Monday, April 4, 2016

A huge thank you from Team Clean!

Team Clean would like to extend the MOST enormous thank you to the organisations, businesses and individuals that made the 2016 expedition possible. Cleaning these incredibly remote ecosystems doesn’t come cheap, and without the incredible support of these fine people, we wouldn't have been able to remove 82,6815 pieces of rubbish from the spectacular World Heritage beaches of Southwest Tasmania.

A big shout out to our sponsors: Southern Ocean Adventures, Patagonia, Pennicott Wilderness Journeys, Wildcare Tasmania, Moo Brew, Gillespies Ginger Beer, Miellerie Unheated Honey, Bookend Trust, Wursthaus, Simmons Wolfhagen, AWM Electrical and Data Suppliers, Mona, Tasmanian Abalone Council, Hill Street Grocers, Modern Musician, Tasmanian Seafood Industry Council and the Tasmanian Rock Lobster Fisherman's Association. You are wonderful and we love you!

2016 saw the biggest ever response to our Pozible crowdfunder. We were completely bowled over by the overwhelming generosity of so many legends from across Australia and beyond. Team Clean would like to thank the following fabulous humans for their invaluable support.


Lachie McKenzie, Steve Biddulph, Robyn Thomas, Cindy Needham and Tom Scown, Daphne Dhimitri, Marg Lothian, Diane and Richard Majewski, Lesley Geraghty, Lotte Kronborg, Louise Williams, Stevo Heggie and Mel Shepherd, Bill Harvey, Gra Murdoch, Joelie Ryan, Deborah Roslyn Hiller, Christopher Szaday, James, Leo Berzins, Megan McMurchy, Lynne Head, Robert, Luuk Veltkamp, Sue-Ellen Smith, Elaine Lockwood, Grant Hill, Lorraine Ashdown, Beth Beveridge, Sangeeta Lall, Bec Williams, Rebecca Thomson, Judanne Simpson, Julieanne Richards, Jessie Meaney-Davis, Penni Rockliff, Fay Bannah, Suitcase Murphy, Nicole Moylan, Jenni Brammall, Michael Honey, Alice Graham, Ed Henty, Vivian Tng, Colleen Combs, Rebecca Kelley, Candice Allen, Tom Hartney, Jelena May, Kerry Sackett, Yvette Watt, Rachel Edwards, Robyn Bartley, Lee Peters, Rowan, Andrew Hulghes, Rowena Morrison, Caitlin Phillips-Peddlesden, Edwina Brown, Shane Westmore, Andy Sullivan, Gerard Pidoto, Sean Fishlock, Narelle Couper, Antje Janssen, Warren Ballinger, John Harrison, Robbi Bishop-Taylor, Cullen Pope, Bill Aronson and Nicole Hunter.

And some wonderful peeps who would prefer to remain anonymous.

Thank you. All of you. 


You are an amazing bunch of absolute champions. We couldn’t have done it without you. 

Lots of love,
Team Clean

Monday, March 14, 2016

Unload and Cleanup

After a magical week exploring the beaches of South Western Tasmania the crews disembarked from the Velocity at Southport and The Breaksea at Dover so the skippers could get back to sea to continue fishing. The Wilsons Voyager made its way to Hobart to be greeted by an enthusiastic crew of friends and family. The kind folks at Tas Trans unloaded the two tonnes of debris and resettled it at the South Hobart Recovery Tip Shop.





The final tally of 80694 items picked up of the beach, then counted and sorted is a testament to a very committed team of volunteers, skippers and dingy drivers. For such a small team the output and diligence of the beachcombers was remarkable, and it was a pleasure to spend a week in the wilderness giving something back to our remarkable home state.



A big thanks to Patagonia and Pennicott Wilderness Journeys for their ongoing financial support and all of our other sponsors including those who supported our Pozible crowd funding campaign we cannot continue this important work without you.

If we all do the simple act of picking up a rubbish from the ground or water when we see it then we will go a long way to reducing the impact of marine debris on our seas and all the animals that live in it.

Final blog from Pat

Final post from Pat Spiers.

Well, I'm back in the "big smoke" (Sydney) after a whirlwind 9 days in Tassie and my friends are saying things like,

"Wow, you look really tired and hairy Pat!" (It was a very busy time and there was no time to shave on the trip)

also

"You look so happy but why are you covered in scabs?" (The Tasmanian bush is really scratchy and I spent a large part of the week burrowing under spiky bushes to retrieve rubbish)

and

"Did you really pick up that many little bits or rope and plastic in those wild places? I thought they would be pristine and untouched!?"

