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The Open Ocean – by milebuilder Kirsten

This blog was written by Kirsten whilst she was onboard Maiden

Kirsten at the helm on the right of the image. She wears a red jacket and a lifejacket. The boat is at an angle to the horizon.

I’ve had time to reflect on this new and seemingly endless landscape, and I’ve come to a couple of realizations. What I had always imagined to be an immense and unoccupied body of water looks like just that… but only on the surface.

A beautiful pink sky on a calm ocean

Look closely, and we are constantly surrounded by life: from whales, turtles, birds, flying fish, and dolphins, to stowaway bugs found on deck, and bioluminescent plankton; there’s no shortage of life in the open ocean.

Two birds fly close to the water in low light

It’s nice to be away from other humans for a while. It’s given me space to contemplate our role on the planet. And though we’re the only people out here for hundreds of miles, we see the presence of people probably once every two minutes in the form of TRASH. I was expecting to see debris and rubbish, sure. It’d be unrealistic of me not to. But the amount of trash we’ve seen drift past us is unreal. And when put into a larger picture, how we are just one little point in the middle of the northern Pacific Ocean, and how much trash is out of view and below the surface that we can’t see, its truly mind-blowing.

Kirsten at the helm, taken side on. She wears blue, wears glasses and a headband and holds the wheel. Islands are in the background
Kirsten at the helm, guiding Maiden across the water ©THE MAIDEN FACTOR/AMALIA INFANTE

The horizon is a constant blurry intersection of sea and sky. The days roll by and we have our routines of cooking, cleaning, and watch schedules. But the wind, waves, and weather take no notice. We are completely at the mercy of Mother Nature and her plans. It’s beyond humbling. Thoughtful ramblings from a grateful sailor girl on a vast, dynamic, blue, life-giving, and astonishingly polluted open ocean

– Kirsten

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