Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Adventure Podcast Episode 43: The Outdoor Gear Holiday Shopping Guide

We're back with another episode of The Adventure Podcast this week, with our attention turning to the holidays ahead. We know that a lot of you are probably searching for the perfect gift to get the outdoor adventurer in your life, so my co-host Dave Adlard and I are here to help. We offer some suggestions on what to buy the man or woman who already has everything, sharing some of our favorite gear items across a variety of price points.

But before we jump into that topic, we first talk about the latest adventure news with an update on a number of stories we've been following in recent weeks. First we catch up with Eric Larsen and his attempt to set a speed record going to the South Pole, as well as the latest from Ben Lecomte's swim across the Pacific. We also update you on plans for a winter commercial expedition to Everest, a solo-hiker's plans to trek across Death Valley, and what Patagonia is doing with its $10 million tax cut.

As usual, you'll find this episode embedded in this blog post below, allowing you to listen straight from your browser. You can also download and subscribe to the show on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, Sticher, or Spotify. If you like what you hear, or have suggestions on how we can make the show better, reach out to us on our Facebook page, Twitter, or email. We appreciate any feedback or questions that you send our way.

Thanks for listening!


Arctic Ocean has Lost 95% of Oldest Ice in Past 30 Years

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has released its annual Arctic Report Card and it doesn't bode well for our planet. The latest studies indicate that the Arctic Ocean has undergone a startling change over the past 30 years that even climatologists were stunned to discover.

According to the NOAA Report Card, the Arctic has lost 95% of its oldest and most stable ice in the past three decades, likely pushing it beyond the point of no return in terms of protecting it from climate change. The ancient ice that has been a part of the Arctic Ocean for hundreds of thousands of years is the structure that holds that region of the planet together, helping to keep it cold even in the summer months, then rebuilding the younger, thinner ice over the course of the winter. Unfortunately, without that core it is likely that most of the permanent Arctic ice will disappear in the future.

The loss of this older ice has come as a surprise even to the scientists and researchers who have been studying the impact of climate change on the Arctic. The fear is that without that solid base the Arctic could become ice free throughout the summer months, which would speed global warming along at a faster rate.

Researchers who make annual visits to the Arctic to survey the health of the ice there received a dramatic wake-up call this past March. While flying above the Arctic Ocean north of Greenland they spotted younger, thinner ice where normally the older, thicker frozen core would and should have been found. Those scientists acknowledge that the break up of the the region could have been caused by an unusually strong wind that crashed through the area this past winter, but even if that is the case it is a sign of how fragile the ice has become there.

Remains of Climbers Missing in the Himalaya for 30 Years Found on Pumori

The remains of two Icelandic climbers who have been missing in the Himalaya for 30 years have been found on the mountain they were attempting to summit in October of 1988. The discovery brings closure to friends and family, who have wondered about the fate of the two men for more than three decades.

Kristinn Rúnarsson and Þorsteinn Guðjónsson were attempting to summit 7161 meter (23,494 ft) Pumori from the Nepali side of the mountain when the went missing. The duo were last confirmed to have been seen on October 18, 1988 at an altitude of 6598 meters (21,650 ft), although another climber claims to have seen them reach the summit successfully. 

The duo were not along on their expedition, as two other members of team were with them in Nepal. Both took ill, with one heading home while Scottish mountaineer Steve Aisthorpe descended to a nearby village to recover. He urged his Rúnarsson and Guðjónsson to continue their climb, telling them he would catch up with them later. He never show them alive again, but spent weeks searching the mountain and the surrounding area for them.  

The remains of the two mountaineers were discovered last month by an American climber on Pumori. Others brought their bodies down from Pumori and returned the remains to Kathmandu, where they cremated in a ceremony that was attended by friends and family who have long wondered what became of them. One of those family members was the 30-year old sun of Rúnarsson, whose fiancé was pregnant when he went missing. The young man never had the chance to meet his father, but was able to bring his ashes home to Iceland. 

I've read a couple of different reports on this story now and what strikes me is that the family members of the missing men are not grieving anew over their discovery. Instead, they are relived and actually happy to now know what happened to them and have some closure at long last. While I'm sure it has been difficult for them to reopen some of these old memories, their sons, brothers, and friends have come home at long last. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Video: Africa's Okavango Delta in 360 Degrees

360º video can be an amazing tool for delivering a unique experience. Case in point, the clip below takes us to Africa to visit the Okavango Delta in Botswana. This is a place that most of us will never be fortunate enough to see in person, but we can catch a glimpse of it here, with technology allowing us to look around in all directions to get a better look at our surroundings. The clip was shot by a team of National Geographic researchers who spent 18 days exploring the Delta. Thanks to this video, we get a sense of what that was like for them.

