Clean up Australia founder Ian Kiernan is a passionate yachtsman, sailing competitively for more than 40 years, representing Australia at the Admiral's, Southern Cross, Dunhill, Clipper, Kenwood and Trans Pacific Cup competitions.
In 1986/87 Ian fulfilled a long-held dream by representing Australia in the BOC Challenge solo around-the-world yacht race. He set an Australian record for a solo circumnavigation of the world. It was during the BOC Challenge that Ian saw and was appalled by the amount of rubbish choking the world's oceans. He committed himself to do something about it on his return, starting in his own backyard - Sydney Harbour, organising a community event - Clean Up Sydney Harbour on Sunday 8 January 1989.
There was an overwhelming response from Sydney residents, with 40,000 volunteers turning out to lend a hand to clean up. The huge success of the first Clean Up sparked national interest in the simple but effective community-based idea. And so, in 1990 the first Clean Up Australia Day took place on Sunday, January 21.
Now an accepted community activity we look forward to Clean Up Australia Day on Sunday March 7. In North Queensland, communities and councils are aiming a clean ups during a cooler time of the year.
Oceans of junk
Others have found novel ways of highlighting junk in the ocean. One, the Junk Raft, was 30-feet long, built on six pontoons filled with 15,000 plastic bottles; deck is made of salvaged sailboat masts, and four sails speeding it along at roughly 2 knots, to make about 50 miles per day. It took three months to sail to Hawaii from California. Note from crew: Most dangerous moment? Driving to the Long Beach Aquarium on the day of departure.
Another awareness raising project is 'Plastiki' a distinctive, one-of-a-kind 60-foot (20m) catamaran made out of reclaimed plastic bottles and other recycled PET plastic and waste products.
Adventurer and ecologist David de Rothschild plans to sail across the Pacific Ocean starting in San Francisco, later this year ending his journey in Sydney, after a planned visit of several sites of ecological importance including the Great Barrier Reef in an attempt to draw attention to the amount of waste disposed of in our oceans.
Swim for the Reef
Two ultra marathon swimmers - Rob Hutchings and Todd Cameron plan to swim the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef, starting in August 2010. Spanning 2300km (1429 miles), it will be the longest multi-day ocean swim ever completed. -
This Saturday, the boys will be joined by local tri athlete Christie Leet. They plan to swim from Whitehaven Beach to Catseye Beach on Hamilton Island - a distance of 14.5 kms. There will be a meet and greets at the Airlie Beach Lagoon Friday at 5.30 and later at Coral Sea Resort.
Great Barrier Reef Swim - http://www.gbrswim.org/
Distress hoax fine
A hoaxer who sparked a huge air and sea search costing £24,000 (A$42,200) after falsely claiming he and a friend were lost in a dinghy has been fined £2,500 (A$4,200).
The 21-year-old tied up RNLI lifeboats, a helicopter and police units for two-and-a-half hours after he made a hoax phone call saying he had got lost while on a fishing trip.
He said they were very cold and he was particularly worried about his friend's physical condition. Eventually, Welsh police traced the distress call, which showed the men were safely onshore.
The accused received a 12-week prison sentence suspended for a year. Magistrate Peter Loxdale said: "This was very serious and the costs were colossal. The only reason you were not jailed is because you are full of remorse."
Mariners are advised that the Q(6) + LFl.15s light on the south cardinal mark beacon which is about 0.5 nautical miles south-east of Bird Island has been restored to normal. AUS charts 252, 254 & 825
Fair winds to Ye!