Saturday 12 June 2010

A quick detour to the UK for World Oceans Day

Hi all

It’s me Ed and guess what, Im back in the UK for a few days. I had to come back and take part in the Adur World Oceans Day Event which takes place on the edge of the river Adur very close to my local beach.
I arrived in time to help my buddy Steve set up a display about my travels and I brought along some of the things as well. I heard that the event would be guarded all night by a security chap.

As the display included my journal and several other valuable items I volunteered to stay at the marquee over night and give a helping hand to keep everything safe. I did get to have a sleep for part of the night too as I needed to be refreshed for the days event.

I was going to give the Friends of Shoreham Beach (FoSB) a hand on their display. As you know Shoreham Beach is my local beach, which is also a nature reserve because of its rare vegetated shingle habitat. FoSB help to keep the nature reserve safe and also teach people about this rare and important habitat. The FoSB people at the event said that they had lots of helpers this year, so they would be okay without my help, so I could concentrate on telling people about my travels, the amazing wildlife I had seen and the terrible damage too.

As you will know, the fact that this rare habitat at Shoreham is threatened by climate change and other global issues was the reason I started my travels in the first place. I popped over to the beach first to check on the plants as they are at their most spectacular at this time of the year.
This is one of my favourite shingle plants, Sea kale

Here I am taking a close look at the sea kale - this one has started to produce berries

This plant is calledViperes Bugloss

The event officially started at 10.00am but people were already looking around the exhibits at 9.30am. The World Oceans Day Event was housed within a large marquee on coronation green right on the edge of the river. This was a great location.
Next to me my stand was the Shoreham Angling Squad so I made sure I had the chance to swap tips with them. Later in the day, one of the fishermen set up his gear on the river and I was very tempted to join him, you know how much I enjoy fishing.
We spoke to lots of people about the amazing places I had visited and the fascinating wildlife I had encountered such as whales, seals, sea otters, turtles and much more. the local newspaper told everyone I was coming to the event so lots of people turned up to find out what I had been up to.
A lady spoke to me about these amazing leafy sea dragons she had seen in an aquarium in Japan. I told her that I was planning a trip to Australia very soon and I was hoping I would get to see leafy sea dragons while I am there.

People also had the chance to look through my journal, which they said was really fascinating.
It also contained lots of pictures (taken by Ron) from my visit to Ron Hirshi and Fred the Monkey and my trip with them to Hawaii – many of which have not appeared on my weblog. The journal also included my trip to Spokane where I was cared for by Methea Sapp. People could see a selection of some of my own collection of seashells and other objects from my travels.
I told people about the important wortk that Fred the Monkey and Ron Hirshi have been doing to raise awareness of marine litter and the deadication to cleaning plastics from tehi local beaches in Marrowstone Island and Hawaiian Islands. I gave them Fred's weblog address so that they can find out more about the amazing things he has been doing. I told people that they could also see what happened when Fred and I first meet last year. If you haven't aslreay checked out Fred and Ron's site, its here

I also had an activity to warn people about acid oceans, caused by the oceans absorbing too much carbon dioxide from the air.
This is making the oceans more acidic – I put an empty seashell into a weak vinegar (acetic acid) solution to demonstrate just how even a weak acid can dissolve the seashells, corals and other animal homes made from calcium. Steve and I also spoke to a lot of children about my adventures and showed them how they could follow my adventures on my blog.

World Oceans Day was a great event. I had a look round to see the other displays.
This is part of my buddy Steve's other display about local dolphin sightings

These tanks with local marine creatures where set up by the British Marine Life Study Society

The local rangers had a facsinating display about the sea strandline - all those fascinating shell, eggcases and other objects washed uop by the tide.
I decided not to get too close to these snappy edible crabs
I popped over to see how the Friends of Shoreham Beach were doing. This is part of their litter display. As you can see they were very busy with vistors so I didn't want to interupt them.
This is the display about the nature reserve, the fascinating plants and wildlife.

The event was really busy so I thought I had better get back to my display
It was a brilliant day. I said goodbye to my buddy Steve and headed off to the airport so I could get back to the USA.

Bye for now.Ed

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