“It felt as if the ocean itself was dead”: One sailor’s heartbreaking voyage
The Newcastle Herald, of Australia, has a tragic, lyrical piece that follows a single route through the sea -- from Melbourne to Osaka to San Francisco -- through a sailor's reminiscences of the way things have changed. It's called, simply and heartbreakingly, "The Ocean is Broken."
Just ten years ago, yachtsman Ivan Macfadyen told the Herald, "all he'd had to do to catch a fish from the ocean between Brisbane and Japan was throw out a baited line."
On his most recent trip, said Macfadyen, there were no fish to be found:
"We hardly saw any living things. We saw one whale, sort of rolling helplessly on the surface with what looked like a big tumour on its head. It was pretty sickening.
"I've done a lot of miles on the ocean in my life and I'm used to seeing turtles, dolphins, sharks and big flurries of feeding birds. But this time, for 3000 nautical miles there was nothing alive to be seen."
More horrifying, even, was what he did see, en route from Japan to California: