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6 easy steps to becoming a CCY Eco warrior 3:44pm, Tue 07 Mar 2017

6 Steps to Eco warrior status The Great barrier reef offers visitors stunning vistas, both above and below the water. An act as simple as hoisting an anchor overboard may have a significant impact on the world below. By taking a little extra care when chartering you will help protect this delicate underwater landscape, and you can earn notoriety as an CCY Eco warrior. First step to being a CCY Eco warrior is, you have to look the part!! A snorkel suit is highly recommended throughout our "Stinger season" when the Jellyfish are on the move and more prevalent throughout the Whitsundays. The most compelling reason I have learnt is that the suit provides you with sun protection ( from throat - wrist - ankle.) so you do not require as much sunscreen which has been proven to be toxic to the reef. Second step to you Wariorrship has to be your snorkelling/dive practices When swimming near coral and wildlife, ensure you are mindful of where your fins are at all times. Did you know that most damage happens when swimmers are not confident and trying to maintain swim control, in doing so erratic movements lead to kicking and scraping of the reef. Do a few practice snorkels to ensure you are confident and you can get the most out of your experience. Third step is have a wildlife/ reef look out at all times. The Great Barrier reef is a nautical paradise, offering one of the most stunning environments in the world to explore whilst sailing and bareboating. Careless boating practices such as vessel grounding, collisions with wildlife send more than a 'ripple' effect throughout the Reef's sensitive ecosystem. By ensuring one person has their eyes peeled whilst underway will aid you in avoiding environmental hazards and Fourth step, Mindful approach to Islands/Beaches When approaching Islands and Cays, be mindful of the coral bommies and fringing reef systems huddled close to the shoreline. When applicable approach on a high tide to ensure your propeller does not come in contact with the fragile reef systems dotted along the shore. ( if you are a anxious swimmer/snorkeller try a beach start you will control your depth and how far from shore you venture.) Fifth step for Eco credit, Plan your trip Being aware of the tides and weather conditions at your time of charter will allow you to confidently navigate around the Whitsundays. We will provide you with a local briefer to run through the area with you on your day of departure. With the vast amount of fringing reef around we highly recommend jumping on Google maps and exploring the Islands before charter, and get a real time look at our gorgeous coral filled backyard. Sixth and final step to becoming a CCY Eco warrior ..... Drum roll Reef safe dinghy practices are as important as how you control the big boat. Maintaining at least 3 metres of clearance between the Prop and seabed/coral whilst staying at slow speed will ensure no damage comes to the fringing reef systems and wildlife living in and around it. Don't forget to watch your feet when disembarking your dinghy at the beach, so that you are not stepping on camouflaged eggs and nests. To ensure you have to most memorable charter possible we encourage you to join the movement and become a CCY Eco warrior, together we can maintain our gorgeous surroundings for the generations to come. Penned by Zan Schubert

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