Monday, July 28, 2014

11*11 Make a Wish

July 28, 2014

If you know me personally, you may know that my favorite numbers are sequences of ones: 11, 111, 1111.

We adopted our dog, Gigi (who is often featured on the blog) on 11/1, solely by coincidence (or was it?).  There is a lot more to that story that features 111, but I won't go into it here.

I often look at the clock at 11:11--don't ask me why; it just happens that way.   It is not intentional.

I notice sequences of ones everywhere.  So, of course I started searching for the meaning.  I learned that many believe 11:11 is the perfect time to put positive thoughts into the universe.   Some also believe that if you notice sequences of ones, it is a reminder to watch your thoughts and to be positive.

Last year, on the day before one of our turtle patrol walks, I had a strong feeling that John and I were going to find a nest.   I even mentioned it to Nancy, my friend and our project coordinator.  Guess what?  We did find a nest and it was nest number 1 on WB and nest 11 in the state. (111)!

This year, WB has one nest thus far and it is again nest number 1 for WB and nest 11 for the state.

I can't explain any of this; I just know I love those numbers.

So, imagine my surprise during our walk this morning when John said, "Look at her shirt". (see photo)

So, I made a wish, like the shirt says.  Actually, I made two.  I wished for another sea turtle nest on WB this year; and I wished for everyone to become aware of the importance of keeping our Ocean clean.

We didn't actually find a lot of big trash items this morning; it was more of the stuff that just kind of gets  away from you and blows in the wind.  However, we still picked up 197 pieces of trash (listed at the bottom of the sunrise pics).

Some people ask, "Why do you do this?".  My response is, "Why wouldn't I?"

Please enjoy the views from the shore this morning!

Here are our items:
16 cigarette butts
14 plastic bottle caps
2 metal bottle caps
3 plastic lids
22 straws/stirrers
1 fishing bob with hook
1 balloon piece
1 piece of painter's tape
7 fireworks
10 foam pieces
1 piece of green sea glass
14 plastic pieces
21 paper pieces
2 plastic bottles
4 aluminum cans
3 ziplock bags
4 plastic cups (1 of which I raced to fish out of the incoming surf.  I saw it from a distance being blown down the beach and eventually into the surf)

34 packaging items (including 18 plastic sleeves for kids' juice pouch straws)
1 sunscreen tube
1 small plastic bottle for bubbles
3 strapping bands
2 baby wipes
1 diaper
1 unopened pack of Motrin
2 bandaids
1 sock
1 hat
10 toys
4 shoes
6 hair ties
2 rubber bands
2 plastic zipties

I wish you a clean Ocean!

Friday, July 25, 2014

A peek from the Sun…..

July 21, 2014

The alarm goes off around 5:15 AM on Monday mornings at our house during the summer.  Why? Because we are dedicated sea turtle volunteers and we must get to the beach to walk our zone just in case a mother turtle came to lay her eggs while we were sleeping.  We always have hope, but this morning was not to be….

It doesn't matter to us; because it is always nice to start the work week off with a beautiful WB sunrise, even if we don't find a new nest.   The sunrises are always a little different, but never dull.  This morning was cloudy, but the sun still managed to glimpse a peek at this new day.  It was as if the Sun was letting everything and everyone know that it was still there and to not worry about a little cloudiness…..

As far as litter goes---it is generally the same.  Unlike nests, we never doubt we will find it and we always do!

Here are our finds for today:

10 cigarette butts
64 food wrappers or pieces of wrappers (12 of which are straw sleeves from juice pouches)

14 plastic bottle caps
2 metal bottle caps
7 plastic lids
25 straws/stirrers
6 plastic beverage bottles
1 aluminum can
2 plastic grocery bags
4 other plastic bags
4 plastic cups
4 foam cups
1 piece of rope
1 piece of fishing buoy
1 PVC fishing pole holder
1 balloon
1 cigar tip
7 fireworks & then the packaging

7 foam pieces
25 plastic pieces
22 other plastic/foam packaging
4 cigarette packaging wrap
2 chap sticks
2 hair ties
4 bandaids
2 mismatched socks
16 toys
1 boogie board

John with his reusable bag filled with beach debris

1 bar of surf wax
1 surf board leash
4 sunglasses
5 shoes
2 baby wipes
1 tube of suncreen
1 can of spray sunscreen
3 zipties

Every Monday, we usually run into Rick, who also picks up trash.  Rick is not a KIC volunteer, but he is in our book!  He says he walks zone 4 most every morning!   Thank you Rick for caring and for putting that "caring" into "action"!

John and Rick clean the beach.

Gigi and Kahuna always look forward to sorting trash with me.  Kahuna especially loves the way the reusable trash bags smell.  He always lays on them when I dump them out.

Gigi will get to play with the tennis ball you see here.  She is a happy girl!

