Our second year attending Looe Festival of the Sea and I think we brought the rain again with us this year too. As soon as we arrived at 8am it started to rain, so we quickly set up our gazebo (upgraded from last year with our logo’s printed on the canvas) which looked amazing (even in the rain) but it kept us and everything inside dry and wind free.
The dive for debris was not due until 1pm so we had plenty of time to setup our display in the gazebo. There was already an event happening on the beach with several people doing weight lifting exercises and bashing rubber tyres (just for fun).
Around 11am the rain stopped and the sun started to make an entrance and the public started to arrive and looking around everyone’s stands.
The 5 divers kitted up after a quick safety rec of the area to assess sea conditions and the diving plan. It was 2 hours from high tide, so we split up into 2 teams and made our way into the water. The sea was relatively flat with only small surges, visibility was approx 5-7m.
After our scheduled 60 minutes both teams arrived back on shore and the beach had changed dramatically from when we went in. A bouncy castle had popped up, hundreds of people had appeared from nowhere and the rafts for the raft race had all arrived waiting to start shortly.
The marine debris collected was brought to the front of our gazebo and displayed on a sheet to be analysed and recorded for Project Aware statistics. A total of 17kg of debris was collected between 5 divers with 2 hours diving time.
It is always surprising how much the public/families start to interact when they see what debris has been brought up, either curious of what the items are of, or just disappointed to see what rubbish/litter has made its way into the ocean and hidden from human view but not from marine life.
The divers along with Zillah and Nat thoroughly enjoyed talking to the public and promoting our cause to protect our oceans, with everyone taking a real interest especially with us hearing old stories of Looe from the locals.
So the start of the day did not look promising, but it certainly ended on a high and the sun shining. Thank you to everyone involved in the planning and preparation of the day and to all the other stall holders and volunteers. We will surely be back again next year (this time with more sunshine).
Please visit the Looe Festival of the Sea website for details of the day and for future dates of next years event.