There are between 1,000 to 3,000 tons of floating plastic in the Mediterranean Sea alone. The threat to both marine and human life is very real given this biologically rich and diverse area is in such close proximity to millions of humans who are economically dependent on it. The Mediterranean Sea is a place of hugely diverse economic activities from chartering boats to explore the vast number of Greek islands, to fishing the seas to provide food to the millions of people living near it. The amount of plastic within this area alone is comparable to the accumulation zones found within the five sub-tropical ocean gyres (large areas within the worlds oceans where circulating currents are found).
Our journey, which involves transporting a Lagoon 400 catamaran from La Rochelle France to Athens Greece will take us on an exploration of much of the Mediterranean Sea. Along the way, we hope to reduce our use of plastic by using our Prawno Kanteens instead of single-use water bottles, and also document the effects of plastic accumulation on this area.
Our team consists offour people from Greece and one person from the US. The captain, Kyriokos Markou, has lived his life in Athens. His love of the seas began as a young man rowing for the Greek national rowing team. He went on to study physical education at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. He has spent much of his life in and around water - lifeguarding in the Cyclades Islands, freediving, spearfishing and sailing. He has worked as a skipper for many years and is currently managing a blooming charter company. He hopes to grow his business through the addition of this Lagoon catamaranwe're transporting to its home port of Athens.
Also joining us is Captain Markou’s brother, Andreas Markou, is a professional photographer living in Athens, Greece. He began at a food photography studio before branching out to start his own photography business. He then combined his two passions of photography and rock climbing to publishthe book “Athens Climbing Guidebook”. He is new to sailing andplans to document this experience with his camera. For more information regarding his work, you canvisit http://andreasmarkou.com.
Vasileios Diamantis is the third individual from Greece. He lives in Patras, a lovely small town close to the mountains and the sea. So it should come as no surprise that he has become an avid rafting and mountain guide with Eco Action company, a skilled snowboarder, and has also had the opportunity to develop master sailing. During the summer months he is a skipper with several yachting companies in Greece.
Kerry Hollowell rounds out the team as the only American and female on board. She is an emergency medicine doctor in North Carolina, as well as an active competitive freediver who’s currently training to compete in this year’s World Championships in Roatan, Honduras. Kerry is a Brand Ambassador for Prawno Apparel and, having taught sailing on Flying Scot boats at Camp Seafarer, an avid recreational small boat sailor. She also loves sailing her Hobie Cat 18 along the North Carolina coast. Kerry hopes to expand her experience into cruising larger boats for long periods of time.
One of the goals on this journey is to document the effects of plastic trash on the Mediterranean Sea. During any weekend boating trip in any small area of the sea, you will find an abundance of floating pieces of plastic trash. This journey will encompass most of the Mediterranean Sea, which will give us a broad look at how plastics are impacting this area.
We will start in La Rochelle, France where we will board a newly built Lagoon 400 catamaran. From there, we will cross the Bay of Biscay, sailing around the coast of Spain and Portugal. We will cross the Strait of Gibraltar before setting sail down the Mediterranean, stopping along the way in various ports, including Gijon and Vigo in Spain, as well as Porto, Portugal. Once past mainland Spain, we’ll venture down the Mediterranean to ports in Ibiza and Palma before heading over to the islands and southern tip of Italy. Finally we’ll make our way home to Athens, Greece, where this boat will charter people from all over the world, showing them the wonders, history and beauty of the Greek Islands.
Stay tuned as we document our journey with pictures and additional blog posts. We hope this experience encourages you to think about the harmful impact that plastic use is having on our seas and motivates you to reduce the use of plastic in your own life. I hope you enjoy our adventure and we look forward to sharing this experience with you.
Images by Andreas Markou. To see more of his work, check out his website: www.andreasmarkou.com