May has been an incredible month. I have been fortunate to have had some wonderful adventures that thought me a few things about the ocean and peoples love for it. On the first day of may I set out with some friends to dive rabbit island. We saw three humpback whales cruising east. That is quite late for the whales migration back to Alaska. Especially because adult whales don’t feed during their stay in Hawaii. They come here to give birth in the warm shallow bays. The young feed on the mothers reserves through their milk. They calves also have a safe place to learn how to dive and hold their breath. This becomes important fro the long migration back north.
The second week in May I took some other friends to Lanai look out. It was their first time diving that sight. We began by walking through a tunnel under the highway. After jumping off a a cliff to enter the water, we dove through swim throughs, next to soaring walls and pinnacles. For our exit we had to squeeze through an underwater lava tube to get to the tide pools. During this dive we all began as observers. Little by little we independently started to gather pieces of led and line that was wrapped around the reef. As we traveled along the wall, more line was evident. Active fishing line revealed the story behind how the line ends up as coral entanglement. Despite the marine debris, we enjoyed the vibrant life that thrives on that exposed coast line. What I enjoyed most was after the dive we all emptied our bags and pockets of what we had brought up from the reef; line, plastic, led and hooks. These are the kinds of divers who I am grateful for. Those who go out on a reef and try to leave it better than when they found it. These are divers with a purpose, and I know there are millions of us out there. I want to build that community of divers and people of like mind, so we can have a greater impact.
Sunday the 19th I went with Jake Taylor (Trees to Seas new Chairmen) to China Walls. A clean up dive had been scheduled a few weeks in advance. At that time we didn’t know about the huge swell that would hit the south shore of Oahu. However on that particular Sunday the waves were a steep 6 – 10 ft high and we were unable to dive, so we decided to BBQ. When the surfers came out of the water we had burgers waiting for them. They were stoked, especially because it was free. We got some spectators to partake in the BBQ too, casually chatting about the message of how can we help keep the ocean clean. We were met with enthusiasm and joy. Something about free food and saving the ocean put people in a great mood. The surf show helped a bit too. China Walls attracts all kinds of recreational activities. Like Lanai look out, China Walls is used heavily as a fishing sight, and often has a lot of derelict gear that gets wrapped around the reef. The clean up dive brings more peoplee that can make an impact on the amount of trash extracted in that area. Not only can we remove a lot more trash but we attract attention from others, and they want to know what we are doing. This is where the community begins, with a dialogue. The community that we are trying to build involves people who are interested in acting as stewards of the environment. This includes caring for everything between the ocean and the sky. We are connecting individuals actions in their communities with the health of the reef so we can protect it in our daily lives.
- Use reusable plastic bags and bottles
- Avoid buying food and goods that come in excess plastic packaging.
- Reuse your plastic containers. Yogurt, salsa and other pre-made products come in great Tupperware.
- Recycle each piece of plastic instead of throwing it away.