Category Archives: kilos

A tale of mystery and some science

Happy Beach is blissful. Warm sunny days, calm, crystal clear sea – which is heating up but still below 20 degrees, so only few swimmers venture in. Of course things still get washed up, and left behind, but overall the beach is pretty peaceful.

Apart from an experience a couple of weeks ago. A car had driven onto the beach and was parked right by a long plateau of volcanic rock facing the sea. The driver was very laid back, and nodded as I passed him. As I reached further down the beach I turned to see he had been joined by another car, and the two men were exploring something on the plateau. As I returned they drove off and I saw what had been occupying them: Four long, wooden boxes wrapped in some thick rope. They were painted green and had some army-like looking markings. I tried peek inside one that was upside down and ajar, but it wasn’t possible to see the content. For some reason it felt wrong to try and open them. A car with four men approached, and as I had my dogs, I hurried off. The men removed the boxes but obviously opened one, as later I found the lid discarded on the beach.

From Happy Beach mysteries to global awareness: Today is Earth Day, and great events are taking place all over. To join in the movement we did a Happy Beach clean, and I decided to carry a sign on my back everywhere I go during the day. My remote living doesn’t offer many options of participating in protest marches, so I’ll just have to make up my own.

March for Science

In Washington D.C. the core of a significant global rally is taking place: the March of Science. Sadly political trends worldwide seem to be subscribing to the dumbing down of people through applying pop politics and comfy, soundbite “information” and fobbing them off as truths. Experts and voices of experience are being pushed aside by those who merely can shout louder. Fortunately there are many who believe knowledge is the only real way forward – for the planet, the oceans and for the human race. For this reason I join the march for science too.

love nina

Collection on Happy Beach on Earth Day:

  • 6 clothes pegs
  • 1 foam heart
  • 1 deodorant spray – Joker – for men
  • 1 sanitary pad (used)
  • 1 toilet black and white brush
  • 2 toothbrushes
  • Rope, various lengths
  • 1 plastic Rombouts Coffee lid
  • 3 lighters
  • 4 straws
  • Styrofoam packing
  • Filler foam
  • 1 jumbo fish net float
  • 3 small fishing floats
  • 1 fishing lure
  • 1 news paper dated: 16 April 2016 (1 year ago)

news paper

  • 6 plastic bottles
  • 2 drink cans
  • Big plastic lid, green
  • 1 apple (rotten)
  • 1 cauliflower (rotten)
  • 1 onion (rotten)
  • Assorted plastic
  • 9 bottle tops
  • 1 glass ampule (full)
  • Rusty metal hinge
  • Wood
  • A small piece of my roof, blown off in storm
  • One army box lid

Total kilos lifted off Happy Beach: 3,7kg

toilet stuff

Advertisements

Fishing for plastic

Spring must be my favourite season on the island. Everything is juicy-green from the rain, and fields and hills are dressed in coats of yellow flowers. Pink tinted almond blossoms make you sigh as you pass the delicate trees.

The sea is warming up too – still only 16 degrees C, but I venture a dip, when she permits.

learning

But my ambition is to get even more confident with local waters, so I decided to take a powerboat certificate to get started. It felt good to get to know my way round a small engine driven boat, and touch upon the basics of navigation, as I’ve never mastered anything more powerful than a bicycle!

blue-lagoon

My instructor took us out to the local nautical attraction: The Blue Lagoon – in the UNESCO protected Akamas area. The lagoon is truly blue, the nature undisturbed by human dwellings – but still we saw upsetting amounts of trash bobbing around in the water – from soft drink cans to plastic fuel canisters to florescent light strips. We salvaged some major sinners, allegedly dumped by local fishermen.

sea-trash

As there haven’t been any big storms for a long while the amounts of plastic drifting onto Happybeach are manageable – nevertheless it all adds up. And this little lull doesn’t trick me into thinking that things are getting better.

