Monday, April 30, 2012

Waves Waves Waves

Date: 29/4/2012
Location: Cockle Creek to Southport
Rubbish of the Day: Barrels
Species of the Day: Surfus-Maximus

The wind continued to howl for the farewell day of the Cleanup expedition. New friendships formed, and refreshed perspectives ignited. There is something very special about the South West Cleanup that each of us will take home.

The people left on the Chieftan G were entertained with a ‘relaxing’ day of fishing, while the ‘surf-troops’ upon the Velocity were skippered by ‘Dave the Wave’ for some waves to cherish. With the 5-8 Metre swell forecast well and truly here, it was a mild case of nerves as we rounded the point at Cockle Creek to see what was on offer further up the point.

With the big Cleanup in it’s final stages, it was a chance for the surfers on the trip to use the ocean as a means of remembrance. The huge waves were riddled with ruggedness, so we trooped towards Southport for some cleaner waves and a better chance to enjoy mateship rather than bravado.

All in all, the South West Marine Debris Cleanup is that once in a lifetime experience. There was big seas and sea-sickness matched with rainbows and calm sunsets. It’s the Tassie you see in your dreams, and for the 15 volunteers in the Cleanup Fleet an amazing finale and closing chapter that will stay in the memory vault.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Wild Weather


Date: 28/4/2012
Location: New Harbour to Cockle Creek
Rubbish of the Day: Baby-bottle
Species of the Day: Cray-magnon Man (aka Spikey Riddoch)

A wild weather forecast had set the tone of the morning, with all ships beating a hasty, if somewhat ragged, retreat back along the coast. A double rainbow framed the view across the wheelhouse of the Breaksea, whilst Shy Albatross wend their way across the waves. We couldn’t have timed it better, as the storm clouds and forecast 7-9m swell rolled in behind. As for the beach clean, we couldn’t have timed it worse… we hit the shore in the pouring rain and proceeded to collect the usual suspects with the added bonus of a full body drenching. Claire’s effort on the beach was unprecedented; a true display of Tasmanian bushwomanship and complete madness yielded a bag of rubbish that pretty much equalled the total of all other bags combined. Late afternoon saw 50% of the crew battle it out in the surf under hail and lightning, whilst the remainder of us smashed out the final count of 615 hard-fought-for items in record time in preparation the final nights celebrations.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Cans Cans Cans

Date: 27/4/2012
Location:  Spain Bay To New harbour
Rubbish of the day: Toaster Oven
Species of the day: Shy Albatross

From the calm of Spain bay we ran down the coast chased by albatross on a following sea, with a boat load of garbage.  Maatsuyker in a sun beam stood out against the low gray sky as we anchored in New Harbour, now known as “Cascade Can Cove” for some Abalone diving.   Of the 1115 pieces, 408 were cans.  For the trip so far we have 23,847 bits of crap off those wild beaches.  Can cove shore is dyed red with dinoflagellates but mostly closing out,. 
The Abs are being beaten by KC, Karen is back from paddling sea arches, mermaid Claire spent half an hour swimming with no wetsuit, garbage is sorted and stowed, The level of laughter is steadily increasing and the forcast is on the radio....  Gale warning 30-40 NW going 35-45 SW Swell increasing to 7-9 metres. Hmmm  should be a good surf back to Researche bay on the boats

100,000 items and beyond

Date: 26/4/2012
Location: Spain Bay to Stephens Beach and Back
Rubbish of the Day: Chocolate Easter egg
Species of the Day: Sperm and Blue Whale

There is a misty drizzle in the fog lights overnight in Spain Bay. Today the unsuspecting crew trekked to Stephens Beach. Dirty! Big and long! All along the dunes and behind clumps of low vegetation there was global flotsam and jetsam repatriated in the welcome sun. The bright blues, reds and greens in stark contrast to the more ancient white middens. Way out here on the SW ocean beaches is the other end of our consumption. It seemed only right to remove everything that did not belong in this special place.