Video: Wingsuit Pilots Go Subterranean in 'The Crack'

It seems that BASE jumpers and wingsuit pilots are always finding new ways to push themselves and their sport to its limits. In the case of this video, that means a team of fliers leaps from the top of a tall cliff in the Swiss Alps, then makes a controlled descent down a narrow, twisty canyon referred to as "The Crack." It is some scary stuff to watch unfold, but I'd much rather see it from the comfort of my own office than the way these guys are doing.

ENO's 12 Days of Christmas Sale Continues with Half-Off Outdoor Gear

I want to once again thank my friends over at Eagles Nest Outfitters for sponsoring The Adventure Blog this month as we countdown their 12 Days of Christmas sale. If you didn't see my post last week, ENO is running some amazing sales over the next few days, giving outdoor enthusiasts, campers, and backpackers a chance to save up to 50% off on some of their best gear. But, you'll have to hurry, because the sale wraps up this week.

Here's the catch. You have to go to ENO's website everyday to see exactly what's on sale. And when find something you like, you'd better grab it quick, because it probably won't be on sale tomorrow too.  For instance, today, the company has its awesome Indio Daypack available at just $24.95, while its excellent Twilights Camp Lights are priced at $9.98. Those are deals that are tough to beat, whether you're shopping for someone else on your list or you're looking to get yourself a little something too.

For those not familiar with ENO, they make some of the absolute best camping hammocks and accessories that money can buy. They are lightweight, durable, and easy to set up, with complete packages for one stop shopping. But beyond that, the company makes a host of other great products as well, including the aforementioned Indio Daypack and a number of other great backpacks and totes. I'm also partial to their chairs and blankets too, which are fantastic for camping or just lounging around in the backyard.

So if you're still looking to close out that holiday shopping list, head over to the ENO website now and wrap things up. But if you don't see something you want on sale today, drop back over tomorrow, because chances are it might be on sale then instead.

Again, a big thank you to the team at ENO for sponsoring the site in December.

American Ultrarunner Sets New 24-Hour and 100-Mile Mark

This past weekend endurance athlete Camille Herron set impressive new marks for ultrarunners, establishing new records for a 24-hour run and covering 100 miles (161 km) on a track. The event took place in Arizona at the Desert Solstice Invitational, where Herron proved she is amongst the elite athletes in the sport.

At the event, Herron ran for 24 hours straight on the track, covering 162.9 miles (262.1 km) in that time period. That's a new world record, but it wasn't the only one she set. She also managed to complete the 100 mile distance in 13 hours, 25 minutes, besting the previous mark by 20 minutes. Over the course of the 24 hour period, she completed 650 laps around the 400-meter course, while maintaining an average speed of an 8:40 mile. That's faster than most people run their first –– or any other –– mile in a typical 5k or 10k.

In comparison, the previous 24-hour distance record was held by Patrycja Bereznowska of Poland, who covered 160.53 miles (258.3 km). The current male record is held by Jacob Jackson and sits at 157.58 (253.6 km).

Obviously running on a track has its benefits and is more of a controlled environment, but this is an impressive feat nonetheless. It is also no unlike cycling's hour record, which is always held on a track too. The point is to set up good conditions to see what an athlete can accomplish without worrying about the surface they're running on or having deal with outside variables such as traffic. In the case, Herron proved herself to be up to the challenge and absolutely smashed the records in the process.

Huge congratulations to Camille. I'll be thinking about those distances and times when I set out on my humble little six mile run tonight.

Antarctica 2018: Slow Going for Larsen, O'Brady Nears Pole, Rudd Gives Up Solo Status?

It has been a busy week at the bottom of the world where the South Pole skiers continue their long, difficult trek across the Antarctic. The weather conditions have started to cooperate a bit more, but the soft surface snow continues to make skiing a challenge, while sastrugi are a constant nuisance as well. Still, progress is being made and we should see our first arrivals at 90ºS before the end of the week.

