Earth Day Clean Up

This morning John and I headed out to Shark’s Cove for 7am to help with the Earth Day Clean up that the dive shop was sponsoring.  Unfortunately the surf came up overnight making shark’s cove too hazardous today.  There are a lot of rocks both at the entry and throughout the cove.  As you can see in my previous posts of shark’s cove it’s all lava tubes on one side. 

The alternate plan was to clean up at “Jameson’s Beach”, named for the restaurant across the street.  So John and I headed over there where we met up with about 8 other divers.  The water was murky as is typical of this site when the surf is up because of its silt bottom.  So visibility was next to nothing but we headed out anyway. 

We entered the water from shore up to about our chests before putting on our fins and masks.  What we didn’t count on was the reef rising back up so that we had to belly crawl over parts of the reef before reaching a max depth of 8 feet.  We mostly picked up bottles, pieces of plastic and even a yellow page phone book.  The only way we were able to stay together was by looking for the bright yellow tanks. 

anyone need a phone number?

The bottom being stirred up made John sick so I headed out with Brian for a second dive.  Another team had found an entry that got deep faster so we used that the second time around.  Originally we were with 2 other people but we lost them among the mirk pretty quickly.  As long as we were in pairs we were ok though.  Brian wanted to head out toward one of the jettys where we would find trash that had been dumped off it.  We never made it though because the visibility got even worse.  So we surfaced and made the decision to turn around.  On the way out we didn’t find too much, just one inner tube and a few small things.  On the way back, however, we found a large bag from fertilizer or mulch, a piece of carpet, a back support from a kayak as well as some shades and a few bottles. 

Other groups found tires, and even a large piece of corrugated aluminum.

It felt good to do something for the planet on earth day.  I know it’s a losing battle but I hope that our efforts will open some people’s eyes about dumping things in the ocean.  

I also learned a few things.  After all, a good diver is always learning.  The low visibility gave me a oportunity to practice my navigational skills.  Under the water it’s harder to navigate because it’s so easy to get used to get disoriented.  There are not as many visual references because lots of things can look similar.  I learned to use a compass in both open water and advanced open water.  Those skills were put to use in rescue class in order to create a search pattern.  But, a lot of times I just follow others on a recreational dive.  The low visibility forced me to rely on those skills.  I was glad to find that the skills were there and that I didn’t get us lost. 

So, if you’re reading this, get involved, help save our environment.  No one will do it for us.


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