Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Return Media Release

Media Alert
Marine Debris Cleanup team returns to Hobart with a record haul

Saturday, 12th April 2014

What: Marine Debris Cleanup boats return to Hobart
When: 12:30pm today, Saturday 12th April
Where: Victoria Dock, Hobart

The great Tasmanian South West Marine Debris Cleanup team will return to Hobart today, carrying a record haul of 48340 pieces of rubbish from the remote beaches of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area.  

“We’ve spent the last seven days cleaning a massive wave of trash from some of our most spectacular wild beaches. This year’s cleanup expedition has been bigger than ever, collecting over 13,000 more pieces of rubbish than last year’s record count of 35,408” said cleanup coordinator Matt Dell.

The 22 cleanup volunteers experienced the best weather in years, enabling the crew to fully clean the often inaccessible Towterer Beach for the time in 15 years. Over two days the crew removed around 27,330 pieces of rubbish from this beach alone.

“The annual cleanup is a key part of the global effort to tackle marine debris, which chokes our oceans and critically impacts marine life” said Dell.

Two of the three cleanup boats – the Velocity and the Diamontina III – will be arriving at Victoria Dock this afternoon to unload the massive haul of rubbish.

For more information, contact Matt Dell on 0419 922 887

High resolution images available

Safe Achorage

The boats arrived at Recherche Bay in the early hours after a steady journey across the rugged southern coast of Tasmania. After another magnificent breakfast the crews hit the shore for a leisurely stroll around the very clean beaches of the bay. It was a welcome sight for the crew after the large hauls off all the visited beaches on the southwest coast . Small bits of broken glass a few aluminium cans, some plastic and foam is all we could find in a total of 398 items.  The crew spent the last afternoon cleaning the decks and feasted on a Masaaki custom Patagonia sashimi platter and Simon's beer battered stripey and chips, before the band fired up for the last concert of the trip.




Friday, April 11, 2014

Plastic dreaming

The crew awoke a little later than usual after Harbs, Joey and Julius treated us to an evening of sublime music and the whole crew hit the dance floor. We headed south from Spain Bay in Port Davey past the Caroline Islands onto the wide beautiful Noyhener Beach.

The Patagonia boys took their chance to shoot some video and water photos under sunny skies with nice clean 3 foot right handers breaking right into a river channel on the beach. Dustin ended up surfing for around 6 hours as the swarm of rubbish cleaners systematically scoured the beach from end to end. The beach was relatively clean after we cleaned it for the first time in ten years last year but once again small plastics and pieces of rope were prominent . A total of 9425 items were removed, marginally down from the 9877 items collected last year

After a long day on the beach the rest of the surfers on the trip enjoyed the same quality waves for the last few hours of light set to a background of majestic sand dunes backed by towering quartzite peaks, while the rest fished, swam and soaked up the scenery. With some nasty weather forecast the crew headed further south for a safe sheltered anchorage.


Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sunset Surf

Plastic Midden Day 2

Woke up to a few mosquito bites and the day immediately began to get
better into epic.
Smashed the end of the beach to the tune of another 10902 items, it was
brilliant. Zac would have said so.
Dominating the landscape were the mind blowing middens, towering over
our rubbish hunt. The last two days at this beach we have collected an
enormous amount of debris (around 25000 items). We all split off into 3
groups after the hunt. Some went off fishing, others surfing and another
group off to check out a century old ship wreck. All the end of the day
activities were framed by the backdrop of a generous sunset flip
flopping bad crazy colors. The fishing crew smashed it with stripeys
being dragged from the depths and some rookie muscles tested. The
treasure hunters found treasure and the surf was good. An early start on
the sort allowed the master Masaaki to step up and impress all with his
knife skills and mastery of tasty tuna snacks. Sorry,very very tasty
tuna snacks. Have to go now theres more nigiri :)

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Plastic Midden

Plastic Midden

Big dreamy skies drift into the ocean as the Velocity steams out of Port
Davey at first light, headed north across glassy waters.
Skipper extraordinaire Dave the Wave's cranking the old Pink Floyd on
the stezza and the rain starts coming down, exploding the surface of the
water as we roll past Breaksea Island and out into the open sea.

A big seal's going berko playing with the swell just out from the tide
line and the coffee pot's cranking as the cleanup crew on deck gear up
for another big day in the wild west.

We steam into 'Big Midden Bay' and anchor just offshore the southern
point. It's crazy wild country here; the sets are rolling into a couple
of k's of white sand and huge dunes, and rising up behind it all is
mountains and big skies rolling away into the east.

It's the sort of big country that catches the breath at the back of your
throat. That you might be lucky enough to see once or twice in the
course of a lifetime. Everything stops, just for a moment, and everyone
stands still on deck.

Then it's all rapid motion - the dinghies are loaded with cleanup bags,
wet weather gear, cameras, gumboots and humans and we hit the beach,
only to be stopped momentarily by the sight of some of the most
seriously bad plastic pollution that we've come across yet. Giant 30
foot high middens, that have watched over this bay for a very long time,
are studded with hundreds of pieces of rope, micro plastics and rusted
tinnies. The sea front is swamped with so much rubbish it makes you feel
pretty sad and pretty ill. Hundreds of metres of sand and dune getting
swamped daily by a plastic wave of trash that comes from across the
globe to land here, in one of the world's most incredible landscapes.

The cleanup crew goes into a 7 hour frenzy, picking up and dragging over
40 big bags of rubbish down the beach and loading them onto the
dinghies. Aboard the Diamantina III, the daily count is manic. The
rubbish pile is absolutely enormous and everyone's counting and
classifying at full steam. When there's only a few micro plastics left
on the big white tarp, the Delegator calls time and another cleanup
record is broken - the all time daily count total is smashed with 16,430
items recorded.

