8 months, 15 days ago
It’s World Oceans Day on June 8th and we have a question for you: How long does it take a plastic bottle to decompose in a landfill site? The answer is, 70 – 450 years.
Dump a bottle in the ocean and it takes hardly any time at all to break down into infinitesimally small, plastic micro-beads. And no one’s quite sure how long they hang around polluting the water and irreparably damaging its fragile eco-system.
International awareness of the catastrophic effect of plastic pollution is World Oceans Day theme this year. So spare five minutes to think about all the aquatic life that mistakes deadly plastic micro-beads for food. Consider some species are already under threat for that fatal error alone and pledge to do your bit by supporting Wave for Change.
And since the World Oceans Day’ mission since 2008 has also been, ‘to celebrate together the beauty, the wealth and the promise of the ocean’, enjoy the view.
The Cliffs of Moher on the West Coast of Ireland are over 8km long and look out on the North Atlantic from a height of 214m. On a clear day you can see tiny Inis Mór, Inis Méain and Inis Oirr, watch seabirds wheeling around mighty An Branán Mór stack and glimpse the Puffin colony on Goat Island.
Santorini’s spectacular sea view is one of the world’s most accessible caldera. Yes, Gunung Batur on Bali is described as ‘walking with gods’, but you have to work pretty hard for that reward. On the famously romantic Greek island, all you have to do is bag a seat on one of Fira’s pretty terraces and wait for sunset.
Aphrodite was born between Limassol and Paphos on the south west coast of Cyprus. If you find that hard to believe, visit Petra tou Romiou. Also known as Aphrodite’s Rock, it’s part of the island’s most breathtaking seascape. Not enchanting enough? According to legend, if you hang around on the pretty beach for a bit, you may see the waves rise round the rock and briefly take human form.
Just off Northern Spain’s coast, close to the border of Portugal, the Cíes Islands are a tiny trio of loveliness commonly known as the ‘Galician Seychelles’. The water isn’t as warm, but everything else is in place from pristine white sands to remarkable sea views. Best vantage point to appreciate the wild Atlantic magnificence all around, is the narrow slip of beach linking Illa do Faro and Illa de Monteagudo. The Cíes are protected nature reserves, but there are ferry crossings all summer long from Vigo on the mainland.
It’s the gorgeous Amalfi Coast and there’s no shortage of long ocean views to linger over. So take your pick from perilously steep and cute Positano to Sorrento’s cliffs and the craggy hills round the little town of Amalfi itself. For us, it has to be Ravello and specifically the Infinity Belvedere at Villa Cimbrone. The wide open sea panorama here will take your breath away and the villa isn’t too disappointing either.
For sheer grandeur, few places can match Bonifacio. Set on an enormous cliff rising straight out of the Mediterranean, this town in the far south of Corsica is almost as famous as Santorini for views. If you want a different perspective, boat trips take visitors to sea to look back at Bonifacio. Avoid this one unless you’ve a strong stomach, it can get a little bit bouncy out there.
There are so many reasons to put this coastal park on your to-do list, it seems mean-spirited just to mention the views, but they are good. Think of all those gorgeous Western Algarve beaches with the wild Atlantic swell and huge rock formations. Then think much, much bigger, more spectacular and almost totally deserted. Even with that image in mind, you can still expect to be struck silent with awe.
Shetland is not the Caribbean of Scotland and any time that description is filed under, ‘never use again’ will be just fine. But, stand on the narrow sand strip connecting the mainland with tiny St. Ninian’s Isle and on a clear day the sea view is simply stunning.
Happy World Oceans Day. Here’s to disposing of waste responsibly and making sure misguided zooplankton aren’t eating poisonous plastic micro-beads on our watch.