Bowen Island Dive Against Debris

Yesterday's Dive Against Debris on Bowen Island was a big success. There were 8 scuba divers who came out, three or four kayaks and three or four power boats. The Vanapneist contingent consisted of Sean Smith on kayak and Greg and myself in the water. We all walked on to the ferry with Sean's kayak on wheels. The whole event pulled over 1400 lbs of garbage from Manion Bay.

Greg and I were the first in the water and Greg immediately came up with the first catch: a DVD player. I found a DVD player later and also muscled up a bicycle, a couple of tires and a small generator. Greg and I found a boom box each within a minute of each other. Greg found a computer keyboard and I found a musical keyboard. We needed boat support to bring up a couple of batteries, an engine block and a fibreglass dinghy that we found. One scuba team worked almost exclusively on bringing up a pile of several large batteries and another dive team brought up a sunken plywood sailboat in pieces.

Unfortunately, I think if we were to head out tomorrow we could pull out the same amount of stuff. So why all the mess? The bay is full of boats, some with people living on board and many of the boats have been there for decades. There was one big sail boat that I remembered from our very first eelgrass survey in that bay in 2003. One of the masts had fallen off since then. Lots of parties, renovations and accidents on a lot of boats over several years.

This was definitely one of the best organized underwater cleanups that I've been to. The boat support was terrific, there was a tent with refreshments for afterwards and the gathering point could not have been closer to the ferry dock. It also helped that it was a clear sunny day with flat water.

I told Amber that the Vanapneists would come out with a bigger contingent for next year. Mark this weekend on your calendars for 2013. I'm sure we'll get more notice for next event.