Turning the Last Afternoon into a Beach Clean-up:
Scuba divers around the world will tell you that at the end of a scuba diving vacation, we`re always left with the Last Afternoon.
What`s the Last Afternoon? It`s the afternoon before the day you fly back home after a dive vacation, which means no scuba diving. For many this is a chance to catch up on their sun tanning by the hotel pool, and for others a chance to enjoy a few drinks. But for Action Scuba, our Last Afternoon is a chance to give back to the local environment by organising a beach clean-up.
On our most recent trip to Little Cayman, we wrapped up our excellent group scuba diving vacation with a visit to Point of Sands, a beach at the tip of this small island. While it’s a beautiful spot for sunbathing and snorkelling, and is a must see for most visitors to Little Cayman, it is also a magnet for trash, which washes up on the shore year round.
Point of Sands is an excellent place to see just what kind of trash is floating around in our oceans, tossed away hundreds or thousands of miles away, and coming to rest here.
So armed with a large roll of heavy duty garbage bags courtesy of Reef Divers at Little Cayman Beach Resort, the Action Scuba gang headed to collect and record some of the trash at Point of Sands on Saturday, March 10.
In just 1 hour in the afternoon sun, 9 Action Scuba divers collected 11 jumbo bags of trash, mostly plastic bottles, bottle caps, shoes, bits of rope and fishing lines, and assorted plastic cutlery, food containers and soft drink cans. In fact, the vast majority of the rubbish we collected was originally recyclable materials that should have properly disposed of in the first place, rather than carelessly discarded just to end up washing ashore in Little Cayman.
We recorded our findings for Project AWARE and documented the garbage situation with photos. Check out our photos here
Our divers were dismayed at the sheer volume of trash, and with our haul of 11 bags, we managed to only clear a small area. In fact, if we had spent all week picking up rubbish instead of diving, we would probably still have not collected it all.
But at least we did our part, and each one of our divers went home with a renewed appreciation for the need to reduce, reuse and recyle properly. Our reward for an hour of work was to snorkel around the reef we`d just helped clean up, which reminded us why the effort was worth it. We were even lucky enough to spot a Lemon Shark, a sight rarely seen in this area. Perhaps he was stopping by to thank us?
We`d like to send out a challenge to scuba divers everywhere: on your next scuba diving vacation, why not make that Last Afternoon count for our oceans? Set up a Beach Clean-up on your last day. Even if you donate just 1 hour of your time, you can make a huge difference in the local environment and can help change perceptions. Project AWARE makes recording your data easy and you can share your stories and photos just like we`ve done.
Help us make the Last Afternoon a scuba tradition!