Hi everyone, Pat and Theo here, coming to you live from the remote Southwest Tasmanian wilderness!
Today was another long hard day, we: 1. Pulled up the boat's anchor and sailed along the coast. 2. Anchored near Towterer Beach and went ashore in the little boat. 3. Set up our bush classroom, studied aboriginal history and recorded animal evidence. 4. Cleaned Towterer Beach and found TWO MESSAGES IN BOTTLES! 5. Returned to the boats, sailed north again, anchored in a rocky bay and went snorkelling and fishing. 6. Counted the rubbish, sang songs and went to bed feeling very tired.
Now, let us tell you a bit about the messages in bottles: - Lisa found the first bottle, it had been thrown off a sailing boat competing in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race. - The second bottle had been thrown from a French Polar research ship when it was at the Kerguelen Plateau in the southern Indian Ocean. It had lots of information and one American dollar note!
It seems these two bottles have arrived in this wild place from different directions, probably on two different ocean currents. Can you find the two currents that brought the two bottles to Towterer beach in SW Tasmania?
And thanks for the message from Glen Huon Primary yesterday, and the suggestion to use the Adrift website to track plastic. Maybe you can research exactly where the Kerguelen Plateau is and click on that area to see where the message in a bottle could have washed up (if we didn't find it first).We will give you more information about the bottles when we return to Hobart.
Pat wants me to write about what it is like to live and work down here, here are some descriptions: - You have to check the weather every morning. - You have to have a big breakfast and extra food and water in your back pack. - You have to wear warm clothes, raincoat and a life jacket when you are zooming about in the small boats. - You want boots if you are landing on the sharp rocks, and crocs if you are landing on the beach. - The sun burns quickly and the mozzies are hungry, put on sunscreen twice a day and insect repellant in the evening. - Microplastics are everywhere, especially between the high and low tide lines. - Plastic bottles and bait straps get blown up into the dunes. - Counting rubbish on a rocking boat is very hard but gives you important information about the litter problem. - Listen to the experts, Captain Adam is an expert and a great guy!
Towterer Beach is an important site for Aboriginal people and historians because there are some giant middens on the sand dunes. A midden is an occupation site where Aboriginal people gathered to cook and eat shellfish and other sea animals. They are often a campsite too and you can often find tools mixed in with the bones and shells.
This coast is the traditional land of the Ninene people, who are unique in that they tended to camp in one place for much longer than other Aboriginal people, they built strong huts and even ate leopard seals. There are some grassy areas on the hills behind the beaches, these are there because the Aboriginal people burnt off patches of the bush to make it easier to hunt larger land animals.
Theo and I have been telling you a lot about how remote and wild SW Tasmania is, and how it is only really visited by tough fishermen, walkers and a few rugged tree cutters and miners in the past... Well let's not forget that the Aboriginal people lived here all year round and this was their land first.
Mulchahy Beach cleanup tomorrow.
Little bonus for today's report is a brief audio clip of volunteer Claire introducing herself and why she's come on this adventure more than once.