September begins! Unfortunately despite all of our preparations to start our underwater cleaning the sea had other ideas ... the Northern wind is back and the waves are now a few meters high. Since we had two repeat customers who wanted to dive one more morning with us, we decided to give it a go and went out on the boat earlier this morning. Silva Reef was our best protected option for dive sites, but still the visibility was down to less than 5 meters with a lot of surge. Silva Reef is a nice easy dive site constructed of a rocky-reef surrounded by sand at maximum depths of 12 meters. Recently we have also found ancient tombs in the flat plateau sections of the rocks so it makes a very interesting site to visit.
The second dive was defiantly cancelled as the waves grew too much and our nice customers’ appearance was becoming green and dizzy. So despite efforts the only piece of debris we managed to collect today was one 5 meter length of plastic fishing line caught up in the grasses.
Dive Log: 01/09/2013. Location: Silva Reef. Time in: 10:09. Time out: 10:39. Max Depth: 10.5m. Dive time: 30min. water Temp: 27 degrees. Conditions: Storm diving :)
Not a great start to the month ... the higher winds and wavy conditions continued onto the 2nd so all diving was on hold. Yesterday we were also pool bound due to some course starting, so there was no action to report from the sea.
Today however, was a success. With 2 boat dives in the morning and one from the shore in the afternoon we were back on track with removing debris. During the first 2 dives the biggest item found was a 70cm diameter metal ring from Amphora Reef, along with smaller trash such as glass fragments and plastic bottles. From the shore dive in the afternoon in the House reef of course there was much to find. With 3 customers accompanying me the bag was quickly full, many hands making lighter work and faster cleaning! The most random item found was an old cassette tape and unfortunately the name of the artist was long gone from being visible. Plastic fragments were defiantly the majority ticked on the tally sheet, together with a surprising amount of shoe inner soles and tin can tops. There is still much more to remove from this site but it already looks better after just one dive :) Thank you to our customers today for supporting the cause and helping to collect the rubbish found during their Discover Local Dives.
Total weight of trash removed so far is 6 kg!
Dive log: 1: 04/09/2013. Location: Silva Reef. Time in: 10:26. Time out: 10:52. Max Depth: 9.5m. Dive time: 26min. water Temp: 26 degrees. Conditions: average.
Dive log: 2: 04/09/2013. Location: Amphora Reef. Time in: 11:37. Time out: 12:05. Max Depth: 10.5m. Dive time: 28min. water Temp: 26 degrees. Conditions: average.
Dive log: 3: 04/09/2013. Location: House Reef. Time in: 15:19. Time out: 16:09. Max Depth: 6.8m. Dive time: 50min. water Temp: 27 degrees. Conditions: calm.
On the 5th we again had very wavy conditions with stronger winds so no diving :(
On the day 6 both of us had to finish Open Water course, with their open water boat dives 3 and 4 on Silva Reef and Amphora Reef – many congratulations to our students, excellent new divers! – but the only trash we managed to remove was an alcohol bottle and some canned drink pull tabs.
Dive log: 1: 05/09/2013. Location: Silva Reef. Time in: 10:31. Time out: 10:59. Max Depth: 9.6m. Dive time: 28min. water Temp: 22 degrees. Conditions: average.
Dive log: 2: 05/09/2013. Location: Amphora Reef. Time in: 11:38. Time out: 12:07. Max Depth: 8.3m. Dive time: 29min. water Temp: 26 degrees. Conditions: average.
Yesterday, day 7, we had a single boat dive to the Messerschmitt Me109e plane wreck. Conditions were excellent, a glassy sea and great 25m+ visibility. Another good point is that we found zero debris. So good news to report from this dive site!
Dive log: 07/09/2013. Location: Messerschmitt. Time in: 10:12. Time out: 10:52. Max Depth: 27.8m. Dive time: 40min. water Temp: 25-27 degrees. Conditions: pretty perfect :)
Today we had a full boat of AOW divers and above, so a nice group to continue the search for debris during their fun dives. We completed two boat dives during the morning, the first to St George and the second to Kori Reef. There was notably very little trash, the usual fragments of plastic. Although, at Kori we found a huge stretch of plastic fishing line complete with hooks from one side of the dive site to the other. We removed this line, not only was is a danger to divers but it had already got entangled in the rocky reef with no sign of the fisherman coming back to retrieve it – although we would prefer to save the lives of our fish friends in any case of the fisherman coming back or not ;) The line must of easily measures 50+ meters.
Also, the past 3 days we have had the annual arrival of the Cotylorhiza tuberculata jelly fish. They are not of any threat to humans and only have a mild sting, but they are very beautiful – I have posted one of my photos of the jellys in the DFD album if you want to check it out. At a glance they look like a floating burger from the surface as there body is brown!
Total weight of trash removed so far is 7 kg!
Dive log: 1: 08/09/2013. Location: St George. Time in: 10:38. Time out: 11:20. Max Depth: 12.4m. Dive time: 42min. water Temp: 26 degrees. Conditions: Calm.
Dive log: 2: 08/09/2013. Location: Kori Reef. Time in: 11:57. Time out: 48. Max Depth: 9.9m. Dive time: 51min. water Temp: 26 degrees. Conditions: Calm.
The month is way past half way and we are still doing well to tackle the underwater debris day by day. When the weather has been kind we have been diving, and with our customers always being amazing at helping we have managed to remove some interesting trash...
Over the past 8 days together we have made over 20 more dives. In the majority of boat dive sites we can now see the results of our work, now it seems we are only removing recently dropped trash that is clearly from the passing boats. Items like kids plastic beach shoes, wine bottles, tissues, cans cans cans and even spear fishermen equipment have been found.
The things we find on the House Reef are endless and without some kind of better beach regulations sadly there will probably be no change. With beach loungers, umbrellas and tables crowded up against the water’s edge it is no surprise for us to see many of them relocated underwater after stronger waves. The beaches themselves are kept clean by the ‘beach boys’ and local regulation however the tourists do not hold such value for the environment abroad. Around the 10th there were stormy conditions again, and after which we have had to again remove the beach furniture to the shore. Despite this, after regular trash removal the site is slowly improving, but being on a small very busy beach our hopes are not long lasting until the season ends. Shoe insoles and flip flops are common, plastic parts and drinks cans are the majority, but all the older pipes and metal bars have now been removed. Look at some of the photos in the gallery to see our trash box mounting up.
Total weight of trash removed so far is over 12 kg!
End of September
Our month of action here at Creta Maris finished yesterday but the battle removing underwater debris continues. Despite all of our efforts to regularly clean each of the dive spots new trash always finds its way back. For all the boat dive sites the efforts have paid off. On repetitive dives to these dive sites we find very little returning, but the House reef remains a challenge. The same has happened since the last blog entry, with even the slightest wave brings the trash and beach furniture back into the sea. Unfortunately, this is out of our control. The summer season money making may always be more important to people then something they cannot see under the water, plus it is also a trying time for Greek people with the current economical crisis.
During September we made a combined total of 40 dives collecting a ...
Total weight of trash over 25 kg!