The 3km rubbish drag tested the mettle of many. Luckily we had mettle to spare. Eleven thousand seven hundred and twenty one PIECES were collected, hauled and counted by a hard working crew. Another legendary dinner followed by the most amazing full funk freak out, "Live on the Deck" Jammin! Not content with owning the Club V music scene Harbs toughened up and admirably assisted, with a special mention, in the front deck cray fishing on the Chiefy.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Plastic Shoreline

Date: 25/4/2012
Location: Spain Bay
Rubbish of the Day: Toy Soldier
Species of the Day: Wedge-tailed Eagle

Early morning move to Spain Bay before bringing the bbq's out for a breakfast fry-up. Eggs and bacon must have gone to Dayna's head as she offered the Breaksea crew up for the first assault of the beach in the north east corner. It was rope strings vs plastic confetti in a gruelling four hour battle but 9533 pieces later it was Harb's toy soldier that won the immunity prize. Velocity team steam-cleaned the
rest of the beach and a late lunch left everyone rolling around, this time nothing to do with the waves. A beautiful afternoon cruise through the narrows replenished Velocity's water supply while Miles and Karen went for a paddle to Caroline Rock in flat seas.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Both sides of the Giblin

Location: Grassys & The Giblin
Rubbish of the Day: Brazilian Water Bottle
Species of the Day: Hooded Plover

The crews were up early for a 5:30 start after a very rolly night and were greeted to a spectacular sunrise and lightning show. The mamatus clouds were incredible and very foreboding and the cumulus stacks towered above the horizon. The boats headed on a three hour steam north for the Giblin. The Cheiftan G threw the pots while the Breaksea crew started a long slog gathering and hauling rubbish around the rocks south from the River. Most of the Velocity crew hit the water for a morning surf at Grassys. After a belated bacon bakeup is was back to the dirty beach for everyone for flotsam madness. The team then scoured the beach from end to end under sunny skies and we ended up with about 3 cubic metres of assorted treasures including a massive piece of blue rope. The count ended at 11.30. Everyone will sleep well tonight.
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Westward Bound

Date: 23/4/2012
Location: West from Dover to Port Davey
Rubbish of the Day: NA Travelling
Species of the Day: Fairy Prions

An 8:30 meeting at Chateau d'Spikey saw the previous days' shopping and most crew members decanted into cars for the drive to Dover. Meanwhile Sarah and Dayna racked up another impressive credit card bill at Hill Street Grocers packing in the fresh fruit and veg and adding the final touches to what had been an epic two day shopping effort. Arriving at Dover the Patagonia lads whipped out a huge selection of fancy new threads for us all - hats, beanies, fleece jackets and shirts. Impressive!

A few more ute and carloads of food/surfboards/people were divided amongst the three boats - Velocity, Chieftan G and Breaksea - and we were up up and away off around the coast for the big adventure. Rounding the southern coast a few crew dinners came back up the wrong way, now as humble offerings to whatever creatures lay below.
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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Last Minute checks

The team had a productive day collecting the Patagonia crew from the airport and letting them loose in Hobart for the afternoon. Meanwhile Dayna, SP, Spike, Matt and Harbs stocked up the dry stores at the Hill Street Grocer, filling many a little trolley that were packed neatly in boxes by the staff all ready for the boats. The generous folk discounted our substantial resupply to boot!.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Day of provisioning and the weather looks good

We spent the day picking up some of the gear for the cleanup crew. First stop was from Victor at Red Herring to collect the goodies Glen Casey from Patagonia had sent down for the Skippers and Volunteers, Dave scored himself a new winter wetty. Next stop off to Roberts to get the pegs for the erosion monitoring transects we hope to put in at the various various beaches we visit. Then we maxed out the Card at the longest cleanup sponsor the Wursthaus, filling two eski's with gourmet tucker. Kent loaded it all in the Refrigerated van and took it down to the Cheiftan G at Dover which had just returned from the West Coast with a load of Crayfish.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Cleanup2012 - Target 100,000 Items

The boats and crew are organised and with the largest volunteer fleet in the cleanups history we should be able to pass 100,000 items collected and documented. Its taken 14 years, thousands of hours and a few sore backs but if the weathers kind we are looking good to pass the milestone.

This year the fleet welcomes the 'Breaksea' skippered by Darren Clark. This beatiful canoe stern vessel will carry 5 volunteers and good mate Rory Saunders to assist in the cleanup. Along with the Velocity, Cheiftan G and the Rebecca Bay we will have aound 25 pairs of hands beautifing the beaches.