BaySail Adventures

August, 2014
Post by Greg Boehm
Undergraduate, Class of 2016

Since our last blog post, the Duhaime lab has been out on many more exciting excursions in search of plastics in the Great Lakes, sampling for this season’s Water Center-funded project. Rachel Cable, our Lab Technician, and myself most recently had the opportunity to live aboard an 85-foot schooner tall ship called the Appledore IV. Baysail is a nonprofit organization in Bay City, Michigan that owns the Appledore IV and engages children and adults alike in shipboard experiences promoting environmental stewardship of the Great Lakes. Rachel and I got to accompany the crew of the Appledore IV on two of their Windward Bound voyages on Lake Huron, which are educational outdoor adventure camps for students between around eleven and eighteen. While aboard we constantly got to learn the ropes of the Appledore, go swimming in the lake, make delicious food, hike on the many islands in Lake Huron, and of course no adventure is complete without TRAWLING FOR MICROPLASTICS. The kids on each Windward Bound voyage seemed very interested in the research we were doing and helped out a lot with deploying and hauling in the manta net. This was the first time Rachel and I have trawled from a sailboat and it proved to be a little different from trawling on the Nancy K. We would sample by day and then do activities together as a crew the rest of the time. When the Appledore returned home to Bay City after the ten day voyage, Rachel and I had collected around twelve stations worth of trawls all around Lake Huron.

Here is Rachel Cable and I leaning overboard to pull the manta net back on deck after a trawl.

Here is Rachel Cable and I leaning overboard to pull the manta net back on deck after a trawl.

From left to right: The captain of the Appledore IV David Leanza, myself, Rachel, and the manta during a slight rain shower.

From left to right: The captain of the Appledore IV David Leanza, myself, Rachel, and the manta during a slight rain shower.

Two members of the Appledore IV crew and myself looking at Bay city, Michigan in the distance from the bow.

Two members of the Appledore IV crew and myself looking at Bay city, Michigan in the distance from the bow.

Rachel washing out the contents of a trawl from the Saginaw Bay into a metal pan to be examined for any microplastics.

Rachel washing out the contents of a trawl from the Saginaw Bay into a metal pan to be examined for any microplastics.

Here is the full crew on the Appledore IV, including the seven student trainees we had aboard.

Here is the full crew on the Appledore IV, including the seven student trainees we had aboard.

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