Hawaii UnCruise – Ocean Cleanup Event

Pulling debris from the ovean.(Blog by Keith and Sandra Merwin)

On Tuesday as the Safari Explorer transited from Lanai toward the island of Maui through the National Humpback Marine Sanctuary everyone was watching for humpback whales. While we did see humpback whales that will be the topic of another blog post. What else we found that day is our current subject. As I have covered in past posts the bridge on the Safari Explorer is open for passengers to visit. We were on the bridge using binoculars to search the ocean for whales when Captain Rod saw what appeared to be a piece of fish net floating on the water. Heading in that direction the Captain got on the radio and called for crew members to get ready to pull the net from the water and dispose of it.  It turned out to be a lot larger than he thought with the final estimate being 750 to 1000 pounds of debris including lots of net, rope, plastic pieces, fish, a dead turtle and some live crabs. The crew took time to remove anything that was still alive and return it to the water.Sea life saved from the debris.  It was so large and heavy that the crew had to rig a block and tackle to a railing on the deck above where they were working to haul it aboard (see picture above). All of this took more than an hour.

Several members of the crew worked even longer to cut everything up and place it in trash bags for storage until it could be hauled ashore and properly disposed of. They ended up filling more than ten large heavy duty trash  bags. It was a lot of work for the crew and something that they didn’t have to do. They could have radioed one of several groups clearing the net and debristhat do this type of cleanup and gone on with their day. But the whole crew pitched in and made sure this debris was removed from the ocean before it could kill any more ocean life. They even had to pay to throw the debris away, as with all the trash they haul ashore. So UnCruise Adventures doesn’t just say they care about the ocean, they demonstrated it on our cruise. The local news covered it and you can see a video on the event here: http://khon2.com/2017/03/24/whale-watching-expedition-encounters-massive-ocean-debris/