The October sea has been gentle and welcoming until last night, and today huge waves crash against happybeach – bringing familiar unwanted gifts. In the turbulent water a fishing net recently cast out can be spotted drifting further and further away from the shore.
And it’s with utter joy I can report that fellow beach-cleaners have emerged on happybeach and beyond!
Yesterday I spotted my local neighbours busy on happybeach picking up litter by the rocks in big plastic sacks. What a glorious sight 🙂
About 700m down the coast from our home lies the sandy beach of Agia Marina, which has been sadly neglected throughout my time in the area. Occasionally I’ve collected a bag or two on this stretch but the amounts of trash were so vast it wasn’t possible to keep up. Yet a couple of days ago we took a walk on the beach, and discovered that the worst debris had been cleaned, revealing it’s true beauty. Fingers crossed that the increase in tourists visiting this beautiful bay has encouraged the level of care for the area.
The summer has set in on Happy Beach and the sea is beautiful and offers a refreshing dip during the sweltering days. The calm waves do unfortunately still bring in lost items, though is smaller quantities than before.I’ve noticed is that often items turn up on the shore in pairs – sometime in eerie ways.
Not that the things arrive right next to each other – but they do pop up on the same beach clean. Odd things like 2 Nutella lids, oil drums and diving masques. Apparently on Happy Beach things happen in pairs.
An arrival yesterday morning was more than a normal beach clean could handle – and one that doesn’t need repeating! A dead sea turtle washed up on Happy Beach in the afternoon. She was old and didn’t appear to have any damages caused by humans or trash but what to do with the remains? We are talking about a 40kg sea creature. This area is remote and has no coast guards or sea port authorities. No one takes care of the beaches.
A kind neighbour offered to help remove her but even a burial seemed unmanageable – bury her on whose ground? Finally Oliver and I went for a burial at sea. With great effort, not eased by the lunchtime heat and Eddie and Molly’s extreme curiosity, we managed to carry the turtle to the end of the beach and put her back in the sea that hopefully will take her where she belongs.
Yesterday started out gloomy on Happy Beach. The recent discovery of an approx. 50m stretch, where nurdles and small plastic bits collect, evoked the “what-am-I-doing-this-for” and “the-world-is-going-to-hell” feelings in me. Additionally it was too windy to attack the little cretins anyway. So I decided to be constructive and fill another sack of “regular” waste to keep the spirits up – and had no premonition of things to come.
Collection of the day:
* 7.4kg of plastic, styrofoam, aluminium
* 1 kite (broken, Barbie motif)
* 6 plastic bottles
* 3 knives
Little did I know that Happy Beach had been announced the first winner of the 2minutebeachclean photo competition! On opening my Instagram account in the evening I was overwhelmed with cheers, praise and a touching announcement that the “before & after storm” photo of Happy Beach had won. What great encouragement to find so many generous people all over the world caring for our environment – and I get a pair of new, fancy flip-flops!
The waves have been playfully crashing onto Happy Beach for 3 days now – in sunshine, rain and snow – BIG news on the island. These soft, rolling giants have only delivered a limited selection of new trash on the shores. Nevertheless a huge amount remains to be collected after the recent storm.Today counts 19kg of rubbish in 2 sacks in addition to a surprising number of balls in various sizes… Staring in the face of what appears to be endless supplies of waste plastic requires patience and maybe some cojones too – so thanks for these!
* 19kg of assorted plastic, styrofoam & fabrics
* 16 plastic bottles
* 45 bottle tops
* 3 shoe soles
* 1 shoe
* 5 balls – in all sizes
* 2 buckshot
* 3m of pipe – black & orange
* 1 lighter
* 1.5m of thick rope
* 1 biro
There was a 15 minute storm last night stirring up the sea. Come morning the beach had returned to her usual happy spirits but still didn’t manage to suppress countless abandoned items waiting to be claimed. A green plastic tennis racket jumped into view – setting a sophisticated tone to the day. An overwhelming amount of shoes turned up just a few 100m from our site. Flip-flops, sandals and 1 high heel in sizes from 22 to 44. After our visit they all obediently plodded along to the collection point – hopefully showing the way to other lost items.
Darker reflections were brought on by the collection today. Among the usual sea of plastic debris a disturbing amount of medical items were to be found. Dark medical bottles, tubes of prescription creams and syringes keep getting churned up on to the seaside. Where do they come from? Who is taking bottle upon bottle? Questions evoking thoughts of addiction, self-medication and using drugs as a panacea of all sufferings. Somehow unsurprisingly a broken heart presented itself underlining the sad gatherings.
After the heavy winds yesterday rain clouds gathered over the beach, so it was a quick visit to do the collection of the day. The item of the day must be: shoes! I counted 22 individual summer shoes in all imaginable sizes, from a baby shoe to man’s flip-flops. Get sad thinking of all these people having to hobble home from a day at the beach in one flowery sandal after having the other rudely snatched by the salty sea. Well, it’s here if you need it!
* 2 empty bic lighters (1 white, 1 green)
* 6 medicine bottles
* 5 syringes
* 2 used buckshots (1 green, 1 orange)
* 3 small bits of styrofoam
* Assorted pieces of plastic
* 1 medical cream
* 1 toothbrush
* 1 red sun screen lid (factor 25)
* 1 whole tangled up fishing net (yellow, no fish)
* 1 small, orange plastic stool
* 1 biro, no lid
* 1 piece of LEGO (white)
* 1 teething ring (almost complete)
* 1 green glass bottle (whole but has been in sea for a while)
* 1 piece of rope (30cm)
* 1 green plastic window box (broken on one side)
* 1 blue plastic playboy bunny head (CLAIMED!)
* 1 white connection pipe
* 1 flowery table cloth (150×200)
* 1 man’s T-shirt (grey w. orange neck)
* 1 tin of Tulip luncheon meat