Funny Business with Jane Wells

Cruising for Trash

Let's go on a cruise! Deck chairs. Martinis. Wining, dining, dancing.

Oh wait, no? No pool? Where's the all-you-can-eat shrimp?

pollution water
Eco Images | Getty

In what could end up being a honeymoon from hell if someone's not paying attention to details, a cruise on the 72-foot-long Sea Dragon will embark next May on a two month tour hunting for debris from the Japanese tsunami. 

The cost is $29,000. Per person.

Two months. $29,000. Trash.

Who WOULDN'T wanna go?!'s for a really, really good cause.

"We'll be riding the same currents that are transporting cigarette lighters, bottle caps, children's toys and all manner of other plastic pollution generated by the tsunami," expedition leader Marcus Eriksen is quoted by Mother Nature Network. FUN!

Considering the horrific loss of life in the quake and tsunami, the idea of a cruise may sound morbid. However, oceanographers believe there is still much to learn about the path of ocean currents, and since plastic can continue floating for a very long time, tracking debris can be educational.

"Debris at sea fascinates oceanographers," says MNN. "In 1992, they seized upon the mid-Pacific loss of a container full of Asian-made rubber ducks, turtles, beavers and frogs as a unique chance to learn more about current flows. Some of the bath toys washed up in Britain, most recently in 2009..."

The cruise is being organized by a couple of non-profits trying to bring attention to plastic trash at sea. Only nine spots are available. The Sea Dragon sets sail May 1, 2012, and those wanting to come aboard have to promise they'll help with sailing duties. Its two month tour in an area near the Marshall Islands known as the "western garbage patch" will make its way over to the "Japan tsunami debris field".

Cruisin' for trash never sounded so good, or well-meaning.

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