Turtles Against Trash – A Sunny Sunday in Swanage
One of the best things about diving is the freedom and serenity that you get when underwater and also the joy of finding new places to explore that most of your friends and family will never see and being one of the privileged few that gets to see marine life in its natural habitat.
One of the worst things however is having to get up at the crack of dawn as the sun is starting to rise and pretending to function enough to travel to the coast! I’m not convinced that even the most stunning and beautiful sunrise in all of the land would make this any less painful but on a clear sunny Sunday in September it was that time again and Team Turtle made their way to Swanage.
The plan for the day was easy, take some newly qualified divers for their first experience in the sea diving amongst the stunning marine life of the pier and then take them on a second dive, along with some other, more experienced divers, to complete the Dive Against Debris specialty.
The first dive went well and the group were confident and excited to get back in the water.
Everyone split into small teams armed with net bags, cutting tools, torches and gloves to start combing the sea bed for items that would be better off placed in a rubbish bin than under Swanage pier.
Each team worked diligently and methodically to pick up the rubbish but also managed to spot an array of marine life including pipe fish, large wrasse and crab hiding away in some of the larger debris that’s been on the sea bed for so long it has become their home.
Once at the surface with all of the debris laid out and collected there was quite an (un)impressive haul. We’d collected a wide range of items from food cans, rope and other discarded metal work to fishing line, nets, a Stanley knife and even a few coins all of which we logged with project AWARE and then disposed of.
The gang all enjoyed the experience of making a difference and really felt as though they had achieved something positive. Here’s hoping that this happy bunch continue to help clean up the marine environment on each future dive that they make.