Keeping cool beneath the Bermuda Sun.

After planning and running a 3-day Youth Summit in the Bahamas — teaching local and International youth about the perils of plastic pollution on our ocean and our bodies, Jack Johnson and 5 Gyres invited me to hop on The Mystic, a 167-foot-long schooner, to sail through the Bermuda Triangle to conduct research on plastic pollution in our oceans.

For six days, the research team–made up of world famous body surfer Mark Cunningham, musician Jack Johnson, The Malloy Brothers and a handful of environmental badasses–conducted surveys within the North Atlantic Gyre, one of five huge circular currents in the sea.

Even in the calmest and bluest of seas, we pulled up trawls filled with plastic smog — pieces of plastic that have slowly broken down into tiny pieces with exposure to time and sun. We’d sort and count the plastics by size and color. An example of just one trawl we pulled up looked like this:

For 1,000 miles we sailed, and each and every one of those miles we found plastic. Every single trawl we pulled up contained hundreds of pieces of plastic.

One lucky gal I was to take and incredible adventure with such a stellar crew, and now you may better understand that heavy-hearted look on my face when you try to offer me a plastic water bottle or a straw. REFUSE SINGLE USE!