Everyone who spends time in the ocean will have seen how huge the plastic pollution problem is - it's washing up on beaches, entangling wildlife, and travelling to every part of our global seas. But there's another problem which is a little harder to see. When these plastics break down, they never go away. They simply fragment into smaller and smaller pieces, becoming plankton sized (and eaten by filter-feeding whales, fish & corals) or even "nano" sized (so tiny they can move between cells and into the bloodstream). We're just starting to understand the huge impacts these microplastics can have on the health of the ocean, and ourselves.
My research as a marine biologist has focused on plastic in the ocean, and what this means for us humans. I was part of the team who documented the most plastic polluted beach in the world, the remote Henderson Island (in the Pitcairn island group, South Pacific), where several thousand pieces of plastic wash up every day from all around the world. While there I started to look inside commonly eaten fish species, eventually documenting the first records of plastic inside fish that people are eating in French Polynesia and across the Pacific Ocean. The more research I did, the more it seemed like the scientists had known about this problem for years, but businesses were still producing huge amounts of plastic waste. So for the past decade I've been working to share information & knowledge about the plastic pollution problem, and solutions that everyone can be part of to make a positive difference. Ultimately this is a design issue - making things we use once and throw away, out of a material which can last forever. It's up to all of us to stop supporting this bad design, to reduce the amount of plastic we use, and to support changes from businesses and legislation that can reduce plastic waste.
"Micro Plastic, Massive Problem" is a book I wrote this year to communicate the huge scope of this problem, alongside easy ways that all of us can be involved in being part of the solution. With the help of graphic designer Harriet Spark, we created a free book that is beautiful & fun to read, with the hope that people will read it and share it around. We have all the solutions we need to start addressing plastic pollution, one of the biggest threats facing our oceans, so this book can be a tool to help everyone learn more and get involved.
The book is now available in hard copy at the Mornington Yacht Club, or you can download it for free here: https://www.aliceforrest.com/micro-plastic-massive-problem
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Too windy for Sailing this weekend, but that doesn’t stop the junior and youth learning and having fun! Amongst a few rain squalls, everyone enjoyed games and theory from the land!
The Mornington Yacht Club has added a further six Opti junior sailing dinghies to its training fleet to cater for local children learning to sail in the Club's recently launched Try Sailing program. The Club is offering children 8-10 the opportunity to experience sailing at no cost on four consecutive Sunday morning training sessions during the sailing season. The sessions are being run by the Club's experienced training staff and are aimed at providing a friendly and interesting program for the children.
The purchase of the dinghies was made possible by donations made to the Mornington Yacht Club Foundation. The boats were christened at a ceremony at the Club recently and have been named after significant boats in the Club's history namely:
-'Morning Mist'-one of the Club's leading keel boats Alf Neate's boats sailed in 12 Sydney to Hobart races, 3 Melbourne to Hobarts, and 9 Queenscliff to Devonport races.
-'Flying Cloud'-Max Rodd's catamaran which was used as a stable platform to train Mornington's junior sailors for many years.
-'Wild Thing' -won line honours in the 2001 Sydney to Hobart. This boat was designed by local member Don Jones, was built in Mornington by member Mal Hart and sailed by Grant Warrington with a number of members in the crew. 'Wild Thing' competed in 18 Sydney to Hobarts.
-'Firefly'- Kevin Willey's last yacht . Kevin joined the Club in 1947 and sailed at the Club with distinction for over 50 years in a number of classes.
-'Pamken'-Pam and Ken Donaldson were leading members of the Club and wer active in keel boat racing in their yachts 'Obsession' and 'Marie Louise'.
-'Warringa'- a former Commodore Murray Barnett's yacht. Whilst Commodore Murray's emphasis was on nurturing the family friendly atmosphere at the Club.
The christening was conducted by family members connected to the boats, and by Don Jones and Kevin Willey who were able to attend in person.
The Club's Try Sailing program will be conducted throughout the sailing season and anyone interested in participating should contact the Club on 59757001 or email@example.com,au. There is no cost involved and the Club will provide all of the equipment needed including life jackets.
With Covid-19 restrictions and limited berthing and hospitality at Blairgowrie Yacht Squadron, the ORCV is committed to running the Cock of the Bay yacht race, in a modified format.
As we have done a few times this year, we have modified our sailing plans and will shake off 2020 with a fun day out on the water this Boxing Day. To allow yachts to finish and cruise on or return home and be there in time for sunset drinks, the ORCV Sailing Committee has decided to shorten the length of the Cock of the Bay course to 22nm and will finish off Mornington.
There are already 60 boats entered so come join in the fun this Boxing Day, entries close 18th December. Enter here
Luckily we are protected in a Southerly! Our keen opti sailors weren’t put off by the rain squalls and had a great morning on the water!
The 420s and Lasers took on the big breeze and massive swell in the late morning and early afternoon, but unfortunately one 420 mast broke!
The open opti sailors hit the water again for a second session, with 4 sailors doing the afternoon racing.
Opti Race results:
Trophy Race 1 & 2:
1st – Mavis Laverty
2nd – Leigh Harvey
3rd – Lucy Laverty
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