SailTrek | Episode 5 | Peace, Plastic, and History
(gentle music) - Hello again. Straight ahead on SailTrek. - New and exciting stories with great people. - And as always, we'll throw in a couple of surprises.
That's up next on SailTrek. (upbeat music) - Here aboard the Star Flyer, the pace of life is wonderful, relaxed, and mellow, but there's always a hint of excitement about what we'll find over the horizon. The same can be said about a peaceful garden. Tony Harris takes us there. (gentle music) (water splashing) (gentle music) (waves crashing) - [Tony Harris] There is no question that the Caribbean is filled with scenic wonders, rainforests, mountains, waterfalls, and gardens that are all part of a stunning natural mosaic. On the island of St. Lucia, we found such a place,
the Maranatha Prayer Gardens. A place of beauty, peace, and tranquility that will speak to all those who enter and walk its flower lined paths. (gentle music) The gardens were created by Hillary Chalmine who wanted a place where visitors could connect with nature and faith unencumbered. And he told SailTrek correspondent Germaine Georges it's part of his personal life mission.
(gentle music) The gardens are filled with over 30 varieties of flowers including torch lilies and dragon fires. (gentle music) There are gravel paths that take you to brightly painted pagodas where you can stop, rest, and contemplate life and its gifts. (gentle music) Or you can trek to the top of the ravine to a plaza where you can get a spectacular view of St. Lucia's most famous landmark, the twin Pitons. (gentle music) - That was the concept.
And so it started off with the, with obviously creating the space, planting the flowers, creating the pathways, creating the little spots where people could just have the privacy and the timeout. Also, we have a prayer hut for example where people could come in if they want to just shut off everything they could sit, and again reflect and connect and to pray and to be at peace with themselves and hopefully with God. So that was the initial concept and we wanted to open it up to the public. So for that reason there are no gates at Maranatha, that's deliberate. So anybody could pull up on the site for example after, after a journey and they exhausted and they're tired and they need to talk and they need to sit. They could just walk in and there are no fees.
So that's the concept and it's open 24/7. So again just encourage people to move away from the noise to find a space where they could align themselves properly. 'Cause we believe in people aligning with God. A space where people could be quiet and be at peace with themselves.
So that's the whole point of this. (gentle music) - [Tony Harris] The connection to nature is something that is very much a part of who the Caribbean people are and something they want to protect. (gentle music) - One of the great things we find each time we visit someplace new are the fascinating and unique people we didn't expect, like a photographer saving the ocean. Jim Scott has more.
(gentle music) (waves crashing) - [Jim Scott] The seas of the Caribbean are known the world over for their pristine shimmering beauty. (gentle music) But unfortunately that beauty is increasingly being replaced by plastics. (gentle music) These images of a plastic island floating off the coast of the Honduran island of Roatan were shot by veteran photographer Caroline Powers. She's been tracking the increase of plastics in the ocean for several years, and she is not alone. This is a worldwide problem. And one SailTrek global diary takes a look at in this report from our friends at Western Cape Government Trust.
(gentle music) - Plastic waste is definitely one of the biggest problems in the ocean that we face globally. Every year about eight million tons of plastic pollution enters the ocean. As we stand here and chat today, every minute the equivalent of one dump truck is entering the ocean. And so they tell us that if we continue business as usual, if we continue behaving in this manner, by the year 2050 there will be more plastic in the ocean than fish. That is a shocking realization. If you think about how the global population relies on the ocean for protein as a source.
The origins of plastic are actually very natural. But once humans get a hold of that resource, we actually denature plastic that it'll never ever break down into anything organic again. So anything plastic in the environment actually breaks up into smaller and smaller pieces.
And so it becomes scattered throughout the environment. You know, one plastic chair that breaks up into smaller and smaller pieces, or a plastic bag or a plastic straw, plastic bottle that lands up in the environment that breaks up into small pieces is really difficult to retrieve back from the environment. So we have to stop at that source rather and prevent plastic from even entering the oceans in the first place. Because plastic is breaking up into smaller pieces, becoming micro plastics, the fish are actually seeing that as food. So the small fish are eating the small bits of plastic, the bigger fish are eating slightly bigger pieces of plastic and the small fish, and then what happens? That goes up the food chain and who's at the top of the food chain? It's us. And so if we are fish eaters and a huge portion of the world, global population eats fish as a source of protein, that fish ends up on our plates.
You know, when we speak to audiences, I sometimes get a feeling, a sense that people don't know where to start. It's a bit of a panic situation. They don't know what to do. And so we ask people, just start with one thing and start to reduce your plastic footprint. Single use plastic.
You know, you get other plastics that are long term multiple use plastics like telecommunications. Your laptop, your car mostly is made of plastic. But those single use items, items that we use so fast, and we take for granted and we throw away like straws that take less than a minute to make and they're used for a few minutes and then they're discarded and then they stay on the planet forever.
We ask people just to start with one thing and decide like maybe you can do without plastic shopping bags. That would be a great place to start. What we also encourage the public to do is to get involved with beach cleanups. Now we're not gonna solve the problem necessarily by picking up trash from the beach, and we really have to turn off the tap at its production level, right? But the benefit of doing a beach cleanup that we found is that this actually brings the problem more to the forefront of the general public's awareness. And so when you do a beach cleanup and you realize what's actually on the beach, it's quite fascinating because suddenly you'll think about trash differently and you'll think about the trash that you use differently.
And maybe people will stop using straws. You know, when we do beach cleanups and people find micro beads, they look like, we call them mermaid tears, little round balls of plastic that are actually the material, the raw material that is used to then create all the plastic that we have in the world. When you find those scattered on the beach, it's quite an experience and a realization that wow, this is, a lot of this is floating out there in the ocean.
No wonder the fish are eating them. So do beach cleanups, get involved with the community. So we really need to change. Something needs to change.
We need to change. Each individual, if each person makes a commitment to reduce their single use plastic footprint, it's amazing the difference we will make on a worldwide global scale. (gentle music) - Hello again and welcome. One of the great things about SailTrek is getting to visit out of the way places.
Join us this week as we sail the Star Flyer to places that are truly unique. (gentle music) - Germaine George's tours a historic estate. (gentle music) (birds chirping) - The sun's coming down.
(gentle music) So tell me about this unique location down here. - Yeah, so there's a little steep path going down there that leads us to some rock basins that date back to the time of the Amerindians. So these really carved out holes within the rocks where they would prepare their food and their medicines, even for washing. So all kinds of, it was basically their, their kitchen down there.
And then along the side, as you walk further up the river you can see rock carvings, petroglyphs. We have about six that we've identified and I'm sure there's many more. So and right beneath our feet also we can often find pottery, pieces of clay, pottery shards, tools. We found stone hedges, axes.
(gentle music) Those are from the Arawak and Carib Indians. That's not the real names but in the area the Kalinago. So those are the indigenous people that came from Central America and first settlers around maybe 1500 years ago. (gentle music) Yeah, a lot of this was found when we were farming, back when we were still doing commercial farming. We had chapters and my grandparents found quite a few and then we've just been collecting them over the years. Yeah, it's beautiful.
The pottery that they made was very sophisticated. (gentle music) - And that's all our time for this week. Thank you for joining us.
Time for us to jump back aboard our ship and see where the winds take us. For Patricia and me, we'll see you next time. (gentle music)