Perhaps the biggest news is that it appears that British skier Lou Rudd has given up his solo status. By most rules agreed upon by polar explorers a skier must not have any contact with any other individuals until reaching their destination. For many, that is the South Pole, where they are often greeted by the staff and crew who man the Scott-Amundsen Research Station. For those continuing on, that also means reaching the Pole while avoiding and contact with the people that work there. In the past, skiers have even camped away from the station to avoid any potential interact as well.

Yesterday, while skiing along towards the Pole Rudd made contact with a group of individuals who are driving a tracked supply vehicle back to Union Glacier. The vehicle stopped, interacted with Rudd and by his own admission they spent 10-15 minutes chatting and taking photos. That was a welcome respite from the isolation that comes with crossing the Antarctic, but unfortunately it probably also means he has to given up his solo status. Since the people he encountered didn't give him any supplies or aid, he should maintain his unsupported status however.

Monday, December 10, 2018

Video: How to (Mis)Pronounce Outdoor Gear Brand Names

Let's face it, in order to get more creative and distinct in the outdoor market, a lot of brands come up with some unique names. Some of them can be down right tough to pronounce if you haven't heard someone officially say them. Chances are, we're probably pronouncing a few of them wrong. Thankfully, our friends at Gear Junkie are here to help, proceeding this video that will help us sort through this challenge.

Video: Surfing Lake Superior in the Winter

It may come as a surprise to some people, but you can actually catch a wave on Lake Superior and surf along its shores. Of course, if you want a real challenge, you may want to try it during the winter, when things get really interesting. That's exactly what "Surfer Dan," the subject of this video does. Brazing the ice cold water, high winds, and extremely frigid air temperatures, he still hits the water to surf just as he would in Maui. Well, maybe not exactly like Maui. Brrr!

Gear Closet: Altra Lone Peak 4.0 Running Shoes Review

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of Altra running shoes. The company's foot-shaped design and zero-drop approach have been a perfect for for my running style and and feet. Over the past few years I've tested multiple shoes from Altra and have always come away very impressed and happy with the footwear. So much so that it is actually very difficult for me to switch to another brand when testing shoes these days, which was why I was eager to give the company's new Lone Peak 4.0 model a try.

All of that said, I do recognize that shoe reviews can be very subjective in nature, particularly when it comes to running shoes. What works great for me, may not work as well for you. And what feels great on your feet may be uncomfortable and irritating on mine. So, keep that in mind when reading any footwear reviews, bot on this blog and elsewhere.

With all of that out of the way, I have to say that the prospect of a new edition to the Lone Peak line-up was an exciting one. This shoe isn't just a popular with runners but is a big hit with thru-hikers too. In fact, the Lone Peak is reportedly amongst the most popular shoes on the Appalachian Trail, which means it is a nice blend of weight, durability, cushioning, and comfort. It also offers a high level of versatility, which is always appreciated too.

I'm happy to say that the Lone Peak 4.0 lives up to the legacy of the former models, with some very nice updates that improve on them as well. For starters, this version of the Lone Peak seems more durable than ever before, with an upper that shrugs off abuse with ease. After putting more than 150 miles on these shoes, they still look –– and perform –– like new. The shoe also comes equipped with a rugged toe cap that keeps your little piggies safe from accidental bashes against rocks, roots, and other obstacles. This is something I was definitely happy to see, as I have a propensity for doing just that from time to time.

Backpacker Offers 40 Great Holiday Gifts for 2018

As of today, we are officially two weeks from Christmas, which means if you haven't started shopping yet you may be starting to run out of time. Thankfully, Backpacker magazine is here to help, offering 40 great gifts for the outdoor adventurer on your list this holiday season.

The list offers suggestions for just about any budget, starting with Kate's Real Food energy bars and continuing with a host of other products that hikers, backpackers, and outdoor lovers are sure to appreciate. You'll find everything from water bottles and t-shirts to camping and fitness gear. There are products on the list from the likes of Five Ten, Kelty, Outdoor Research, and numerous others, with options for pretty much every season and activity.

There are so many products to sift through on Backpacker's list that it is difficult to find a few favorites to single out. This also makes it easy to not spoil too much of the content along the way as well. Some of my favorite items include Altra Lone Peak 4.0 running shoes, a Klymit Double V sleeping pad, and a solar-powered USB battery pack from Tough Tested. You'll also find a great soft-sided cooler from Hyrdo Flask, a heated jacket from 8K Flexwarm, and much, much more.

