Waste In Oceans – Basic Questions And Answers

How does waste in oceans get into the sea at all? What is so dangerous about plastic floating around in oceans? Why do animals eat our plastic garbage? Ten questions on the topic of “waste in oceans”.

waste dump oceans (c) Steve Spring - Marine Photobank
waste dump oceans (c) Steve Spring – Marine Photobank

NABU, a Berlin based organisation, has been looking after nature, wildlife and humans since 1899. Their manifold activities and tasks include the protection of endangered species, preservation of rivers, moors, lakes and oceans. And, last but not least, to get humans out into nature again. To enjoy it, to see how precious it is. Plus, to make them understand that a lot needs to be done to keep it all in a healthy state.

Every now and then, news will bring some information on waste in oceans. They cover its extent, apocalyptic future, and it is all our fault (of course). Many folks, however, would like to have a basic understanding of how this came about, the danger coming with it and – ideally – what to do.

NABU has put together a couple of questions and answers on this topic, and here they are. Continue reading “Waste In Oceans – Basic Questions And Answers”

Adventurous Lady DAGMAR AAEN

She’s rather advanced in age, and yet she can endure more than any one of us. She has worked hard most of her life and is now enjoying the pleasures of cruising the world – preferably in inhospitable areas. DAGMAR AAEN is her name, and she chose Arved Fuchs as her owner to get the extra dose of adventure in her sailing life.

DAGMAR AAEN and ice (c Arved Fuchs)
DAGMAR AAEN and ice (c Arved Fuchs)

I cannot really remember the first time her name came to my attention. Maybe it was while reading articles about Arved Fuchs’ “ice sails”. Or maybe it was when checking on the details of the “Arctic passages”. Whatever it was, she has since then been a synonym for me with regards to seaworthiness, tradition, adventure, challenge and reliability – an old school sailing boat.

A book has been dedicated to DAGMAR AAEN, and when quite unexpectedly I saw her “for real” in Flensburg (Flensburg museum-harbour) and laid my hand on her planks, all I wanted to do was sail and live on board. Phew. Continue reading “Adventurous Lady DAGMAR AAEN”

Fishing For Litter In North And Baltic Sea

Fishing for Litter - NABU - Class Schroeder
Fishing for Litter – NABU – Class Schroeder

In recent years, fishermen in the North Sea and Baltic Sea found that the volume of waste in their nets has increased steadily. To support them with disposing of that debris properly, the project “Fishing for Litter” (F4L) had officially been kicked off in the region of Schleswig-Holstein back in May 2011.

The initial talks between local fishermen, NABU and regional partners started in Burgstaaken on the island of Fehmarn. They quickly defined common goals and objectives. The speed of progress brought more fishermen, cities and their harbours in play.

In 2014, the counties of Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony (Niedersachsen) started supporting the Fishing for Litter initiative as well. With that, from a financial perspective, they made it a bit easier to organise and set up the infrastructure needed. Continue reading “Fishing For Litter In North And Baltic Sea”

Why Do You Like Sailing?

Sometimes a question gets fired into your comfort zone, and the first idea of an answer is something like “That’s easy, because… ehm… it’s obvious!” That’s what’s happened recently when a friend posed a very simple question. “Why do you like sailing?”

sailing into the sunsetSo, what is it about that sailing business? Apart from a perfect chance to get rid of as much money as you can afford – and sometimes even a lot more than that – why can many sailors simply not get enough of sailing? I’ll try to put into words the first couple of thoughts that crossed my mind after I had been asked that question. Why do I like sailing? Continue reading “Why Do You Like Sailing?”

Get Paid For Ocean Cleanup Mega Expedition

At last, a chance to earn some decent Dollars while sailing on our oceans: The Ocean Cleanup offers quite a bit of money to skippers and boat owners to support them in their quest to get more information about the plastic in the Great Pacific Garbage Pitch.

Mega Expedition by The Ocean CleanupHow much plastic is actually floating around and polluting our oceans we do not really know. Studies have tried to figure that out, assumptions and estimates juggle with varying numbers. To get a much clearer picture, especially for the Great Pacific Garbage Patch,  the Ocean Cleanup “Mega Expedition” has been set up.

Continue reading “Get Paid For Ocean Cleanup Mega Expedition”

Plastic Pollution In Oceans – Potential Solution(s)

After decades of ignoring plastic debris in our oceans and its effect on water, wildlife and humans, the situation seems to be getting out of control. What is there for us to do? The not so good news: There is no single solution to the plastic waste problem. Some slightly better news: Various possibilities exist or are about to be called into existence. Let’s have a look at some of those solutions.

bird's cadaver showing not digested plasticIn a previous post I have had a look at the so-called “problem domain” regarding the plastic pollution in our oceans.

What can we do to minimize, if not eradicate the long term impact to our complex planet Earth?

The main steps for a solution, at least as of today, seem to be:

1. do not use (and produce) plastic at all, or at least reduce consumption
2. clean up plastic wherever it can be found
3. stop plastic being spewed into oceans
4. clean up the oceans.

Continue reading “Plastic Pollution In Oceans – Potential Solution(s)”

Cruising With Kids

Sailing around the world, kids on board, having the time of your life. Really? One who certainly knows is amazing Dini Martinez, s/v Happy Dancer. Enjoy her wonderful, inspiring and encouraging article.

cruising_with_kids_a_navigator_is_bornWe’ve been living aboard Happy Dancer, our Moody 425 centre cockpit sturdy sailing boat for over eight months now. We, that’s me, a 30 year old yogini from down under, a 34 year old Argentinean accountant aka Papa, and our 3.5 and 1.5 year old sons. The youngest one was a mere three months old when we sold all our belongings in Sydney and left Australia to sail through and from the Mediterranean Sea. Continue reading “Cruising With Kids”

Plastic Pollution In Oceans – The Problem

Try this: Enter “plastic pollution oceans” into your search engine of choice, then click on pictures – still smiling? Thousands of tons of plastic enter our oceans every year. The effect on wildlife, economies and – ultimately – us cannot be denied and is immense.

marine debris on Hawaiian coast
marine debris on Hawaiian coast (Wikipedia)

Less than a hundred years ago plastic floating around in oceans, littering beaches and polluting birds, fish and other wildlife was unheard of. The waters were not clean back then either. But whatever the kind of pollution might have been in those days, at least it was something planet Earth and mankind could get rid of again, eventually. With plastic having turned up in our lives – and making it quite a bit easier on one end or the other – this has changed dramatically. Continue reading “Plastic Pollution In Oceans – The Problem”

BSPE2 – Energy Project Initiated

The budget nowhere near being covered. Showstoppers all over the place. Support and timeline on very shaky grounds. This just sounds like the ideal project for me! The topic is twofold: self-sufficient power supply on yachts (including e-motor), plus view of renewable energy projects along the coasts of the Baltic Sea.

How did I come up with the idea for such a project? It was the initial project a couple of years ago, “baltic sea. pure energy.” (website in German).

It is more than just appealing not needing to rely on external power sources on a yacht (including an e-motor). Also, I wanted to check out the status and progress of renewable energy projects all around the Baltic Sea. What has happened since then? Can it be applied to larger yachts for the ordinary yacht owner as well? How are the renewable energy projects doing five years later? Are new ones all over the place or has enthusiasm died off? Continue reading “BSPE2 – Energy Project Initiated”