Nothing could have prepared Ivan Macfadyen for the devastation all around him as he sailed the Pacific. […]
Something in the water off Japan reacted with the yacht’s distinctive shiny yellow paint and turned it dull.Ivan Macfadyen is still coming to terms with the horror of the voyage. ”The ocean is broken,” he says.
He intends approaching the organisers of Australia’s major ocean races, trying to enlist yachties into an international scheme that uses volunteer yachtsmen to monitor debris and marine life. Macfadyen signed up to a similar scheme while in the US, responding to an approach by US academics who asked yachties to fill in daily survey forms and collect samples for radiation testing – a significant concern after the tsunami and nuclear power station failure in Japan.
”I asked them why don’t we push for a fleet to go and clean up the mess,” Macfadyen says. ”They said they’d calculated that the environmental damage from burning the fuel to do that job would be worse than just leaving the debris there.”