Category Archives: turtle

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

New life and old plastic…

It’s a joy to revisit the coves and rocks, pools and dunes of Happy Beach after a long summer up north. In my absence the beach has been cared for by our kind housesitter, who discovered a struggling hatchling from one of the turtle nests. He cleaned her up, and helped her take her first little strokes in the welcoming sea.

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photos courtesy of Leif Weston Andersen

Over the last couple of weeks a fair amount of debris has been washed ashore due to turbulent waters as the island approaches Autumn. Collection of the day included:

1 EUR Palet
1 plastic bag
1 saw (claimed)

Saw

13 bottle tops
5 aluminium cans
2 plastic cups
1 hoody
1 hypodermic needle
Assorted plastic

colours

Styrofoam bits
1 bottle of bleach – empty 😦
1 bottle of dish soap – 1/5 remains
1 lighter
4 fishing floats
Big piece of blue plastic
1 metal bottle top
4 bits of pipe (black and white)
Odd lid-thingy with dots
3 plastic bottles
2 broken bits of Lego
1 E

E

A total of: 6.5kg lifted from Happy Beach today.

Suddenly this summer…

After longer spell abroad it’s a joy to return to a hot, summery Happy Beach. The sea is turbulent and, as always, endlessly attempting to discard our rubbish back on the shore. One totally heartwarming homecoming event is; that the turtle nests are hatching!! We had a visit from the Cyprus Wildlife Society today, who register nests, and dig out the hatched eggs to see the progress.

turtle eggs

This is such exciting news, and as it turns out, the nests seem to be doing well. We marked off the nests when we found them 6 weeks ago with sticks to try to protect them from playful visitors and the occasional car driving on the beach. Now the baby turtle are making their epic journey into the sea. Here are some tiny turtle tracks…

turtle tracks

Collection of the day:

* 13 plastic bottles
* 2 flip-flops (not a pair)
* 1 broken sun-bed

sun bed

* 1 glass bottle
* 2 bottle tops
* 1 beer can
* Assorted plastic
* 2 plastic espresso cups
* 8 straws
* 1 aubergine
* 1 phone cradle (red plastic)

phone home

turtle beach life…

Am back on Happy Beach for a short spell, and summer has truly set in! Hot nights and hotter days, thankfully there is a constant breeze from the sea and plenty of rock pools to cool you down. The sea is so stormy that swims aren’t an option but the beach is relatively clean. Though there is always something to do. Yesterday a wonderful surprise appeared on our remote shore:

turtle tracks

Sea turtles have made their way to the edge of the beach to nests their eggs. We found three in total. One had sadly been dug out by a fox or dog. We marked the other two with sticks, and are looking into ways of protecting them. August Full Moon should see the hatching of baby turtles. Such joy!

nests

Collection of the day included:
* 5 straws
* 1 broken plastic sack
* 1 syringe
* 1 vodka bottle
* 7 plastic bottles
* 1 salt tub lid
* 2 aluminium cans
* 16 bottle tops
* a broken broom
* a pen lid
* 3 yoghurt pots
* sheets of plastic
* 1 juice cup (with lid and straw)
* 3 clothes pegs
* assorted plastic
* assorted styrofoam
* 2 broken balloons
* string
* 1 fishing float
* 1 cigaret end

broom

doubles and despairs

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.

silk cuts

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.

nutella

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.

turtle

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.

Collection of the week:
* 1 rubber glove
* 2 hypodermic needles
* 1 plastic flower
* 2 silk cut packets
* 1 broken fishing rod
* 6 beer bottle tops
* 5 cigaret butts
* 8 plastic cups
* 2.7kg of stinking plastic bags 😦
* 11 plastic bottles
* 2 pens
* 2 biro lids
* 1 pair of flip flops

flip-flops

* Assorted plastic
* 3 clothes pegs
* 1 smartie lid
* 2 Lacta Lov’ it chocolate wrappers
* 2 Nutella lids
* 1 canister for Rust Remover (empty)
* 2 Styrofoam box lids
* 10m of strange plastic tape (at least)
* 1 pair of jogging pants (junior size)

lid 2foam lid