Deep Time Walk

25 Sept Hatea Loop

We are excited to announce that we are hosting a Deep Time Walk in Whangarei, New Zealand on 25th September as part of Global Climate Strike week.

The Deep Time Walk is a very poignant reminder of just how incredible our existence is and pro

vides an essential context to our current human induced climate crisis.

The walk travels 4.6km across Earth’s 4.6 billion year timeline at a rate of one million years per meter. Starting at the formation of the solar system and the creation of Earth, Deep Time Walk covers significant events in Earth’s deep history, including the formation of the Moon, plate tectonics, the early evolution of life, dinosaurs and much more.

The walk will put into context humanity’s rich ancestral heritage and give you an insight into the interconnectedness of life. It will help you comprehend Deep Time – the vast age of our Earth – and explore the destructive impact our species is having on the integral functioning of our living world. Deep Time provides “a radical perspective, provoking action not apathy … [it] is the catalysing context of intergenerational justice; it is what frames the inspiring activism of Greta Thunberg and the school climate-strikers, and the Sunrise campaigners pushing for a Green New Deal in America.”

A deep-time perspective requires us to consider not only how we will imagine the future, but how the future will imagine us. It asks a version of Jonas Salk’s arresting question: “Are we being good ancestors? ”

Our very first Deep Time Walk in Aotearoa New Zealand will follow the Hatea River Loop in Whangarei, Northland.

Please dress appropriately for this outdoor event including sensible footwear and waterproof clothing.
Places limited to 20, so please book.
Meet at 12pm Reyburn House, Town Basin.
We will finish at Reyburn House, Town Basin. For more information on the Deep Time Walk, please visit

SeaBin goes back to work in the Tutukaka Marina

IMG_4721 - Copy
Glenn wheels the SeaBin down the ramp close its position in the Marina
The inner catch bag – note the pad in the bottom to soak up oil spills
SeaBin is bolted back into position and the catch bag dropped in
Monday 2 Sept 1
Data Sheet for Monday 2 September
Monday 2 Sept
Natural biomass left after rubbish has been removed – note the separation of land and sea debris and the puddles of oily silty water
Monday 2 Sept 3
Micro Plastics data sheet – note the cigarette butts… which contrary to popular belief do not biodegrade

2019 World Whale Conference ‘Journeys that Inspire Change’

Ocean spirit humpback - Copy7 – 12th October 2019, Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia.

Hosted by Fraser Coast Tourism and Events and the World Cetacean Alliance

We’re very excited to have been invited to be present at this conference next month!

Glenn is speaking on Tuesday 8th under the title:

Diving Deeper into our Relationship with Whales and their Ocean Home

and we will have a stand for the duration of the conference.

Earlier this century we were fortunate to spend several months of the year with the humpback whales of Tonga around the Ha’apai Islands. From our whale watching base on Foa Island, we took people out on our Wharram sailing catamaran and swam with these incredibly majestic beings. As a result of our experiences with the whales, we went on to establish Ocean Spirit Ltd which subsequently gave birth to Te Wairua O Te Moananui-Ocean Spirit Charitable Trust in January this year.

Glenn’s abstract for the conference is as follows:

Ko tãtou te moana, Ko te moana ko tãtou
We are the Ocean, The Ocean is us – Maori proverb

In the Biosphere, water cannot be separated from life and life cannot be separated from water.”  Vladimir Vernadsky (19th century Russian scientist and pioneer of the biospheric sciences).
We modern humans have been living under the delusion of separation: separation of our species from the rest of the life community, and the arbitrary separation of life and the ‘non-living’ environment. But for cetaceans, and indeed, all marine life there has never been any separation between themselves and the Ocean.

The whales (especially the migrating species) need us to understand that the Ocean is one living system, and as such, we must address our personal and collective relationship with this living presence. We need to comprehend and experience ourselves as a part of, rather than apart from our Ocean planet as we explore what actions we can take to secure a positive future for the Ocean, the whales and ourselves.
These are the themes of my book “The Ocean Is Alive: Re-visioning our relationship with the living Ocean”, which was inspired by my twenty year relationship with humpback whales in the Kingdom of Tonga (the subjects of my earlier book “Humpback Whales of the South West Pacific”). 

