“Welcome on board the Watercare Harbour Clean-Up Trust boat. Our day begins with a run-through of the boat’s extensive checklist and the completion of the log book. The skipper records the weather conditions, fuel levels, tide times and the names of those on board. Last but not least, a crew safety briefing is completed.
"It’s time to cast off – the ropes are let go and we motor out of the marina to begin our daily run along the waterfront. We scoop up litter from the viaduct, around Princes Wharf and in front of the Ferry Terminal. Plastic bottles, wrappers and polystyrene are the usual haul.
“We then head to our scheduled location – it could be Takapuna Beach, Tamaki or Whau rivers, or Herald or Rangitoto islands. Whatever the destination, you can be sure we will find litter.
“We anchor the boat on arrival and lower the kayaks into the water. Now the real work begins as we kayak to the shore, mudflats, or mangroves. Pulling the kayaks up above the tide mark, we begin to fill the rubbish bags. Bottle caps, tooth brushes, lighters, children’s toys, car tyres… too many different objects to name on one page! The volunteers are amazed as most of them don't expect there to be so much litter.
“When we’re through, we transport the rubbish bags to the boat and lift the kayaks back into place. It’s then time to wash the mud off and head home. Once the load has been taken to the recycle bins and skips and the boat has been scrubbed down, we complete the log and call it a day.
“This routine is weather dependant but generally speaking, it’s similar from one day to the next. I hope you’ve enjoyed the insight into our work.
“Let me finish by thanking the volunteers who give up their time to help keep our beaches and waterways beautiful. We really appreciate your support!”
Captain Ben Harris