WOW! After hiding for two days in my bunk during our rough Bass Strait crossing (it was so rough no pictures were taken by anyone)
I thought I would be happy to step on dry land! But no, after the stunning sunrise, near glass out and the ‘mugging’ on our last day, as soon as we get to shore we can’t wait to get out there again.
We have to be patient, with a day off on shore before the daytrips start. But there is no time to ‘waste’ as within minutes Paul spots a pelican entangled in plastic pollution…As active members of Australian Seabird Rescue we know what to do…but sunset nears and an agonizing wait for the next day begins, hoping the girl will be back and not worse by the morning. By 8am Jenny from the Sapphire Coast Marine Discovery Centre stands at the wharf with a bucket full of fish scraps to lure in the pelican lady. But the big bird is nowhere to be seen. So we spend the day exploring popular pelican hang outs and distribute posters for the East Coa
st Odyssey at the same time – we spot ourselves in the local paper & hear the ABC radio interview David (our Captain) was great, and the first bookings for the daytrips roll in… now we are under pressure to find that pelican ASAP! –
As I start luring in some other pelis at the boat ramp, she joins! – and what a cheeky bird she is and that’s great, she is an easy catch with the most preferred method the ‘beak grab’ . The other birds just look on, still hoping for more fish…She’s a fighter but we remove the hook neatly and give her a thorough examination. She’s fine – and we mark her with #24 and release her the same day.
It’s just a fantastic feeling to hold these beautiful birds. I love how soft her fluffy feathers on the back of her head are and every time I am amazed by the beauty and size of her wings (wingspan of the Australian Pelican ranges from 2.3m to 2.8m!) –
Back to the sailing! – The Coast& waters of Eden are stunning, and we finally manage some trawls without jellies! – Sadly always some small bits of plastic are present –
Even the day-trippers that came more for the sailing are intrigued & astounded by the findings.
Between the trawl and spotting yet another plastic bag we experience breathtaking feeding frenzy with dolphins, seals and all kind of seabirds. It was one of my favourite experiences! –
The dolphins can’t decide whether to continue feeding or riding on our bow, this stirred the seal and they come over for a look to see what this Yukon is all about…As we retrieve the bag fragment, I wreck my brain for solving this problem sooner than later !
We have partnered with the Discovery Centre and the Killer Whale Museum for a shore clean up – and the locals are inspired and we have 10 people to join us. The foreshore doesn’t look too bad – but sadly we soon find out that right there at the wharf and break wall , between the rocks, it’s thick of rope and fishing net pieces – that means we only manage to clean about 20m of shoreline! – We later count over 2000 pieces of rope& net! – Amongst the usual: a bucket of flip-flops, take away containers, plastic bags, lots of bottles and cans and much more.
While everyone else is gone sailing on the last day, I head up to the Candelo Markets where we raise funds thought the sale of ‘solutions’– not a bad day, I even sell out of Onya-weighs, the clever little re-usable produce bags that Pauls friend Trish makes, here in Australia! – Also our new Tasmania made organic palm oil, crude and plastic FREE shampoo bars are a winner, with a big thanks to ‘Beauty and theBees’ for the speedy delivery
Images of the East Coast Odyssey in EDEN:
Blog by: Silke Stuckenbrock- co Founder two Hands Project In 2012, Silke was awarded the Manly Eco-Award for her pioneering campaigns to stop plastic pollution. Silke is available for workshops on plastic pollution.