkins that Thom, Karen, Manuel, Elodia, Juana, and Heather planted and tended at Suyematsu Farms.

Ironically, it will be quite difficult for Thom to follow Gerard’s advice in the next two months, as he will be somewhere with neither soil nor drink to aid him in his pursuits.  For the next seven weeks, from September 27 until November 14, Thom will be participating in a research expedition with the Sea Education Association (SEA).  He will be sailing aboard a tall ship, the SSV Robert C. Seamans (RCS, pictured below), from San Diego, CA to Honolulu, HI while studying plastic pollution in the North Pacific Ocean.  For six consecutive weeks, the crew of 35 will have no land in sight as they explore the impacts of humans upon one of the most remote places in the world.  You may track the progress of the expedition, including daily blog and photo updates, on the Plastics at SEA website (this link will be updated for the 2012 expedition soon).


Thom’s first voyage with RCS in 2003, from Tahiti to the Marquesas to Hawai’i


Thom’s second voyage on RCS in 2005, from San Francisco, through the Santa Barbara Channel, to San Diego.

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