Tag Archives: news

OceanGybe – Webisode 09 – Garbage Study – Vanuatu

With exception to the plastic trash throughout high tide lines, the Rowa Islands of Vanuatu are paradise. With Khulula at anchor near an uninhabited beach, the crew of OceanGybe conduct yet another garbage study. This webisode is brought to you by KING Bleach.

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Oceangybe in the News

Last week Northshore News ran their second article on the Oceangybe Expedition. Great article, although they did get one stat wrong. We found 350 sandals and 200 water bottles on 10 meters of beach, not 10 miles! Garbage study results here.

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OceanGybe on Canada AM

This morning (June 16th) Bryson appeared on CTV Canada AM on behalf of the OceanGybe Team. Check out the video and article here.

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OceanGybe on Global BC Saturday morning news

On 7 March 2009, OceanGybe was invited for a live 5min interview on the GlobalTV Saturday morning news. Very intimidating trying not to concentrate on all the bright lights and teleprompters and mainly trying not to say anything stupid! Thanks to Soren and GlobalTV for helping us get the message out there.


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OceanGybe on CTV Evening News

On April 10th, a TV crew from CTV News came over to OceanGybe headquarters to film a section for the Vancouver edition of CTV News. “Where We Live” is a Vancouver specific section of the CTV Newscast that covers interesting characters and events happening around Vancouver.

Below is a YouTube clip of the section of the newscast covering our initiative. An amazing opportunity to help get the word out and great media coverage. Next time, however, we hope to be able to focus more on our pollution related goals and the scientific research we will be completing. Take a look and send us comments/thoughts.


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UVic Martlet Story

Beach bums on a cleanup mission

Two UVic grads are off this June to improve coastlines around the world
by Clare Noble

June marks the beginning of adventure on the high seas for two UVic graduates.

Bryson Robertson and Hugh Patterson are embarking on an environmental expedition to raise awareness about the deteriorating state of the world’s polluted oceans.

The project, called OceanGybe, will kick off in La Paz, Mexico, where a sailboat named Khalula (which means “freedom” in Zulu) awaits the duo’s arrival. The research mission aims to document the levels and effects of marine pollution on remote islands and beaches around the world. The journey around the world will take three years, and the men will have to be careful to avoid tropical storms and hurricanes.

Robertson and Patterson both hold degrees in mechanical engineering from UVic but focus their time on raising awareness about the seldom discussed and rapidly increasing problems of ocean contamination and its effects on isolated island communities.

“[Garbage] just piles up on these beaches and affects the local population so much that they can’t fish by the same methods they used to,” said Robertson. “No country wants to take [the pollution problem] on because as soon as they bring awareness to it, they’ve taken it on their shoulders to try and solve the problem, and it’s bigger than one country can solve.”

Robertson and Patterson believe the first step to solving the problem is mapping out where the pollution is.

On top of scheduling press interviews, the duo aims to do presentations at schools and work interactively with children via the Internet as they document their journey and findings regularly on the OceanGybe website and Google Earth.

The activists will be updating the website with information about the culture of each location as well as pictures of the islands. The site will also discuss the amount and type of pollution, as well as the suspected source of the pollution found at each location.

Robertson is doing work on his PhD at Queen’s University, and Queen’s is a partner in the OceanGybe project. One of the studies that will be conducted in association with Queen’s involves hyper-spectral photography. It is a non-invasive study that is intended to create a baseline showing the current status of the world’s coral health, to be re-examined in approximately five years.

“The trip started as purely hedonistic,” said Robertson. “We want[ed] to go and surf, and sail around the world, and then we were like, ‘you know what? We’ve got an amazing opportunity here to do a lot more than that.’ The ocean’s brought us so much pleasure in our lives and nobody’s taking care of it.”

The avid surfers are partnering up with many surfing organizations, including local company Sitka Surfboards, who will be releasing a series of clothing that will have a tag with information about their trip and some of the results, said Robertson.

Robertson and Patterson are confident that the next three years will not be wasted time, even though they are still searching for a large presenting sponsor to help actualize the dreams of the global outreach expedition.

