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The Story of Stuff

Longtime readers of Latitude 38 are probably familiar with the adventures of Bruce Balan and Alene Rice of the California-based Cross 46 trimaran Migration. Stories from their 60,000 miles of cruising have included visiting Easter Island in 2008, their most recent Changes in Latitudes in February, and their stop in the Bay last spring, where they crossed paths with a controversial boat in Aquatic Park.

We were delighted to discover that the cruising couple were recently in a video with the Berkeley-based The Story of Stuff to bring attention to the plastic pollution epidemic — and to offer a chance to make a difference.

We spoke to Stiv Wilson, the director of campaigns for The Story of Stuff, a documentary series about the “life cycle” of material goods. A sailor, Wilson lives aboard his Catalina 30 in Berkeley Marina. “Bruce and Alene contacted The Story of Stuff to see what they could do to help; they’ve been longtime contributors to the organization ever since. Coincidentally, when [Bruce and Alene] were in the Bay Area recently, they spent some time at Berkeley Marina and I ended up having a casual beer with them aboard their boat. Having never met them and only talking sailing, we didn’t put it together at that time that we had The Story of Stuff in common! We figured it out later, but it’s funny how it goes, walking the docks and talking sailing.”

We first crossed tacks with Stiv last summer when we took a sail on the 72-ft ocean research contract vessel Sea Dragon while she was in the Bay. Stiv has sailed 35,000 miles, much of it aboard Sea Dragon while he was doing work with the nonprofit 5 Gyres.

Stiv Wilson, the Story of Stuff
The Story of Stuff’s Stiv Wilson at the helm of the 72-ft Sea Dragon with boat captain Eric Loss and crew Katie Jewett.
© 2018 Latitude 38 Media LLC / John

Stiv and The Story of Stuff are currently in the midst of producing a major feature-length documentary titled The Story of Plastic, which will focus on how to prevent plastics from entering the ecosystem in the first place. (Got your reusable water bottle and coffee mug handy?)

To learn more about the movie or make a contribution on ‘Giving Wednesday’ (hey, why not?) visit here.


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Bring Your Umbrella
If you’re from the East Coast, you might find that for a state with so much sunshine, Californians sure do complain about the weather a lot.
golden globe race
Suddenly, the boat was as picked up by a huge wave and surfed down the forward face. The bows dug in and the boat went end-for-end before rolling out on her side.