This very disturbing article in The Guardian explains some of the damage done by the 8.000.000 tons of plastic dumped in our seas: Plastic Seafood/ Guardian bad news for Moule Frites lovers and Fish ‘n’ Chips addicts. But worse news for marine life and the balance of the ecology…

Lastest collection includes:
* 22 fishing floats
* 1 toilet roll holder
* Plastic bag
* 18 plastic bottles
* A pink boat – broken
* 2 child shoes
* A broken deer (plastic)
* 4 lighters
* A carton of soggy cigarettes

nasty-cigarettes

* A small plastic bird
* A Styrofoam box
* Assorted plastic
* 2m black pipe
* Bits of Styrofoam
* 2 small medical bottles (glass)
* 8m sheet of plastic
* 3 raw plugs
* 3 straws
* Rope 2m black, 3m blue
* 2 blobs of engine oil
* A broken garden chair (white plastic)
* 1 filler foam tube

Total lifted off the beach: 12,3 kg

pink-boat

Beach cleaning carol

The holiday season has been temperamental so far – bringing plenty of clouds and rain, strong winds but sunny days too. Each time the sea turns turbulent my heart falls due to the endless amounts of plastic rubbish ejected on to the shore. It never stops. It only seems to be getting worse.

An article published in the Guardian on December 23rd paints a very disturbing picture of a water pollution situation in Shanghai . A scene which soon could become familiar to all of us, if we don’t change our appalling consumption habits.

But this supposed be the season merriment.
So, here is a special Happy Beach Christmas song!

One the 1st day of Christmas Happy Beach sent to me:

1 glue.jpg
A tube of glue that’s almost empty!

On the 2nd day of Christmas Happy Beach sent to me:

2-beach-toys
2 Beach Toys

… and a tube of glue that’s almost empty!

On the 3rd day of Christmas Happy Beach sent to me:

3-styrofoam-lids
3 Styrofoam lids

… 2 beach toys, and a tube of glue that’s almost empty!

On the 4th day of Christmas Happy Beach sent to me:

4-old-balls
4 old balls

… 3 styrofoam lids, 2 beach toys, and a tube of glue that’s almost empty!

On the 5th day of Christmas Happy Beach sent to me:

5 golden glow sticks.jpg
5 golden glow sticks

… 4 old balls, 3 styrofoam lids, 2 beach toys, and a tube of glue that’s almost empty!

On the 6th day of Christmas Happy Beach sent to me:

6-fishing-lures
6 fishy lures

…5 golden glow sticks – 4 old balls, 3 styrofoam lids, 2 beach toys, and a tube of glue that’s almost empty!

On the 7th day of Christmas Happy Beach sent to me:

6-clothes-pegs
7 plastic pegs

…6 fishy lures – 5 golden glow sticks – 4 old balls, 3 styrofoam lids, 2 beach toys, and a tube of glue that’s almost empty!

On the 8th day of Christmas Happy Beach sent to me:

8 broken ligthers.jpg
8 used up lighters

…7 plastic pegs, 6 fishy lures – 5 golden glow sticks – 4 old balls ,3 styrofoam lids, 2 beach toys, and a tube of glue that’s almost empty!

On the 9th day of Christmas Happy Beach sent to me:

9-medical-supplies
9 medical supplies

…8 used up lighters, 7 plastic pegs, 6 fishy lures – 5 golden glow sticks – 4 old balls ,3 styrofoam lids, 2 beach toys, and a tube of glue that’s almost empty!

On the 10th day of Christmas Happy Beach sent to me:

10-fishing-floats
10 fishnet floats

…9 medical supplies, 8 used up lighters, 7 plastic pegs, 6 fishy lures – 5 golden glow sticks – 4 old balls ,3 styrofoam lids, 2 beach toys, and a tube of glue that’s almost empty!