If you're still looking for that perfect gift for your outdoorsy friend or family member, perhaps this list can help. Check it out here.

China Has Strict New Rules for Climbing Everest

With the winter fall climbing season in the Himalaya now behind us and the spring climbing season still a bit far off, you would think there wouldn't be much news to report from Everest or the other big peaks in Nepal and Tibet. But as it turns out, China has decided to make things interesting heading into 2019 by drafting some potentially strict new rules that could change the way teams approach the worlds highest peak. 

The new rules haven't been made official yet, but are set to go into effect on January 1, 2019 provided they are approved and finalized. Alan Arnette has received a copy of these regulations and has had a chance to pour over them to see what is in store for mountaineers. In a lengthy blog post on his website he breaks down the impact of the new regulations and what they mean for climbers considering expeditions to Everest, Cho Oyu, and Shishapangma in Tibet. 

According to Arnette, the documents that has received indicate that the new rules are focused on four specific areas of mountaineering on Tibet's 8000-meter peaks. Those areas include "Formation of Expedition, Registration Deadline, Environmental Protection, and Mountain Rescue." The regulations found in the documents focus on those areas and are long and detailed, but Alan does a great job of sifting through all of the chuff to find the ones that are most important and impactful. Some of them are truly worrisome.

I'd recommend reading Alan's report to get all of the details, but one of the biggest impacts of the new set of rules is that it appears that China is moving to lock out Nepali operators on Everest. One of the clauses in the updated rules clearly states:
“In order to ensure the healthy and orderly development of mountaineering and minimize the occurrence of mountaineering accidents, mountaineering teams which were organized in Nepal temporarily will not be accepted.”
According to Stefan Nestler, who has also reported on these new regulations, a group of Nepali expedition operators immediately traveled to Tibet to seek clarification on the rules and may have succeeded in getting some Nepali companies approved to continue operating in Tibet, but as Alan points out, China has not been opposed to closing down the border into Tibet before and could do so again, making it harder for those operators to cross over to the North Side of Everest.

Friday, December 07, 2018

Video: The Way of Manaslu

The eighth highest mountain in the world is Mt. Manaslu in Nepal, a beautiful peak that draws climbers and trekkers a like each year. This video takes us deep into the Himalaya to visit the mountain ourselves, taking us on a four-minute journey that is beautiful, fascinating, and enthralling. The short clip is a great way to end the week with an adventurous look into a remote corner of the planet.

The Way of Manaslu | Nepal - Himalayas from Eaglewood Films on Vimeo.

Video: The Logistics of Climbing Everest

While a bit sensationalist and over the top at times, this short documentary on the logistics of climbing Everest is a solid introduction to what it takes to climb the world's highest peak. The clip begins by acknowledging that Everest is often seen as the pinnacle of mountaineering success, despite the fact that there are much more difficult climbs out there. But once it finds its rhythm, this video becomes a solid look at why climbers flock to Everest in the first place and what it takes to get to the summit. 

Outside Magazine Names 2018 People of the Year

As we near the end of 2018 we're likely to see a number of articles, videos, and lists reflecting on the year that has passed. Some of these will be fun and interesting, others a bit more predictable and safe. Either way, it's always nice to be reminded of all the good things (and bad!) that have gone down over the past 12 months. As I come across some of the more interesting stories of this nature, I'll be sure to share them here. Take for example the latest from Outside magazine, which lists the people of the year for 2018.

Outside has broken this list down into a number of categories, including the top outdoor entrepreneurs, most accomplished athletes, and the boldest activists. Some of the individuals who make the cut include Alex Honnold, Tommy Caldwell, and Andrezj Bargiel. Other names that may not be quite so familiar include BioLite cofounder John Cedar, Tyler Haney from Outdoor Voices, and Mona Caron, an artist with an impressive vision.

I'm a fan of Outside's approach here. Rather than trying to name a single person of the year, or focusing solely on high profile adventurers, they've got a great mix of both famous outdoorsmen and women, as well as some lesser known individuals that we should have on our radar. The profiles are short, but informative, with some great insights and information on why these people belong on a "people of the year" list.

So? Did Outside miss anyone? Who would you have liked to have seen on this list? To find out who made the cut, read the article here.