An hour to go before sunset, and the old wetties are pulled on, and
boards loaded onto the dinghies. Paddling across the salt water, looking
out at the mountains and dunes of this wild, wild place, we're all
hooting. Big day, big skies, and big big smiles.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Calm and sunny Port Davey

After an easy morning in whalers Cove, the Velocity choofed off in
search of some waves. After a fruitless mission we were up to full
numbers in Hannant Inlet for a multi beach small plastics festival.
Shallow water made access interesting and what appeared to be beautiful
and pristine shores ended up providing us with 4492 pieces of rubbish,
most of which were below 30cm in size. A 4pm knock off saw all boats
relocate to Bramble Cove where the towering Mt Misery sits ominously
overlooking the bay. A quick discussion between Dayna, Claire and
Daphane went like this: "Be good to climb it?" "Yeah!" "Yeah?"
"yesSSSsss..." and no more than five minutes later saw Darren ferrying
the three girls to the shores for a turbo trip up the 484m peak. The
view was a spectacular 360 degree view taking in Port Davey and Bathurst
Harbour extending all the way through from the Arthur Range in the north
to Cox Bight, and off to the side the boys from Velocity surfing some
chunky waves below. An awesome days work and play saw us cap it off with
the eagerly awaited Dell Butter Chicken, a perfect way to finish the day...

Monday, April 7, 2014

Sunny beachcombing

We awoke before sunrise to look for beaches we could access in the
building 3-4 meter swell. A quick steam to Low Rocky Point revealed 6-8
foot waves breaking the entire length of the beach. We steamed south to
the Mulchay where we found a sheltered corner to get ashore. We cleaned
the beach from end to end under sunny skys and light winds in 4 hours
for a total of 3408 items.

We looked at all the offshore reefs on the way back to the sheltered
anchorage of Whalers Cove inside of Port Davey. The Breaksea arrived
just after dark after a magnificent scenic cruise along the south coast
where they were visited by dolphins, albatross and a humpback whale.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Welcome back to paradise

We arrived at the Giblin to grey skies,light winds and a strong ground
swell from the west south west. After a relatively calm night on the sea
anchor we teamed up and scoured the beach to the tune of 3200 pieces of
rubbish. Following this the team dispersed, surfed, counted rubbish and
enjoyed the amazing surrounds that are south west Tasmania. Maasaki
nearly drowned, no fish were caught, the anchorage was rocky but as the
night fell we were all laughing like clowns at the show!!

Friday, April 4, 2014

A sunny day of maritime mechanics in Dover


After anchoring at Partridge Island in the early hours of the morning, the crew of the Velocity awoke to a nasty surprise as there was a few litres of fresh oil in the bilge. Disappointment as we headed for Dover wharf turned to relief as we realised what would have happened if we had continued steaming through the night. After a six hour battle in the confines of the engine room we managed to extract fix and replace the fuel pump.

Meanwhile the Diamantina departed from Hobart under very sunny sky's and light winds.  We are now in convoy heading towards Whale Head for an all night steam to the far reaches of the west coast of Tasmania. Tomorrow promises to be another sunny day with light winds.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Departure day for the Velocity



After a hectic week of preparations it was time to provision the boats. The morning saw the delivery of the Gillespies Ginger Beer from Sam which, after a few years of rigorous testing, has proven to fight off the effects of sea sickness. Then a quick dash out to the Wursthaus Factory in Cambridge to collect the gourmet meats and a load of ice. Southern Cross and Win news kindly came down to the docks to do stories for the evening news as we loaded supplies into the cool boxes.  Dave did a last minute oil change and fueled up the boat.  Harbs and I collected the fresh food supplies from Marco at the Augusta Road Hill Street store and dropped the supplies for the Diamantina III out at Prince of Wales Bay.

We finally departed Hobart at 9.30 PM and are heading south where a 5 to 8 metre SW swell and light wind awaits us when we round Whale Head sometime early tomorrow morning. The Diamantina will depart from Prince of Wales Bay tomorrow at midday and the Breaksea will be leaving Dover Saturday afternoon.

Media Release

When: 1:30pm. Tomorrow – Thursday 3rd April
What: Press conference before the 2014 South West Marine Debris Cleanup crew departs Hobart
Where: Constitution Dock, Hobart (the Velocity is docked in front of the Drunken Admiral)

The great Tasmanian South West Marine Debris Cleanup sets sail from Constitution Dock tomorrow. The annual volunteer-run expedition has been cleaning up some of Australia’s wildest beaches for the past 15 years.
In 2013 alone, the cleanup team picked up over 35,000 pieces of rubbish from remote beaches located in the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area on the west coast.
“Marine debris is choking our planet’s oceans. An estimated 7 billion tonnes of rubbish enters our oceans every year, impacting wildlife, human health and our precious marine ecosystems,” said cleanup coordinator Matt Dell.
Marine debris has been making global headlines in recent days, as the search continues for signs of Flight MH370 in the sea of litter that is the Indian Ocean. A recent CSIRO study estimated there were between 5000 to 7000 pieces of marine debris per square kilometre of ocean in the waters around Australia. Much of this rubbish finds its way onto beaches.

“The cleanup is a unique and important part of the global effort to protect our marine environments from a plastic wave of pollution. Over the past 15 years, our committed team of volunteers has picked up well over 150,000 pieces of rubbish from some of Tasmania’s most spectacular and inaccessible beaches,” said Mr Dell.

One of the three cleanup boats, the Velocity, will be departing Constitution Dock in Hobart tomorrow evening.

For more information, contact Matt Dell: 0419 922 887
More information is available on the website.
http://wha-marinedebris.blogspot.com.au/