The 11 things to do (or not to do) to stay pollution-free on a cruise

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green sailingYou know when, in toilets, you find the sign“please leave the bathroom as clean as you would like to find it“? The same goes for the sea: we all wish we could sail in crystal-clear, clean waters, surrounded by fish. And we can do it, if we first impose some rules on ourselves to safeguard the sea, which for many of us is a reason for living. Therefore, we present our summerguide with all the tricks to put in place for “green” sailing. If you have put at least nine of these into practice, you can consider yourself an accomplished green sailor

GREEN SAILING. THE ECO-SAILOR’S CHECKLIST

green sailing solutions1. Motor “in bubble”. Make sure your inboard (and possibly, the tender outboard) is in perfect condition so that fuel and oil leaks are minimized as much as possible (oil from a 15-horsepower engine, if it ends up in the water, is capable of polluting a body of water of about 5 square kilometers!).

green sailing2. The sea is not a dustbin. It may seem obvious to repeat, but every year we find ourselves sailing in a sea infested with all kinds of waste. Used oils, used batteries, mechanical waste: use the dedicated containers you will find in the Marinas. Then suffice it to you to know a plastic bottle in the sea is “disposed of” in 450 years, as for glass it takes much longer. Organic waste also pollutes: an apple core takes two months. Fauna and flora do not feed on these elements, so they are also sources of environmental contamination. On board, set up several containers (wet, glass, paper, plastic and aluminum) and carry on your recycling campaign.

marine pollution3. Wash without soiling. Don’t forget to rely on “zero-impact” products for washing on board, from the deck to the dishes. There are all kinds of them on the market now. To wash, equip yourself with biodegradable shampoo that works with seawater.

pollution4. Minimize water consumption. Fresh water, on board, is a precious commodity. If you have to wash, use seawater with the aforementioned shampoo. Once you have washed yourself, it is time to rinse with fresh water.To minimize consumption, simply open the hand shower for a few seconds above your head and then close it, allowing the fresh water to flow over your body, removing the saline.

Remember that dishes and pots and pans can be safely washed with seawater: if you make sure you have net bags on board (like the ones divers use to carry caught fish), you can use them as dishwashers. Drop glasses, pots and plates overboard after having dinner or lunch, and after a few hours, when you retrieve them on board, they will be perfectly degreased and simply need to be rinsed with fresh water. Another little tip: If you are sailing in clean water, you can use one-third seawater instead of salt water for the pasta.

sea5. Anchor watch. When anchoring in the roadstead, try to do everything possible not to damage the seabed. Avoid dropping anchor over poseidonia grasslands.

sea6. Respectful of boundaries. Below the coast and in port, when using the engine, always proceed at a reduced speed, obeying the posted limits. You pollute less but most importantly your safety depends on it.

sea7. Mainsail up. When sailing, if possible, always try to keep at least the mainsail hoisted, even if you are going by motor. The boat will be more stable and you will gain speed (unless you have the wind shot across the bow), being able to decrease engine rpm and thus pollute less.

sea8. Fairing without “secrets”. A smooth hull, without barnacles and algae, will result in less friction and therefore less motor consumption. Assuming you have given antifouling (by the way, always try to choose the least polluting antifouling possible; there are some water-based ones), check the condition of the live-aboard periodically during the cruise and if necessary clean it with a sponge and elbow grease.

sea9. Blackwater. If you have a black water tank, use it and do not dump it into the sea. There are marinas equipped for emptying; we recommend that you inform yourself by consulting paper and digital portolans. Do not use the toilet in still water or harbor.

sea10. Boat Green. If you are a geek and if you have the time, money and desire, there are a thousand solutions to reduce onboard consumption as much as possible: replacing traditional lights (if you haven’t done so yet) with LED ones, relying on an electric motor like Torqeedo Cruise, equipping yourself with “green” generators (hydro generators, wind generators, solar panels). In addition, a nice SUP could help you explore hidden ravines and caves in an “eco” way, without the help of the outboard: a nice way to keep fit while respecting the environment.

11. Respect for every creature. We’re talking about all kinds of creatures-from those around you in the roadstead (don’t make noise, don’t stay too close) to fish, turtles, dolphins. Do not get too close, especially with a motor. Fish only what is necessary and learn about regulations and prohibited specimens.

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