First All-Female Crew Set to Race in the 2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race

History is about to be made in the upcoming 2018 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race, which is scheduled to get underway on December 26. That's because this year, an all-female team of racers will take to the water for the first time, with a very strong, talented, and experienced crew ready to leave their mark on the event.

The newly formed Team Ocean Respect Racing is made up of 13 women who are led by Skipper Stacy Jackson. The team derives its name from their efforts to spread a message of understanding and mutual respect amongst the sailing community not just in Australia, but the world over. They'll be competing on a 66-foot yacht dubbed the Wild Oats X as they help promote the idea of protecting the planet's oceans too. All told, the team has a combined  experience of 68 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Races and 17 Volvo Ocean Races under its belt, making them serious contenders in the upcoming event.

In a press release announcing the formation of the Ocean Respect team Jackson said, "Sailing with a fully professional, all-female crew to Hobart is a wonderful opportunity and we are proud to build on the work of non-professional female crews who have previously raced. We are excited to promote and encourage women in the sport and engage with the Australian public on ocean health issues that are affecting us daily, both locally and globally. We are working with environmental organizations, as well as local yacht clubs, to further educate ourselves, be proactive in mitigating our impact on the ocean, and inspire our fans and communities to become ocean stewards.”

Ocean Resect is a legacy of Vestas 11th Hour Racing, which also carried a strong message of protecting the planet and its oceans. Jackson has been a strong and important member of that crew in addition to taking the reins for the all-female squad too.
In addition to Jackson, the Ocean Respect Racing team is made up of the following sailors: Carolijn Brouwer, Helm (NED/AUS), Katie Spithill, Tactician (AUS), Dee Caffari (UK), Bianca Cook (NZL), Sue Cafer (AUS), Jade Cole (AUS), Keryn McMaster (NZL), Sophie Ciszek (AUS), Faraday Rosenberg (USA/AUS), and Katie Pettibone (USA).

The Rolex Sydney Hobart Race will get underway in 18 days, just after Christmas and features some of the best sailors in the world. Good luck to Team Ocean Respect on their debut event.

Antarctica 2018: Southbound Skiers Face Slow Going Early On

The last time I did an update on the current Antarctic season a few days back it mainly focused on the two attempts to traverse the continent and Eric Larsen's speed crossing to the South Pole. At the end of that report I promised to share news of how the other South Pole skiers are doing and while there are now quite a few of them out on the ice, they all continue to struggle with the conditions.

When traveling in the Antarctic, the skiers generally expect it to be cold, windy, and harsh, even in the austral summer. But, the continent is also a dry one, so snow tends to be a minimum and while whiteouts do occur, they are somewhat infrequent. That isn't the case this season however, as the ground is covered in deep, soft snow that makes skiing very slow and difficult. Whiteout conditions have been an almost daily occurrence as well, which makes navigation very hard and tends to sap the spirits too. So far, in the early going of their journeys, that has been what most of the skiers have been encountering.

Antarctic newcomer Masatatsu Abe from Japan has been getting the full experience thus far. His initial plan was to ski just a few hours each day in the early going, and slowly ramp up to full speed once he had become accustomed to the situation and pace. The soft snow has made the extremely hard to do and he now finds himself behind schedule and traveling at a slower pace than he expected. Fortunately, he seems prepared for this and is taking it all in stride right now. But eventually things will need to improve  and he'll need to start covering much longer distances. Abe trains by pulling a rickshaw, so he is use to the hard work that comes with manhauling, but so far he hasn't been covering a significant amount of miles each day.

Thursday, December 06, 2018

Video: Learn to Be an Adventure Photographer From Jimmy Chin

If you're looking to become an adventure photographer, why not learn from one of the top professionals working in the field today? We all know that Jimmy Chin is a master at his craft, while also combining his skills as a climber, skier, and elite outdoor athlete too. Now, you can pick up tips from the man himself in a new online course offered by MasterClass. I haven't taken the course myself, but judging from the trailer below and the subject matter itself, I have to imagine its a pretty amazing way to learn about Jimmy's process and approach to this inspiring profession. Check it out!

Video: Pro Runner Nick Symmonds Takes on Mt. Kilimanjaro

Professional runner Nick Symmonds has had two goals in life –– compete at the Olympics and climb Mt. Everest. He's already capped one of those goals by making two Olympic squads and now he's turning his attention to scaling the world's highest peak too. But he isn't just going after Everest, he'll be attempting all of the Seven Summits as well, starting with Kilimanjaro. In this video, we join Nick on his way up the tallest mountain in Africa as he learns a lot about himself and the challenge ahead along the way.