Monday, July 21, 2014

A steep cliff on north end

Friday, July 11

I was excited and happy to return to zone 0 after spending the Fourth of July weekend out of town. Thank you to volunteer Celia Jones for subbing for me while I was away!

I have been quite lucky with weather so far this summer. Although the sky was tumultuous, I somehow dodged the raindrops and had a lovely walk.

As I began walking north of Shell Island Resort, I was surprised to see that the beach has been dramatically reshaped by recent storms. There is a very steep escarpment now; in some places it is a good 12-to-14 feet tall.

The majority of the litter I found came from in front of Shell Island resort and around the mailboxes, which is very typical. I have been finding lots of plastic cups lately, and I sure do wish people would stop using them in favor of reusable cups and water bottles. 

 My litter total for the day included:
- 1 styrofoam cup
- 5 plastic cups
- 1 pair of broken sunglasses
- 2 plastic water bottles
- 1 plastic toy shovel
- 2 cans
- 1 glove
- 1 large piece of heavy plastic
- 1 firework

There was also a large clump of debris at the bottom of my bag that was caked with wet sand and not really sortable.

Friday, July 18

Another perfect Wrightsville Beach sunrise... they will never get old!!

Our mild version of the Polar Vortex was a welcome surprise on Friday morning. It was cool enough on the beach that I almost put on a sweatshirt, but opted instead to feel the chilly breeze. It was fantastic.

There was a decent amount of trash in front of Shell Island resort (including some of the hotel's towels, which I always just place up near the hotel rather than taking them or throwing them away). As I walked around cleaning up, a man approached with a large, unleashed Australian Shepherd. The dog was galloping about and obviously having a grand time. My stomach plummeted, as I really dread having to say something to the owners of dogs on the beach. I have a dog, too, so I understand why people think it is a good idea to bring your dog out early in the morning, before it gets dangerously hot and before crowds of people amass. 
The dog ran right up to the perimeter of the bird sanctuary, and I cringed at the thought of a chick getting chomped or trampled. Fortunately, the Aussie then noticed me and decided I was more interesting than the dunes. He galloped up to me and jumped up, so I took the opportunity to grab his collar and hold him until his owner approached. 
I said to the man, "Hi, I don't mean to be a jerk, because I have a dog, too, and I love them. But it's a federal offense if your dog harms one of the birds in that sanctuary, so you probably should not have him out here."
The man replied, "Oh, he can't catch them." 
I said, "Well, there are flightless chicks in there right now..."
The man responded, "Oh, I didn't know there were babies. Ok."
And much to my relief, he put the dog on a leash and began to walk him back to the parking lot. Phew!

Overall, there was more trash in zone 0 than I normally find. I filled my entire reusable bag and it was rather heavy. Some of the litter was unreachable because it was on the top of the escarpment, and sadly, it had to stay where it was. 


 My litter total for the day included:
-1 broken boogie board
- 9 plastic sand toys
- 2 plastic snack wrappers
- 2 cigarette butts
- 3 straws
- 1 long, heavy piece of rope
- 1 Ziplock bag
- 1 plastic bottle cap
- 1 McDonald's french fry box
- 2 straw wrappers
- 5 plastic cups
- 1 styrofoam cup
- 4 plastic bottles
- 1 glass bottle
- 1 round plastic container (probably from bait)


Friday, July 18, 2014

Beach Bunny

July 14, 2014

Today was a very quick walk because we were on a time crunch; thus we divided the walk in half.  John started on the north end and I started on the south.

Luckily, the beach was relatively clean; but I really think it was due to such a high tide caused by our July SUPER MOON!

Mother nature was so beautiful and quiet this morning.

Here are a few of the items we removed from the beach.

25 cig butts
59 food wrappers
21 bottle caps
15 straws/stirrers
1 balloon
1 cigarette lighter
1 cigar tip
7 fireworks
4 shoes
1 pair of reading glasses
13 toys
2 boogie boards
1 bed sheet
2 plastic bottles
5 plastic cups
bits and bobs of other items
…and one beach bunny as I was leaving the Crystal Pier access.

Sunglasses and Sea Shells

When I am by the sea, I really wish that time would slow down.

On July 7th, John and I were prepared to find lots of trash.  And, we did find some, but not as much as we expected.  What we did not expect to find were 12 pairs of sunglasses!  Yes! 12!  We are wondering if a shipment container broke or something.   Sadly, none fit me and all the lenses were severely scratched.

John found all the sunglasses and I was happy to find this beautiful shell.

Here are some of the items we collected today:
11 cig butts
69 food wrappers
21 bottle caps
7 plastic lids
25 straws/stirrers
10 aluminum cans
4 grocery bags
2 Ziploc bags
5 plastic cups
1 foam cup
1 diaper
1 sanitary napkin
2 towels
1 boogie board
1 swim goggles
1 dive mask
bits and bobs of other items!

All this trash sorting makes Kahuna go cross-eyed!  He is up for adoption!
I was also happy to toss this shell habitat back to the sea!