On the 11th day of Christmas Happy Beach sent to me:

11-empty-bottles
11 discarded bottles

…10 fishnet floats, 9 medical supplies, 8 used up lighters, 7 plastic pegs, 6 fishy lures – 5 golden glow sticks – 4 old balls ,3 styrofoam lids, 2 beach toys, and a tube of glue that’s almost empty!

On the 12th day of Christmas Happy Beach sent to me:

12 abandoned shoes.jpg
12 forgotten shoes

…11 discarded bottles, 10 fishnet floats, 9 medical supplies, 8 used up lighters, 7 plastic pegs, 6 fishy lures – 5 golden glow sticks – 4 old balls, 3 styrofoam lids, 2 beach toys, and a tube of glue that’s almost empty!

Lifted from Happy Beach this December: 12, 3 kg

With a little help from my friends…

Winter on Happy Beach has so far been splendid; sunny and mild, with only two days of rain until this very day. In fact dams, lakes, woods, gardens, orchards and fields are urgently craving visits from the clouds. The calm sea made it easy to spot rubbish drifting around in the bay – like this styrofoam fish box lid salvaged by a swim out to open sea.

drifting-foam
Rescued Styrofoam

Otherwise the gentle weather provided a small breather in which it was possible to gather the heaps of trash that had been shoved higher up on land in order to prevent the debris getting washed back into the water in stormier times.

In addition to the gentle weather Happy Beach had a long awaited family visit from the lovely Kosma Kiani crew: Jonna & Georg with their furry companions: Donna & Romeo. Together we lifted 10.4kg of plastic off the beach – and spoke about sea travel, trash, consumption and dreams.

molly-saves-ghost-net
Molly sorts out the ghost net

Amongst the collection in November was:

  • 1 Chapstick
  • 3 flip – flops
  • 5 cigarette buts
  • straws
  • plastic bottles
  • assorted plastic
  • 2 iron bars
  • irrigation pipe
  • aluminium cans
  • 3 fishing floats
  • 1 ghost net
  • styrofoam
  • 4 lighters
  • 1 Floaty (Hawaii)
  • Tin of spam (eaten)
  • 1 black polka dot headband
  • 2 glass bottles
  • 1 plastic sweet tub
  • 6 yoghurt tubs (large)
  • 1 apple
  • 1 tangerine

Kilos in total lifted from Happy Beach: 19kg.

sandal
NOT So Cool

Shifting Sands

Summer is refusing to loosen her hot and very dry grip of Happybeach this year. October is seeing high temperatures and still not a single drop of rain. Pleasant yet disturbing at the same time. Gardens are thirsty and every little gust of wind kicks up clouds of dust. Still it’s great to be back after my travels and exploring the beach with Molly!

molly-and-i
Molly and her human

Island life carries on as usual. The trees are filling with avocado, olives, lemon, pomegranate, figs, pomelo and bananas – soon ready for picking. And October means the start of hunting season, so sounds of gunshots and howling dogs are to become a fixture of Wednesday and Sunday afternoons.

Happybeach has changed radically over the summer. In addition to the endless piles of rubbish (no big surprise there) the continuous heavy waves have totally restructured the beachside by shifting the sands and bringing out the rocky surface below.
These photos show the same stretch of beach with a year between.

And of course the collecting must go on. It’s discouraging to discover that local tourists are adding to the pollution problem much more than visitors from abroad. One would think that they care for their island and the image it projects when the beaches are covered in trash. But the litter left on the seaside after barbecues and picnics is appalling. Everything from towels to plastic food containers to countless cans and bottles get discarded without a second thought.

ummer-2016
Welcome to Cyprus

Collection of the day includes:

