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All Systems Go…Ben Lecomte Restarts

Courtesy of Paul Lecomte, Yokohama, Japan.

After being chased from his position and progress in the Kuroshio Current 1,080 km from land by storms and squalls, Ben Lecomte and his team
sought shelter back on Honshu, the main island of Japan.

Having been holed up in port along the shore of Japan, the delay for The Swim has been frustrating and a time to regroup for a second attempt led by skipper Yoav Nevo.

The team will head out to their last swim point 583 nautical miles from shore.

All good on Seeker, the boat and crew are ready to go,” reported manager Paul Lecomte. “After checking the tide, we are planning on a departure from Yokohama Bayside Marina on August 15th at 5 pm Japan time. We will head straight to the last swim point. We expect to be back at the point and ready to launch Ben on August 21st – to be confirmed.”

While on shore in Yokohama, Lecomte talked about his first month and a half on the Pacific Ocean. “One big problem that we have witnessed are ghost nets. They are nets lost at sea or have been discarded by fishermen.

I never encountered one when I have been in the water but we spotted three from our sailboat. One of them was too big to get on board, so Maria got on the kayak and tagged it with a GPS tracker. Ocean Voyage Institute, one of our NGO partners, gave us 5 trackers that are specifically designed to tag ghost nets. They are white buoys about the size of a soccer ball. Once they are attached to the nets and turned on they send the location of the net to Ocean Voyage Institute. The Institute gathers the information and is planning on sending vessels to collect them.

The other two nets where smaller and Ty jumped in the water to get one of them and the other was pulled out by Paul and Maria.

These nets are a big hazard for sea life, many creatures get caught in them and die. Since they are made out of plastic, they are very strong and last for many years.

It is very alarming that we encountered 3 in such small time and over such small area. Being at sea is always an adventure but unfortunately the adventure is less about sea life and more about our negative impact on the sea.”

Follow up-to-date coverage of The Swim, visit here. His live tracker is here for the 5,419-mile (8,721 km) transoceanic assisted stage swim between Japan and California.

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