Thursday, May 14, 2009

Treasure Trash

Aloha & Welcome to da Beach,
Click on photos to enlarge A Clark Little masterpiece (c) (above)
"Show me a sane man, and I will cure him for you."
Carl Jung

Blue Fairies Pagoda

"If we opened our minds to enjoyment, we might find tranquil pleasures spread about us on every side. We might live with the angels that visit us on every sunbeam, and sit with the fairies who wait on every flower."

Samuel Smiles

Ke`ehi Small Boat Harbor, just under Honolulu Airport's flightpath.

"Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop."

So THAT"S where my bicycle is!!

Living on our boat brings with it responsibilities to the sea, and to the environment. It wasn't always that way. Sailors used to consider the deep one big trash dump conveniently close at hand. Did you know that Jetsam is what is jettisoned from a boat? That Flotsam is what remains on the surface after a boat goes down?

Humans love to live near the shore, and everywhere we settle the coastline grows as a result of all the junk we like to toss nearby. Much of lower Manhattan is built on this "Fill land" and Honolulu the same. We know that Honolulu harbor, back when it was a worldly forest of masts,, was much closer to King Street than it is today.

My boating neighbors and I, being modern, eco-minded people, assiduously remove our garbage to the receptacles provided. Nevertheless, undersea O`ahu is far from pristine. Out on the sparkling leeward coast, for example, the military disposed of tons of surplus armaments after WWII forming what some local recreational/ food-gathering divers have dubbed: "ordinance reef." Only now is that all being cleaned up! Kids used to string "shell" lei of strange porous "stones" found at leeward beaches and call it "Hawaiian Jade." Just a few years back someone took a closer look and realized that these were little incendiary charges! Decades in salt water, yes, but possibly volatile after all. Happily, I recall no stories of such a lei killing anybody.

Robin Bond, Operations Manager of a new outfit: Wikoliana Educational Excursions at pier 7, appears to be the first person in decades interested in Honolulu Harbor below the surface. The guy's a diver, and noticed lots of - shall we say "junk" - carpeting the bottom. Take it from Robin, no one's living in a pineapple down there, just car batteries, fishy bicycles, and the odd freezer or handgun. "Whose job is it to clean this up anyway?" he wondered.

Remember the saying about changing lemons into lemonade? Well diver Bond began to envision a Harbor Stewardship program to remove and recycle the refuse - all with the participation of school children. Educational excursions can teach many lessons, it seems.

Soon the bureaucrats were "on board" this feel-good project that would cost them nothing. And then Schnitzer Steel showed up at pier 7 with a big dumpster and a willingness to recycle the items retrieved. Proceeds will be shared with participating schools. Grants and volunteers are most welcome!

Beginning May 19th at high noon, divers will utilize "floats" to surface the junk, then a large crane will convey it, dripping, to the Schnitzer dumpster. Wikoliana intends to begin it's original mission of taking groups on educational harbor excursions later this Summer.

Which keiki (child) will be the first to excitedly tell mom & dad over dinner:
"I wanna be a maritime trash collector!"

And what will they find down there? Amelia Erhart? Every one's retirement account losses? The world's discarded common sense?
One thing they WON'T find is my refuse!
But if you DO find my keys, or my sunglasses, or my lost dinnerware, Mr. bond, I'll be grateful. Somehow I know there will be plenty left to recycle. . .

ALOHA, Cloudia