Half Way there, Half Way to Go! Transparentsea Team on track to reach Bondi Nov 5th
Pro surfer Dave Rastovich (foreground) and musician Will Conner (background) - two members of the group of surfer-activists making their way by sea from Byron Bay to Bondi Beach over 36 days.
(Tuesday, October 20th, Crescent Head, NSW, Australia): After 19 days of surfing, paddling and sailing their way down the NSW coast, the environmental awareness group led by pro surfer Dave Rastovich has successfully passed the halfway point of their intended 700km, 36 day voyage from Byron Bay to Sydney's Bondi Beach.
Titled 'Transparentsea' the initiative, which began on October 1st, aims to draw attention to the plight of the migrating humpback whales as the team follows their path south and to highlight issues of environmental concern to do with Australia's East Coast.
Speaking from Point Plomer near Crescent Head on Day 20, Rastovich acknowledged the numerous, unforgettable whale and dolphin encounters his team had experienced. However, the alarming amount of debris that has been located and collected at the various locations the team has visited is a concern.
'At times, adult humpback whales and their calves have chosen to surface two feet away from our kayaks, which has just been amazing,' explained Rastovich.
'We've also camped in some of the most beautiful beachside campgrounds and surfed those beaches, but picked up hundreds and hundreds pieces of plastic and rubbish in places that look -Good from far, but are far from good',' he added.
An adult humpback breaches for the Transparentsea cameras off the NSW North Coast, as the environmental awareness groups heads south raising awareness for whales and coastal issues.
Rastovich, who says his team is on track to reach Bondi by the planned date of November 5th, also urged everyone who shared the vision of the Transparentsea environmental awareness initiative to support the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society founded by anti-whaling activist Paul Watson.
Rastovich noted that the Sea Shepherd is the only organisation planning to send a vessel to help defend the whales in the Southern Ocean sanctuary from Japanese whalers in December. While Watson has been a focus of the media after Australian Immigration denied his entry based on issues to do with his visa.
'It has been very disappointing to learn that the Australian Government recently obstructed Paul Watson's entry to Australia, rather than welcoming him as a great defender of the whales,' said Rastovich.
'Instead of upholding their pre election promise to challenge Japanese whaling in international court and to protect the Southern Ocean sanctuary, the Australian Government appears to have turned their back on the whales that are once again under threat.'
It's anticipated that dozens of surfers and well wishers will welcome the Transparentsea voyagers, which includes Rastovich, fellow surfer, artist and activist Chris Del Moro (San Diego, CA, USA), musician Will Conner (Byron Bay, NSW), photographer Hilton Dawe (Byron Bay, NSW), a support team and special guests, when they negotiate the last few hundred metres from the sea to the shore at Bondi Beach on November 5th.
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About Transparentsea: The primary intention of the Transparentsea journey is to draw attention to the plight of the migrating whales that ultimately are destined for the chilly waters of the Southern Ocean and the inevitable visits by Japanese whaling fleets. In addition, the Transparentsea team will record and highlight other areas of environmental concern including the effects of the commercial fishing industry on marine mammals and fish stocks; run-off issues to do with agricultural, domestic and industrial human activities; the state of rivers and estuaries; and where necessary they will also initiate beach clean-ups. An additional kayak is available for media and special guests. Please contact JJ@premiummedia.com.au Transparentsea is possible thanks the support of Surfrider Foundation, Surfers for Cetaceans, Billabong, Coastal Watch, Go Pro Water Proof Cameras and Surfing World magazine. Friends of: www.SurfersForCetaceans.com, www.seashepherd.org, www.surfrider.org.au, www.oceancare.org.au. www.RemoveSharkNets.com , www.SaveJapanDolphins.org, www.TheCoveMovie.com, Dave Rastovich: Dave Rastovich is a former World Junior surfing champion and world-renowned free-surfer. In 2006 'Rasta' co-founded the 'Surfers for Cetaceans' movement. In July this year Rasta was granted one of just 200 invitations to attend former US Vice President Al Gore's The Climate Project - Asia-Pacific Summit. http://www.billabong.com/au/team-rider/surf/17/rasta Chris Del Moro: Chris has 'an excited butterfly-type feeling' about forthcoming test of endurance and surf trip of a lifetime! The Californian artist and free-surfer is also co-director of the Surfers for Cetaceans organisation and traveled with Rasta to Chile (2008) and Portugal (2009) to attend the IWC (International Whaling Convention). www.collecticlife.com Will Conner: Will has just finished his 3rd album 'You Make Me Sing' due to release early 2010 featuring guests JJ Grey from MOFRO and G. Love. Having accepting Rasta's invitation, Will states: 'I am offering help in the form of musical entertainment, and I am now the proud owner of a yellow Ukulele and plan on annoying everyone including the whales for 36 days straight!' www.willconner.com Kristy Theissling: Kristy has traded a promising career as a journalist and role as online editor for Australia's largest surf-related website, coastalwatch.com to accept a role as General Manager of Surfrider Foundation, Australia. Based in Queensland, Kristy has a history of environmental based campaigning. www.surfrider.org For further media information, please visit www.transparentseavoyage.com or contact: firstname.lastname@example.org / +61 (0) 421 384 431