This May marked a year since I had my first clean up dive with Environment Divers. So what was my first year with them like? I had been looking for a clean up group for a while, one that actually cleans up the ocean, and after searching and diving with several groups in the South East Queensland area, I finally found Environment Divers. These guys seemed more passionate about the waters, they was a genuine feel of "we care", and above all, their actions speak louder than words, and they actually get in the water and clean out the crap.
I remember my first dive with them, and it's probably a dive I will never forget. I had only got my advanced cert less than a year prior, and it was my first dive for several months due to other commitments. But the thing I will remember most, was just how poor the visibility was. I had dived in "washing machine" like conditions before, but this was a whole new level. It was my first time diving the Gold Coast Seaway, and trying to follow the fins of fellow divers was near on impossible. Add in the fact that we were stirring up the sand on the bed as we were digging out the rubbish, by then you could honestly not see your hand right in front of your face. We ended the dive with a about 3 or 4 of us digging and cutting some carpet out of the sand......yes, you read that right.....carpet left on the seabed. Which we then had to drag to shore to get it out.
After that first dive, I was kinda hocked, and keen to get myself involved with as many of their events as possible.
The year has taken me to some cool places, including clean up dives at the Scottish Prince on the Gold Coast, Mooloolaba's La Balsa Park and Moreton Island's Curtin Artificial Reef, as well as spending a weekend camping up at the beautiful Inskip Point for a beach clean.
I have also found that it has helped me drastically improve some of my diving skills as well as my confidence. The most notable improvement is my air time, as I now regularly achieve 1 hour+ dives at 10m+ depths. My knowhow on finding and collecting rubbish is improving too. I still have a lot to learn and gain, but am confident the more I dive the greater my knowledge and skills will improve.
The one thing that surprised me the most about doing these clean ups, is the amount of rubbish. I mean, I was always expecting big volumes, but it's just never ending. Although it does give you more of a sense of determination and drive to keep doing these clean up dives, and keep doing your part. We're never going to completely clear the world of all of the rubbish left here by people, but the hope is that the more we do, the less rubbish there will be. Another hope is, the more we do, the more people take notice of the garbage issue, and hopefully do their part too. And then who knows, if enough people are chipping in, then maybe we can rid the world of all of our rubbish, or at least reduce it drastically.
Another incentive to keep diving with Environment Divers, is the group dynamics. Good group of people and great banter! Every dive is a great laugh, and I do look forward to seeing everyone again with each dive I attend. Very open group too, not too clicky, so new members are always welcome and welcomed in......so what are you waiting for, come join us today.....