Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Hassel Island Clean Up


Most of my time in St. Thomas was spent on eco excursions and the first was to historic Hassel Island.  From the lovely Frenchtown Harbor pictured above, I kayaked with my trusty St. Thomas expert Karen, to  Hassel Island.


Now a part of the Virgin Islands National Parks, Hassel Island was originally a peninsula with a narrow isthmus between it and Frenchtown. The St. Thomas Harbour formed on the west by Hassel Island, was the major entry point for vessels sailing the Caribbean.  There was once a coaling station for ships to refuel and a marine railway.  Today, Hassel Island is a picturesque strip lined with crumbling 17th century forts and  because of its tradewind heavy location, lots and lots of trash.


Our group of 10 volunteers spent an hour picking up the bottles, cans,straws and cigarettes that wash up on the island's shore. The sun blazes down on the sand and there's little shade.  It was definitely a task of eco love made more lively by the talents of our guide Frank.

A self-taught harmonica player who ripped out hearty blues tunes, Frank knew just the right accompaniment for toiling under the sun.

17 comments:

Maxine said...

Looks hot work. How anyone could litter (let alone in a place so lovely) is beyond me.

A Cuban In London said...

You've just given me the perfect mix: sea, sand and bluesy harmonica vibes. I could just move there and become the local binman. Any vacancies going? :-)

Greetings from London.

Fly Girl said...

Maxine, I don't think people even think about how their one little piece of litter creates a bigger problem. Thanks for visiting.

Cubano, it really was the perfect mix! Don't think there's any vacancies since noone lives on the island.

Catherine said...

looks a beautiful place to visit.. and what a shame so much rubbish is washed up there..is it recycled??

Fly Girl said...

Catherine, the trash was loaded into a boat and taken to a recycling center.

eden said...

What a beautiful place! Same here, some people litter everywhere even if there are signs around. That's nice of you to get involve with such kind of activity. We have our clean up Australia Day sometime every March (not sure with the date). I didn't get a chance to participate last March but hopefully next year. I really want to help conserve our local environment.

Fly Girl said...

Eden, I think more people are becoming aware of the importance of taking care of the environment but the cause still needs more visibility.

Cate said...

The beautiful places seem to attract the most litter, but at least people are getting in and cleaning it up. I've noticed a lot of trash along Palm Beach mainly comong from cruise ships. That was a bit of a shock for me.

Fly Girl said...

Cate, it is disconcerting to see trash alongside beauty. I can't believe they let litter collect in Palm Beach!

Roland D. Yeomans said...

To litter in Eden is a true crime. Bravo for laboring under the blistering sun to help out. You have a lovely blog, Roland

Fly Girl said...

Roland, thanks! I appreciate your kind words.

Mary and Sean said...

There's nothing like music to get you motivated!

Fy girl, you always go on fun excursions. How did you find out about this one? I'm interested in eco-tours too.

Wendy said...

Kudos for cleaning up. What a gorgeous place to kayak despite trash.

Fly Girl said...

Mary, I've been to St. Thomas so many times so I was looking for a fresh story angle and came up with eco and volunteer travel.

Wendy, the kayaking was wonderful!

Rachel Cotterill said...

It's one of the unfortunate things about the coast, isn't it, that so much stuff washes up onto the beach. Good on you for helping to clear it up!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

People never think when discarding litter, and just leave the problem.

You and the others did a great job.

My 1000th post is up now.

Fly Girl said...

Rachel, I love coasts and I was never aware of this problem until I went to St. Thomas. I feel compelled to spread awareness about how litter impacts our environment.

Jean-Luc, congrats, heading over now,