National Geographic

VOICES Voices Icon Ideas and Insight From Explorers

Menu

Tag archives for North Pacific

Killer Whales in Washington State: Serial Problems

We were just chatting in Ken Balcomb’s kitchen when out of the computer speakers’ white-noise static came a single whistle that stopped all conversation. They were coming! Moments later the kitchen was full of squeals, squeaks, whoops, buzzes—. At the windows with our binoculars, we confirmed that a familiar group of “resident” or fish-eating killer…

Situational Awareness

Tonight, anchored along the western shore of Lanai Island, we’re reveling in the briny land smell beneath volcanic seamounts and mountain goat habitat.  Our scientific research is complete and all that remains is a final cleaning of the ship, a barbeque on deck, an alcohol-free swizzle party and another refreshing swim in the Pacific.  Strange…

Of Politics and Plastics

As we sail closer to port, mahi mahi fish have been hitting our lures and tropicbirds circle our masts.   We have not seen land for over a month but as I write these words, we’ve just crossed the EEZ (U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone) within 200 miles of Hawaii.  We’re now 34 days at sea and…

Ocean Plastic’s Mystery Ending

As we continue sailing west, we have more questions than answers about our plastic quarry.  We’re now more than halfway to Hawaii, with California 1,200 miles and 17 days behind us. While we’ve conducted more than 40 net deployments and counted close to 40,000 pieces of plastic in the North Pacific gyre, researchers at Sea…