Australian waterman to circumnavigate the island

  • Photo courtesy of Terence Bell

    Terence Bell, Australian waterman, will be swimming around Kauai to benefit Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii starting July 1.

  • Photo courtesy of Terence Bell

    Terence Bell, Australian waterman, is circumnavigating the island to raise awareness of marine debris and coastal cleanups in a solo swim that starts July 1.

LIHUE — When Terence Bell dips into Kauai waters on July 1, it will be to embark on an adventure that he hopes will bring more attention and resources to cleaning marine debris from the world’s beaches.

He’ll be circumnavigating the island, swimming more than 100 miles in about 14 days; taking on about eight miles over five hours daily and sleeping nights on a sailboat.

The Australian waterman is looking for company on his first long-distance solo swim.

“We’ll launch from Nawiliwili and go south, southwest. I’d like people to come out and meet me,” Bell said in a recent phone interview from Brazil. “I’ll swim in the morning and then take a break, swim in the afternoons and then we’ll pull into a shelter or harbor in the evenings. ”

As he swims, Bell will have friends nearby in a Zodiac, as well as GPS tracking so people can follow his journey online. Any swimmers who are up to the challenge could arrange to meet them on the journey and swim alongside Bell.

The endeavor benefits “Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii”, a nonprofit that partners with other Hawaii groups to pick plastic from shorelines around the state.

As the swim draws nearer, they’ve attached #zerowaste to catch attention online and Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii is gearing up to support Bell.

“We’re proud to support Terence as an ambassador of #zerowaste and an ocean lover who is passionate about increasing awareness about how plastic impacts our marine ecosystem,” Rafael Bergstrom, executive director, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii.

Bell’s message goes beyond cleaning up marine debris and litter. He’s touting the phrase “play more, consume less” as a way to encourage people to think about what they’re buying as a way to lessen marine debris.

“To play more means to experience and appreciate the wonder of nature and the pristine Hawaiian islands, and to consume less is to be more conscious about our daily choices, specifically single-use plastics, and demand something different,” Bell said.

An entrepreneur, global adventurer and endurance athlete, Bell says he’s always had a strong connection to the ocean. He grew up surfing and swimming in Australia. In 2019, he logged 280 miles and 130 hours of ocean swimming in locations like Australia, Los Angeles, and Brazil.

“This is my first time doing something like this. I’m looking forward to it,” Bell said. “I am trying to get other people involved, too, whether it’s at the launch or afterwards.”

Anyone interested in joining Bell on his swim around Kauai can contact the team at teamoceanlover@gmail.com. Follow his journey online at www.soloswimhawaii.com or on Instagram, handle @onlywildones.

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Jessica Else, environment reporter, can be reached at 245-0452 or at jelse@thegardenisland.com

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