“A gybe is a movement that brings about change. It’s a sailing term that’s a 180 degree turn, but it’s not a quick one; it’s a slow one,” said Robertson. “I think it’s fairly applicable to where we would like to see people in society start to move towards a more sustainable, recyclable, less damaging way of life.”

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Saanich / Oak Bay / Victoria News

Another quick update, I had a great chat to Andrea Lavigne from Victoria News a couple weeks ago and just recently was perusing their website to see if they had published it yet and came across her wonderful article. Take a look below…


Big blue thrill

By Andrea Lavigne
News staff
Mar 23 2007

Students combine work with a three-year, circumglobal surfing vacation

Call it a pipe dream.

What started off as banter over a few beers, has turned into a three-year research and outreach expedition.

University of Victoria graduates Hugh Patterson and Bryson Robertson share a love of surfing, sailing, adventure and activism; passions they plan to weave together in an exploration project called OceanGybe.

The journey begins this spring and will take them across the Pacific Ocean to remote islands and beaches in the South Pacific and beyond.

By studying ocean reefs few people have ever visited, they will provide documentation that will be used to estimate changes in marine pollution and/or deterioration in the future.

Robertson, a mechanical engineer by trade, is also completing his PhD thesis on the interrelationship between ocean swell and bathymetry – the measurement of ocean depths.

Queens University is contributing to the research by providing a hyperspectral camera that shoots light at a coral face and measures the light reflected back. From the light reflected back, the researchers can tell the what sort of community it is and the health of that community.

It’s a completely non-destructive method, he added.

They plan on sharing their findings with universities and environmental organizations and conducting school presentations along the way.

But it isn’t all work.

An avid surfer from the age of six, Robertson plans on surfing waves only accessible by boat.

“We hope to run into places that haven’t been surfed and hit islands that haven’t been destroyed by the new surf culture people jumping on a luxury yacht, drinking a bunch of beer, watching movies and surfing perfect waves getting back to the essence of surf exploration.”

Robertson has already experienced surfing in far-flung locations. His family moved from South Africa to Canada about 10 years ago. He’s spent the last decade surfing off the Island’s west coast and in that time has noticed increased garbage and pollution.

Hence, a heightened desire to do something about it.

While they’re looking forward to the adventure, Robertson admits he has some trepidation.

Sharks, pirates, rough seas? No, he’s more worried about how his relationship with his best friend, Patterson, will withstand the pressure of living in close quarters for long periods of time.

It’s even been suggested we go to marriage counseling, he laughed.

The pair recently purchased a 40 foot sloop that they’ve renamed Freedom. The sailboat was a natural choice for an expedition documenting the destruction of the world’s coastlines by garbage and chemicals, Robertson explained.

So far, they’ve funded the entire expedition themselves, but are looking for a sponsor. For more information on the expedition, to view their route, or to follow the trip, go to www.oceangybe.com.

alavigne@vicnews.com

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CH TV News Broadcast

Two weeks ago while over on Vancouver Island I was lucky enough to get a call from the good folks at CH TV, who were interested in doing an interview about our trip.

I quickly made/changed plans to get over the TV studio as quickly as possible. I didn’t want to miss this opportunity ! After arriving at the front door and buzzing in to say I was there, I was escorted directly to a spot in front of the camera.

A couple questions later and we were done. I was expecting to sit down and discuss the finer details of our trip at length, but we managed to get out the required info before they were off to the next story.

I invited the crew down to our show at Steamers Pub in Victoria that evening for the Sitka / Mother Ocean Surf School event where I would be doing a presentation to the crowd. They arrived promptly at the start of the show, got the required footage and they were off to edit the piece and get it on the news two hours later… incredible.

No messing about with folks in the news industry, trust me… They work hard to get us all the news as quickly as possible. I was amazed at how efficiently they worked on getting the required details, a bit of footage and then, poof, they are gone as quickly as they arrive to get the story on air.

Take a look at the YouTube clip below to see the piece. This aired on Thursday at 11pm and Friday at 5pm.


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