Friday 8th June: Poole Harbour Boat Show - Day One.
As the information boards went up, along with the deck tents we had another “wow - this is really happening” moment, but soon were busy preparing our various exhibits. These will develop as we learn more answers to our many questions about sea plastic pollution but currently detail the ways in which we are trying to cut our resource usage (especially of single-use plastic) and also include some great info-graphics from the RYA Green Blue initiative and the EU sponsored Sea Change Project.
The tents have been brought along to keep the British weather at bay but, rather than sheltering us from rain, they mainly served to keep the sun off our heads on the first day of the show. The tides were less amenable however - with low water in the middle of the day leaving visitors with a bit of a climb down the quay wall ladder to reach our deck. Nick did his best to welcome people and encourage them down and about 25 people did come aboard during our 4 hours as an “open boat” with many more talking to us from the quay and reading our info boards.
One couple who visited seemed already quite knowledgeable about the subject and quickly engaged us in a discussion about nurdles (small pellets of raw plastic - the form in which it is transported before being turned into products and packaging). They suggested that we should have a display showing people how to recognise them as they are often found on beaches but people don’t recognise them for what they are. When we said that we’d love to but didn’t have any to show, they promised to return bearing gifts which they did a couple of hours later, complete with an identification chart and a collection of nurdles and beach plastics that they’d also found. The bottle of them that they’d donated held over 4000; a 2016 report estimated that between 5.3 billion and 53 billion nurdles are lost from UK industries per year!
Another feature of the days in Poole turned out to be the amount of plastic trash that floated by our little Clean Seas Embassy. Over the three days we managed to half fill one of our deck buckets with an assortment of pens, straws, food wrappers and (of course) plastic water bottles. This turned out to be a very powerful exhibit to draw attention to the fact that this really is a problem around our coasts too - not just out in far away places.
Want to find out more about nurdles? This website has some great information on nurdles and you can join the Great Nurdle Hunt too https://www.nurdlehunt.org.uk/
Odyssey Log: 26.7 nm.
Total Engine Hours: 6 hours.
Total visitors = 25 people, plus chatted to more on the quayside