We go to sea to enjoy the environment not destroy it. This section looks at the problem and shows you what you need to do to protect it.
In 2015 the French racing yacht L'Hydroptere attempted to break the speed record for sailing from California to Hawaii.
1000 miles offshore it got tangled up in plastic so many times it could not complete the journey anywhere near record time.
Yes, it got tangled up in tonnes of plastic 1000 miles from the shore!
Seabirds, fish and sea mammals don't know what plastic is. They often think plastic bags are jellyfish and either swallow them whole or feed it to their babies.
Would you feed bits of plastic to your children?
If you did they wouldn't get much nutrition out of it and if fed regularly on it may die of starvation.
What about pouring diesel or engine oil into the water? Would you swim in it? Why should animals if you wouldn't do it yourself?
what will our environment be like in the future?
Plastic takes more than 1000 years to degrade and it is estimated that 8 million tonnes of plastic ends up in the ocean every year.
By 2050 some scientists reckon that there will be more plastic in the sea than animals.
What gives you more joy? A plastic bin bag wrapped around your rudder stopping you from steering in a dangerous situation or dolphins porpoising at your bow as you sail on a beautiful sunny day in a Force 4?
Not all food quickly degrades in the water. Banana skins take up to two years to decompose. The same applies to bean husks and artichoke leaves (also made of ‘nature's plastic', cellulose).
As a general rule, if you can't eat it it should not go in the water. Keep it in a bag and take it to a bin when you go ashore.
Tips for sustainable development in seas and oceans
Some tips about what can and cannot go in the water:
Plastic and other oil products should always go in the waste.
They fall to pieces but end up in the food chain.
... such as nappies, baby wipes and women's sanitary products should be kept for the waste ashore. If they stink? Tie them up in a bag so the smell doesn't get out.
It should be recycled or kept in a bag to go to the dump ashore.
The same applies to any metals such as beer cans, food tins and tinfoil.
Look carefully at any liquids before they go into the water. Again, ask yourself whether you would eat it or swim in it? However the detergents that you use to clean yourself, the boat and in your daily chores can go in – there really is no way of stopping it!
If you see an oil slick forming in the water when your engine is running, you could have problems with your engine so make contact with us to get it checked out.
Protecting the environment is everyone's responsibility, not just bean eating vegans!
Read also in our Blog: Wind, water, sun and high finance
Table of Contents
The basics in sailing
Before departure briefing
Mooring and anchoring