Well, yes, we did pick up all that rubbish and as far as I know the rubbish was all moved on to be re-used, recycled or disposed of today:
- The bait saver baskets in decent condition were offered to fisherman for re-use
- The good rope was re-used for fishing and art
- The bottles plastic pieces, and aluminium cans were recycled
- The large nets and steel buoys were taken away for interesting garden decorations
- Some of the remaining rubbish went to the tip

One of the things that sticks in my mind was THE ROPE, most of the bits and pieces or rope had been worked on by someone, eg they had been knotted or spliced and then cut and THROWN OVERBOARD. But by who?

I think all Tassie fishermen are pretty good with obeying the "Stow it - don't throw it" rule. so that means we are talking about the crews on the big industrial sized boats that fish in deeper waters, often with the trawl nets...

To be continued... got to go to bed, shattered.


Sunday, March 13, 2016

schools

Schools report, by Pat Spiers

Day 8: Saturday 12 March.

Last night we steamed south after the rubbish count and anchored in North Stephens bay.

Today would be taken up by the return voyage but first we had to retrieve the rubbish we had previously stashed down the southern end of Stephens beach way back on the 7th.
Once again It was quite a mission getting the heavily laden dinghies in and out through the waves.
The deck of the Wilson's voyager is now completely covered in garbage (tied down of course). 3 gigantic crane bags of ropes dominate the space. All up we have close to three tons of rubbish.

Have a look at this photo of some of the recording sheets filled in every night this week.
The process worked best when one person was the count recorder, whose job was to write down all the sub-totals that were called out by the rest of the team as they sorted through the day's rubbish.
They would then add all the sub-totals up to get our daily totals.

As you can see I have not been telling you making all this up! Most of the beaches we visited were heavily affected by small plastic pieces.

But lets look at what we have achieved over the whole week.
We have just added up all our counts collected 80 694 pieces of rubbish over the last week – a new record!

Ula in particular was stoked with this result.

We had a long day of steaming ahead of us so we set off at about 10.30 am.

It was great to watch the gigantic cliffs of southwest cape slide past.
We took a quick detour to hook a big fat stripy trumpeter for our dinner and steamed on straight through the narrow gap south of Maatsuyker island, hooked around Southeast cape and then anchored in beautiful Recherche bay for the final garbage count.

While we counted the cooks and their assistants started preparing the ultimate feast from the fish and all the bits and pieces of food that had been knocking around in the eskies all week.

After a big party we all went to bed feeling satisfied knowing that we had left behind some very, very clean beaches in the Tasmanian world heritage area.

I'll say it again: we collected 80 694 pieces of rubbish over the last week – a massive effort!

I feel like we have made a big difference for now, but it is just one of many actions that need to be taken for our wild oceans and beaches to become cleaner places.

Some people might ask me questions such as:
"But Pat, what about the rubbish still out there buried under the sand?"
and
"What about the rubbish floating around in the ocean that soon will wash upon the same beaches?"
and even
"Isn't the area is in a National park and doesn't that mean that it is the rangers job to look after the beaches?"

Well, yes, marine debris is a big, complex problem and it would be easy to see this job as being hopeless or too hard when people ask questions like these.
But it is something we cannot ignore because we are all custodians of our wild places and our oceans.
 (a custodian is a keeper or guardian of a place).

As custodians we have to start somewhere and we have to be smart about what we actually do to help.
(That's why we have been recording all the rubbish types collected so we can identify things that can change and pass that information on to the decision makers and leaders of our land.)

Have you ever read "The Lorax" by Dr Seuss? I hope so because I am going to end with the last words of the Once-ler,

"Now that you're here, The word of the Lorax seems perfectly clear.
UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it's not"




I have to rush back into everyday life now (back to school tomorrow) I'd like to say thanks to the following people and organisations for their efforts and support:

Andrew Hughes
Matt Dell
Tom Brown, Dave Wyatt, Darren Clark
Wildcare Tasmania
The Bookend trust
Australian Science teachers association
Patagonia

Day 8 - 10 O'Clock Bay to Recherche Bay

Saturday 12 March

Guest Blogger: Wes

After a week of head down bum up hunched over picking up thousands of pieces of rubbish on the beach, there was no shortage of sore backs and stiff necks amongst the cleanup team on the morning of day 8. The sight of a few waves breaking on the beach and the fact that we needed to pick up the bags of rubbish we left behind that needed to be picked up was enough motivation for dinghies to be launched, boards to be waxed and wetsuits to be pulled on for the last chance to get a wave or get some of the Southwest national park's sand between your toes for the lat time before we headed home.