Thanks to ENO for Sponsoring The Adventure Blog

I wanted to take a moment to send a big thank you out to Eagles Nest Outfitters (aka ENO) for sponsoring The Adventure Blog. Over the next week and a half, the company is running some excellent holiday specials and we thought that they might appeal nicely to blog readers who are not only looking for new gear for themselves, but possibly gifts for the outdoor enthusiast on their shopping list this year too. To help with that process, ENO is putting different products on sale between now and the end of next week, so hit this page regularly to see what is available.

For those not familiar with ENO, the company makes some of the best hammocks and hammock related accessories on the market today. The Double Nest Hammock in particular is a real fan-favorite, offering everything you need for a comfortable night's sleep out on the trail or for just lounging around in the backyard. But, there is more to the ENO catalog that just hammocks, as the company also makes excellent chairs, shelter systems, blankets, and a whole lot more.

I'm happy to be working with the good folks at Eagles Nest Outfitters on their 12 Days of Christmas Sale. If you enjoy reading the content here on The Adventure Blog, do me a favor and click on over to see what ENO is offering as part of this holiday promotion. Chances are, you'll find some things you'd like to find under your tree this year.

Hiker Preparing for Unsupported Solo Crossing of Death Valley

An adventurous hiker is preparing to cross Death Valley solo and unsupported and is looking to raise funds for a great cause along the way. The expedition is set to get underway next week, with the trek taking the intrepid adventurer from the southernmost point in the national park to its northernmost terminus, crossing through some of the most remote and desolate areas that Death Valley has to offer.

Roland Banas says that he isn't an extreme adventurer or explorer, but is instead "just a regular dad and small business owner." In fact, he tells me that he thinks "there is a disconnect between extreme adventurers and the rest of us and I want to show that one does not have to be exceptional to complete tough adventures." In order to do that, he is embarking on this journey, which Banas says he expects to take about eight days to complete.

While hiking through Death Valley he'll be carrying all of his gear, supplies, and water on his back. His backpack will reportedly weigh in the neighborhood of about 90 pounds (40 kg) at the start, although it will get lighter as the days pass. Still, the difficult and unforgiving terrain will be a challenge, even as the load lightens.

Long-Distance Swimmer Ben Lecomte Suspends Attempt to Cross Pacific Ocean

Since last June we've been keeping a close eye on the progress of long-distance swimmer Ben Lacomte as he attempts to become the first person to swim across the Pacific Ocean. That undertaking has not been an easy one as the Frenchman has had to deal with a number of unexpected challenges ranging from poor weather, mechanical issues with his support ship, and gear failures along the way. Today he made the tough decision to suspend the swim as dangerous storms bear down on his position.

When Lecomte began this undertaking he estimated that it would take him roughly six to eight months to complete the 8850 km (5500 mile) swim. But difficult conditions and several delays have slowed his progress considerably. So much so that we're now nearly to the six month mark and he hasn't reached the halfway point as of yet. In fact, in the past month he's covered just 800 km (497 miles).

Worse yet, two major typhoons are now bearing down on his position in the Pacific, making it extremely dangerous to be out on the water. Because of this, he has decided to press pause on the Pacific swim and return to his starting point in Yokohama, Japan.

In a statement regarding the halting of the journey Lecomte seems realistic about what is happening."The weather, there's nothing I can change about it,"he says "I'm not going to stress about it. I'm not going to put thought into it. It is what it is, and that's all."

Lecomte, who has already successful swum across the Atlantic Ocean, undertook this challenge in an effort to raise awareness of the threats to the Earth's oceans. While crossing the Pacific he and his team have remarked often about how much garbage and plastic they see on a daily basis. The Pacific in particular has been a dumping ground for trash for decades and now it is dramatically impacting the environment there. Efforts are underway to try to address this issue, but it could also take decades to clean it up too. Meanwhile, the micro-plastics in the water are being consumed by all kinds of sea life, great and small. 

There is no word as to if or when Lecomte will resume swimming once again, although he says that he remains as determined as ever to continue the crossing. If the the weather clears and the major storms move on, he may return to his starting point and begin again soon. But my feeling is that it could be some time before he returns to the water.