I thought I'd write a blog post about what else I get up to during the winter months - my job on the ferry is only seasonal (April to the start of October) so I have to keep myself occupied for the rest of the year. There are very, very few year round paid jobs here (as tourism is really our main 'industry') so through the winter I try and find some voluntary/community work to keep me busy.
I've been a beach comber for as long as I can remember - always looking out for the interesting and unusual things on the beach, and part of that includes trying to leave the beach a better place than you found it. So for the past few years I've undertaken 'beach cleaning' through the winter months. It gets me out in the fresh air and working in an environment that I adore and where I feel comfortable and at home :)
I've been concentrating on just one beach so far this season - and today I finally am able to say that virtually ALL the rubbish down there is now bagged up! The total of bags filled is approximately fifty - but there also are all the things that are too big/awkward/heavy to put in rubbish sacks. This morning my lovely friend Jana went down there with me to bring all the sacks of rubbish, broken up lobster pots etc to one place on the beach, ready for collection.
It has taken me several weeks to get to this stage, working on my own up until this morning - having Jana's help for this last stage was amazing -- it would have taken me so much longer to lug the bags etc back to 'base' -- as there were two of us, we were able to use an old fish-box that had washed in on the tide and were able to load it up with two bags each time and carry them (and other pieces) back to 'base'.
Here are a few 'before' and 'after' photos to record the difference!!
Jana took a couple of photos of all the rubbish together in the one place so I will put them on here when she uploads them to her computer - it was shocking to see it all together like that though - but hopefully we will get the local community together to get it up the side of the cliff and taken away.
Now that I've finished working on this beach (apart from going down maybe once a month to keep on top of whatever has washed in on the tide) I can move on to work on another beach! Our coastline is just so amazingly, breathtakingly beautiful and the least I can do is to collect the rubbish and try and do my bit to preserve that beauty.