  • 23 plastic bottles
  • 21 bottles tops
  • 11 straws
  • 7 plastic cups
  • 2 big yogurt tubs (used for holding bait)
  • 1 fishing float
  • 1 beer bottle (glass)
  • 3 lighters
  • 1 pair of goggles
  • 1 sea horse mould (plastic)
  • 1 ping-pong bat (wood)
  • 1 empty bottle of sunscreen (factor 6)
  • 1 flip-flop
  • 1 football
  • 1/2 syringe
  • plastic bags
  • 1 cigaret end
  • 4 cans (broken)
  • 1 diver’s suit
  • bits of plastic
  • rope in various colours
  • garden pipe
  • 1 small towel

Total removed from beach: 4kg

the-things-you-find
Naked diver wanted

Trash and Turtles

The old saying “No News is Good News” applies in many situations – but unfortunately not when it comes to the Happy Beach saga. Though I’m keeping fairly quite this summer, it isn’t due to the fact that plastic consumption has dramatically decreased or that people have suddenly decided to use bins instead of the sea.

Unfortunately there is plenty to do on the beach, though the story does seem to continue along the same strain.

The sea has been very choppy for a few weeks producing impressive waves that crash onto the shore – and uninvited passengers jump on for the ride. Plastic waste intertwines with seaweed leaving a grim looking border on the seaside.

The occasional oddity is washed up with the detritus, such as half a watermelon or a couple of onions.

watermelon

The good news is that sea turtles are still laying! There are more than 15 nests on Happy Beach alone. As hatching time approaches I’ve been taking nightly walks accompanied by the most helpful and enchanting full moon – but not sightings yet.

A kind friend is doing the same on a nearby beach, and had the amazing luck to spot a couple of turtle ladies placing their precious loads in the sand. The dear things bravely confront both turbulent waters and plastic tainted nesting areas to lay their eggs.

turtle laying
photo curtesy of W. Norwood

The collection of the day includes:
* A yellow water pistol
* 3 glass bottles
* 5 juice cartons
* 2 odd socks
* styrofoam
* plastic pipe
* a paint brush (incl. grey paint)
* 8 plastic bottles
* a sachet of sunscreen (factor 15)
* a light bulb (complete)
* plastic bits/ bags
* a silicon container
* aluminium cans
* 9 plastic coffee cups
* straws
* string
* a feed sack
* a watermelon
* 2 onions

5.5kg of plastic lifted from Happy Beach

rubbish face

Broken hearts

It’s been a while since I have published anything on the Happybeach site.
The winter and spring was as pleasant as one could dream for. With plenty of beautiful sunshine, fruit on the trees, eggs from the chickens, long, peaceful walks – and even swimming, weather permitting. Happybeach lived up to her name.

paradise
Paradise

Of course there were still collections to make (few items mentioned below), and I cleaned the beach when required with my fun-loving companions; Eddie and Molly.

eddie and molly watching point
Eddie is downstairs, Molly upstairs

During our walk yesterday beloved Eddie found something to munch on, usually this is totally off limits but I didn’t manage to catch her in time. Unfortunately it contained rat poison and took her life. We were far from help and there was nothing to do. Eddie was the gentlest, most life affirming little rescue dog, who was dumped in a litter bin when only a week old. A local shelter saved her life, and she joined us at Happybeach last March.

I am very grateful for the time I had with her and am dedicating a page on this site to the memory of Eddie. She was the Queen of Happybeach. She knew every inch by smell, conversed with the gulls, swam in the waves and let every visitor know that she was around. RIP little soul.

checking out the beach
Queen of Happybeach

The collection included:
* Countless bits of plastic
* A pair of lady’s knickers
* Pipe
* 10 shoes
* Ghost net
* 25 raw plugs
* Bottle tops
* Lego
* 9 Smartie lids
* 1/2 cassette tape
* 1 teddy
* clothes
* 1 flipper
* 2 toy soldiers
* Straws
* Frappé cups
* 5 fishing lures
* 1 white plastic table
* 2 10 liter canisters
* Sunhat
* 1 red pepper
* Shampoo bottles

Kilos lifted off Happybeach this winter and spring: 20,5

war monsters
Enter a caption