The cleanup expedition started on Friday. Everyone who was was taking part in the three day cleanup began by meeting at The Little Gloster. The team was out on the water for three straight days and camped along the shoreline at night. All of the plant-based meals provided over the course of three days were designed by Chris from The Vegan Build. The participants took all of their meals with them as they traveled around the Isle of Wight.
On Saturday, the team met up with Eds Tents at Compton Bay for a big pan vegan feast and to do a beach cleanup with 4Ocean volunteers and Surfers Against Sewage. Compton Bay is located on the southwest section of the Isle of Wight. Its north western edge is defined by Freshwater Cliff, a distinctive white chalk cliff. The cleanup was a great success and there was a great turnout from the local community to lend helping hands to remove trash from the beach and coastline.
After a great day of cleaning and hanging out, it was time for the team to continue on their mission as they paddled and cleaned through many types of wave conditions to make their tidal check points. On Sunday, the last day of the cleanup, they paddled a colossal 30 miles non-stop through wind and choppy seas but ended the circumnavigation with a flat sea and sunny skies.
It was truly a special experience for a group of inspiring characters coming together to support a united effort to make us think of how much plastic we consume in our daily lives and be part of the new age of conscious adventure!
Charlie Head, who was the lead in organizing this circumnavigation, had some inspiring words for us about his experience that we can all take away from:
"We filmed the experience and the lessons we learnt about our physical and mental health, along with the fight against plastic. As soon as we started this campaign our contagious awareness of what we eat and buy has changed us all to make decisions we may not have made until we pulled together. Our use of plastic is nothing short of a drug addition and is choking our waters, animals, and ourselves. We are all realizing our impact in the world and the effects of our daily choices. A united journey like this can really empower us to make little changes that can change the world."
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As we got closer to the ocean floor, we began to approach a reef; this reef was nothing short of epic. The colours were bright and everything appeared to be healthy with marine life flourishing... that was until the current changed. Within seconds, this heaving reef became surrounded with plastic and rubbish.