Surfing Soapbox: Heading out to South Atlantic Gyre

November 04, 2010|By James Pribram

I was recently selected to experience a once-in-a-lifetime adventure and new educational experience pertaining to the environment, aboard the Sea Dragon.

The Sea Dragon is a sleek 72-foot steel hull boat sailing around the world to study the five gyres of garbage and the effects they have on our ecosystems. I will be joining an elite crew of scientists, writers and filmmakers to study the South Atlantic Gyre and the effects of plastic in our oceans.

We departed for Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday for a 28-day crossing and land in Cape Town, South Africa, on Dec. 7 (if all goes smoothly). Predicted by ocean models but never verified, this trip will take an important first look into this part of the world's oceans and the devastating effect that the plastic pollution is creating. It's going to be a journey of a lifetime, to say the least.


I'm proud and honored be part of such an important cause.

There will be no emailing and very little to no communication from me while away. For those who are interested in following our scientific adventure, visit

Click "Live Map" at the top right on the homepage, and you can see where the boat is.

To find more about 5 Gyres organization and how to get involved, visit

To read about daily ship blogs and what we are up to, go to

There is also great way for kids, students, schools and universities to get involved and ask questions directly of the people aboard the Sea Dragon. More than 1,500 schools have joined in, so please pass along to anyone who is interested and get signed up. I would love to hear from all of you while we are at sea...

For more information on this interaction at sea, visit

Special thanks to my sponsors O'Neill, Boost Mobile, Pacific Edge hotel and XS Energy drinks for donating funding to this great organization.

Like I've always said, you only get one life. So you better live — and live it I do.


JAMES PRIBRAM is a Laguna Beach native, professional surfer and John Kelly Environmental Award winner. His websites include AlohaSchoolofSurfing and ECOWarrior He can be reached at Jamo@Aloha

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