This Southern Lady is decomposing in plain view of everyone who wants to take a look, from the bridge above or up close and personal from a boat or jet ski.
Who owns this barnacled, decaying southern lady? And don't they have to "put her in the trash" ? This leviathan, which strikes a pose as you cross over the NC Holden Beach bridge, will most likely be here, still shrinking as her organic matter decomposes, even becoming nutrients for sea faring microorganisms. Are we talking about the ship or the woman sitting on her rotting gunnel? Still not sure? That's the point.
The EPA defines Biodegradable as "materials that can decompose, usually by bacteria or sunlight, into basic components. Most organic materials (paper, grass clippings, food scraps), under the right conditions, are biodegradable." So what does decompose mean? EPA defines Decompose as "to break down into basic components, given the right conditions of light, air, and moisture; refers to materials such as food and other plant and animal matter."
So this ship is biodegradable because the wood can decompose, and wood originated from an organic source--organic compounds or dead organisms such as plants and animals. But, this wood is rotting so slowly. Some organic matter breaks down quicker than others, obviously. If this had been a washed up whale, I wouldn't be looking at it again this year. Maybe the bones, though? Ok, but what about the ship's rusting metal parts? And what about the massive engine in this sinking ship? Not going anywhere any time soon, unless the town of Holden Beach drags it out with some kind of huge machinery and hauls it to the scrap yard.
I'm pretty sure the microorganisms in the ocean don't break down the metal parts for nutrition. Yes, I am readily biodegradable. I see it when I look in the mirror--graying hair, a few more wrinkles because my skin's elasticity, or collagen, is decomposing, 30/45 eye sight and much needed bifocals. Decomposing pretty rapidly, it seems, sometimes, if I look in the mirror too often. Calcium for biodegrading bones? LIke the Southern Lady's decomposing wood, I too am organic matter. But parts of the iphone in my pocket and the foam in the soles of my flip flops might last for hundreds of years. And my flops are made from recycled yoga mats. How great is that? They are recycled, but maybe not so biodegradable?
Back to the sinking ship, and the sinking building beside it:
I stopped in at the bait and tackle store across the Holden Beach bridge, and asked about it. While I was paying $26.00 for my 5 dozen mud minnows for flounder fishing (we have never stooped so low to buy our bait, but the ones we're NOT catching in our cast net are tooo small), I asked the gent who was scooping my mud minnows into my minnow bucket about the partially biodegrading boat. He replied, in a loud voice, "The town has been trying to get that boat out of the water for several years, but nobody wants to pay for it. " Another guy in a back room added, "It will break into pieces and cost a fortune to remove." I now imagine town council meetings where the topic of the sinking ship comes up repeatedly. Probably a lawsuit is in the works. If the ship would just decompose a lot faster, everyone would be a lot happier. Just like we suggest you do with our ingredient list, do your own research, and you'll find the rotting trawler Southern Lady has been the center of attention in Holden Beach for the past few years.