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Old 23-05-2016, 22:27   #1
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Environmental Concerns in Tahiti

Hi folks. first time poster. I'm planning a 12 day bareboat charter in French Polynesia later this summer. As an sustainability minded person, one question that's been nagging me is how people handle the holding tank and pumpout. I haven't found anything about this anywhere on the web, or in the cruising guides I've read.

So what do people do? just wait until they are outside the lagoons to pumpout in the deep blue?

While I'm at it, does anyone have good tips for enviro concerns whiel we're at anchor in the lagoons?

thanks for any tips.

-Jay
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Old 23-05-2016, 22:43   #2
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Re: Environmental Concerns in Tahiti

Most boats pump directly overboard. There's a decent tidal flow that keeps the water decent. When crowded some use a holding tank and pump out outside the lagoons.
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Old 23-05-2016, 23:42   #3
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Re: Environmental Concerns in Tahiti

Hmmm, is that a Baby Ruth floating by?
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Old 24-05-2016, 00:09   #4
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Re: Environmental Concerns in Tahiti

haha. thanks. I suppose I'll try to avoid crowded moorages then.
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Old 24-05-2016, 00:13   #5
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Re: Environmental Concerns in Tahiti

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaylonious View Post
Hi folks. first time poster. I'm planning a 12 day bareboat charter in French Polynesia later this summer. As an sustainability minded person, one question that's been nagging me is how people handle the holding tank and pumpout. I haven't found anything about this anywhere on the web, or in the cruising guides I've read.

So what do people do? just wait until they are outside the lagoons to pumpout in the deep blue?

While I'm at it, does anyone have good tips for enviro concerns whiel we're at anchor in the lagoons?

thanks for any tips.

-Jay
Most boats and communities pump organic waste into the ocean, the fish and micro organisms take care of the rest in an efficient manner. Very sustainable, the fish are happy and the people are happy.

Tip: Don't throw trash into the water while at anchor, bag it and bring ashore.
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Old 24-05-2016, 00:19   #6
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Re: Environmental Concerns in Tahiti

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haha. thanks. I suppose I'll try to avoid crowded moorages then.
med is a problem, pacific not. i dont really want to remember my med experiences swimming.

It is probably to do with culture of people living around basin and not boaties.

excuse that sea will take care of it has been overused.
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Old 24-05-2016, 00:26   #7
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Re: Environmental Concerns in Tahiti

Jaylonious,

One trick people here do when out in the outback that you can do on your boat is to cut up all your plastics and shove them in a 2 liter juice jug (assuming you will have juice as part of your provisions), you just keep packing it, using the handle of a long wooden spoon, and screwing the lid on to keep the odors in. You actually will be able to compact almost all your plastics in this way, but you'll probably want to bring tough kitchen shears from home to do it with, and maybe the spoon, too.

If your chartered boat has holding tanks, sure, use them inside the lagoon, but we're not the only organisms defecating into the water, the marine system has scavengers at work all the time, and marine heads break up the poo, and dilute it, which is the first part of treatment anyhow.

Finally, do not try and force your ideas of being eco-friendly on your hosts.

Ann
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Old 24-05-2016, 04:58   #8
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Re: Environmental Concerns in Tahiti

Greetings and welcome aboard the CF, Jay.
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Old 24-05-2016, 06:24   #9
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Re: Environmental Concerns in Tahiti

Off topic.

I just returned from Tahiti. Make sure you have a day ashore to explore the island. Take an over-mountain 4WD trip and make sure to visit the gorgeous waterfalls.

Then try to get away from Tahiti.
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Old 24-05-2016, 07:48   #10
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Re: Environmental Concerns in Tahiti

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Originally Posted by Jaylonious View Post
While I'm at it, does anyone have good tips for enviro concerns whiel we're at anchor in the lagoons?

thanks for any tips.

-Jay
Unique micro-climates exist depending on where you are on the islands. Please try to avoid expelling CO2 when exhaling as to not disrupt of these important island microclimates.
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Old 24-05-2016, 09:06   #11
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Re: Environmental Concerns in Tahiti

It's a valid concern, though I've heard the situation has changed in the last ten years. We chartered out of Ra'iatea in 2006 and I was surprised to learn during the checkout that the catamaran we rented did not have a holding tank. This definitely meant some planning was required as to when to pump the head.

A couple of our ideal anchorages were impacted by human waste. On the island of Huahine we were in a bay on the south side for a day where there was very little tidal flow, so we motored to the next bay to swim. But the anchorage itself was not conducive to swimming.

In a couple of places we discovered the sharks were attracted by the sound of the head pump and they would come to the boat to investigate and to feed. That was kind of interesting. The hatches on the Cat made for a nice viewing of the curious sharks.

I would have preferred a holding tank, one we could have emptied during passages, but I guess local custom was otherwise.
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Old 24-05-2016, 09:18   #12
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Re: Environmental Concerns in Tahiti

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Most boats and communities pump organic waste into the ocean, the fish and micro organisms take care of the rest in an efficient manner. Very sustainable, the fish are happy and the people are happy.

Tip: Don't throw trash into the water while at anchor, bag it and bring ashore.
This works best in an anchorage in which there is some current which encourages mixing and dilution. A bay which is nearly completely closed will have very little current.

The head pump / macerater will "chew up" the solids quite well.

BTW - city waste is especially problematic because of the toxins that are dumped down drains and washed off streets. A growing problem is the micro beads found in toothpaste, beauty products and cleaners. Canada and the US have taken steps to ban them.
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Old 24-05-2016, 09:51   #13
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Re: Environmental Concerns in Tahiti

This is not for everyone, but if you want to prevent even more fecal dumping in a boat crowded and saturated (with nutrients from human wastes) lagoon, I'd use a bucket with a plastic garbage bag along with a small bag of non-clay based kitty litter, wood chips or shavings, coconut fiber, shredded dried leaves, or any other carbon based biodegradable dry bits. Then do it just like with our cats - keeping the poo covered in the absorbing material will prevent smells - then dispose of it in the next town's waste system or septic system, just as one would do with kitty wastes. Most of us are so filled with prescription drugs that our poo is better degrading in a landfill than being eaten by marine life or dissolving in our precious ocean.
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Old 24-05-2016, 10:06   #14
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Re: Environmental Concerns in Tahiti

I think it's all about density of humans and the ability of nature to consume the biological waste that we produce.

In the middle of an ocean it is the most natural and sustainable thing to do to throw all your biological waste into the sea. That's what all the other animals do too, starting from the whales. And some creatures live out of that useful material.

Things are a bit different when close to other people. We usually use the kitchen sink and the head for different purposes. We don't drop waste next to someone's swimming beach. A small lagoon could soon be spoiled.

We tend to use our holding tank and the pumping stations that are numerous up here. But we are surprised how seldom we see fellow sailors use those free pumping stations. I do understand and even support people who say that there should be no strict rules on what kind of waste handling systems boats should have. But I'd expect everyone to use sufficient means to avoid leaving harmful waste in any vulnerable spots like small lagoons, beaches and marinas, or next to other boats.

Simple rule: if it can be harmful, don't do it.
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Old 24-05-2016, 10:35   #15
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Re: Environmental Concerns in Tahiti



Heading out to sea to dump their poo in an ecologically sensitive manner
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