The daily rubbish count is a massive cooperative effort for all involved in the clean up but it is probably the least looked forward to part of the day as it is really hard work. As the tally added up, cleanup team leader Matt Dell decided, after a bit of quick mental arithmetic, that it looked as though this year's final tally would break the record set on last year's cleanup.



This created a bit of a buzz which helped get the last of the plastics counted and Matt's hunch turned out to be spot on. The record was broken.

We steamed home with light winds and calm seas that allowed some of the crew to grab 40 winks, catch a couple of Stripey Trumpeter off southwest cape or sit with a Moo Brew or Gillespie's ginger beer and watch the albatross swooping around the boat.



The cleanup vessels then met up in Recherche Bay to raft up and reflect on a week that passed in the blink of an eye. The 80694 items were duly stowed on the Wilsons Voyager for their last journey on the high seas, up to the dock in Hobart where they will be transported to the Resource Tip shop in South Hobart

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Day 7 photos

Day 7 blog


Day 7. Friday 11 March.

Guest blogger: Alecia

Mulcahy Bay

What started out as a nice day quickly disappeared into another session of head-down  bum-up. It is amazing that what appears to be a clean beach quickly joins the filthy ranks of small plastics (11,550) and bait saver (173) littered expanses.
Apparently the increase in Bait savers today can partly be attributed to a resident seal that appears to have learnt how to remove the bait saver in the Cray pot, stick his head in and grab the bait saver to eat the fish, redefining take away eating on the west coast.

Lowlights today included finding small toy soldiers and a horse, a button and two international guests, a Japanese Suntory whisky bottle with whisky inside which was quickly sampled on beach and a Spanish laundry detergent bottle.

The highlight was a random bush walker who literally appeared out of the scrub and couldn't have been happier to see us, we resupplied him with some fresh fruit and snacks and a new EPIRB and off he set for the next part of his multi part adventure 14 days into about four weeks of walking.  He was amazed to see us cleaning beaches and almost thought we were a mirage, just as we were surprised to see him appear. Two totally different ways to appreciate the wild southwest coast of Tasmania complementing each other and leaving the area for all to enjoy.

Schools report - by Pat Spiers

Hi everyone,

We left the sheltered waters of the gulch not long after dawn bound for Mulcahy beach.
Everyone was already suited up ready for a wet surf landing and moments after the anchors splashed into the water we were piling into the dinghies and setting off.

Wes, Dave and Harry are real masters in the art of handling overladen small boats in the waves.

The trick when coming in is to ride the back of a wave, just behind the white water, that and have a big motor in good condition!

When leaving the beach and heading out the trick is to be observant and patient, waiting for a small set of waves. Then go for it and be confident in your steering decisions. Several times it seemed like we were about to receive a monster wave into the boat and then with a slight steering movement we would be skimming over the shoulder and gliding down into a trough.

The beach was a spectacular wild place.
First I cleaned the around the mouth of a large creek on the southern end and saw plenty of animal tracks including devils.

Then we walked all the way to the other end of the beach and did our emu bob all the way back. The beach was rich in bait saver baskets, bait box straps and, you guessed it, lots of small plastics. I had a creepy moment when I picked up a small green chunk of plastic and had a closer look – it was the head of a crazy clown!

Later on Masaaki and I started up the first ever Mulcahy beach Sumo wrestling tournament:

Here are the results:

1. Masaake beat Pat (only because I was worried about falling onto my camera OK?)
2. Big Wes beat Masaake
3. Big Wes beat Gerhard
4. Spikey beat Big Wes (Spikey was the grant master! Hooray for Spikes)

Masaaki and I also started a new sport! "Storm bight cliff sand running"
A storm bight is a sandy cliff created by a strong rip-tide created by strong storm waves.
The sand cliff was about 2 meters high and when you run along the top edge it collapses just behind you, you have to run very quickly and smoothly or you tumble down the bank in a minor avalanche of sand.
This was great fun but the storm bank had only been created the day before and it was fully of plastic rubbish! So we made even more work for ourselves.

Despite all this we did 6 hours of hard cleaning up. When we finally got all the rubbish back to the Velocity we counted a total of 14,842 bits of rubbish, with 11,550 pieces of small plastic alone!

Finally we transferred all the rubbish to one of the other boats (Wilson's voyager)

See you soon everyone! We'll be home soon.

Pat