Transitioning from an anthropocentric world-view to an eco-centric perspective is fundamental to developing a more harmonious and respectful relationship with the Ocean and our cetacean kin. We believe that community based initiatives can play a key role in re-defining these relationships.

This is also a wonderful opportunity to showcase our Hauora Moana (Healthy Ocean) Community Monitoring Initiative whose purpose is to encourage local communities to ‘take ownership’ of the health and well being of their coastal marine ecosystems.


The Tutukaka Marina SeaBin

Plastics, like diamonds, are forever! Every piece of plastic ever produced still exists.


The Tutukaka Marina SeaBin was officially launched on 29th April 2019 and has been busily collecting floating debris and surface fuel oil ever since.


The bin is regularly emptied by volunteers who sort the debris, collate the results and send the data to SeaBin International.

The sorting process involves removing the net bag from the SeaBin, emptying it onto one of Mitre 10’s sponsored tarpaulins and separating the organic from the inorganic debris. Any marine creatures who’ve been drawn into the bag, are carefully placed in one of the seven Mitre 10 orange buckets with sea water in it, and returned to the marina together with any marine biomass. Any terrestrial biomass is composted on land.

Tutukaka Marina SeaBin 3A small

All human generated rubbish is sorted into categories as outlined by the SeaBin Project. Micro-plastics are regularly captured in the bin and range from flakes of toxic paint to plastic nurdles and unidentified blobs. A micro-plastic is any piece measuring less than 5mm. The SeaBin Project  is building an important data base from debris collected in its 719 SeaBins around the world.


The process is very fiddly and requiries a certain amount of concentration! Some of the micro-plastics are really tiny and in this case small is definitely not beautiful. Micro-plastics are entering the oceanic food chain at an alarming rate and because of their size, removing them from the ocean is an impossible task. Large pieces of plastic photo-degrade in sunlight eventually becoming plastic dust that contaminates all ocean dwellers from zoo plankton to whales.

Thank you Mitre 10 Whangarei for contributing to plastic removal from the ocean.

NZAEE Seaweek – Kaupapa Moana 2019

Saturday 2nd to Sunday 10th March 2019.

“Tiakina o Tatou Moana – Care for our Seas”.

Seaweek is New Zealand’s annual national week about the sea and is hosted by the NZ Association for Environmental Education (NZAEE). Focused on learning from the sea, it’s designed to inspire all New Zealanders to renew their connection with the sea! Not just for children or those involved with formal education, but for all of us to get to know the ocean around our islands, her habitats and inhabitants better.

Te Wairua O Te Moananui – Ocean Spirit are giving a free talk on sharks in our local library in Whangarei. All are welcome!

Seaweek Library Talk poster

Waitangi Day clean up

Wednesday 6th February is Waitangi Day here in New Zealand. I was once again fortunate enough to volunteer with Eco Solutions to help keep the Treaty Grounds rubbish free!
There was much less rubbish this year due to the support of Waipapa Landscape Supplies who will be industrially composting the majority of the compostable food and drink containers which are plant based in origin.
During my 3 hour shift on this rubbish station down by the wakas, the recycling and compost bins were emptied twice, but the rubbish bin didn’t need emptying…
As the stall holders packed up, our team walked the grounds picking up the last vestiges of plastic to leave the place looking pretty much spotless!
Congratulations once again to Anouk and her team of volunteers for making this such a clean event!… and fun! 😃

Mermaid Pools in Crisis

The Mermaid Pools at Matapouri have become a huge hit with visitors to the Tutukaka Coast. Over the summer 1000s of people have visited the pools to swim and take in the scenery. But can the pools cope with this amount of “loving”? We investigate the current state of the pools and talk about how they have changed over the past few years.

Click here to watch videoP1080043

Birth of an exquisite beauty.

Watch a monarch butterfly emerging from her chrysalis –


This exquisite monarch butterfly transformed herself from a caterpillar in just 2 weeks!!

Silently she slid from her chrysalis, wings crumpled and folded. Her fat abdomen pumped fluid into her wings which imperceptibly unfolded and expanded. Feeling her way into the world as a transformed being she stayed adjusting to her new life for a couple of hours before her maiden flight.

Up over my head she flew and I imagined her reveling in her new found freedom – wow!! What a thrill – bouncing on the gentle air currents she circled, floating back past me in a gesture that I felt was full of gratitude!

Having watched over her from caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly – I was thrilled!

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