• TRANSPARENTSEA - 700-Kilometer Voyage Begins!

(Thursday, October 1st, Byron Bay, Australia): A large crowd of well-wishers gathered on Byron Bay's Main Beach this morning to show their support for five daring environmental campaigners who have begun a 36 day voyage by sea to Sydney to highlight the plight of migrating humpback whales and to draw awareness to coastal pollution issues.

Dubbed 'Transparentsea', the odyssey is an initiative of professional surfer Dave Rastovich, an environmental crusader who is joined on his quest by Californian surfer and artist Chris Del Moro (San Diego, CA, USA), Musician Will Conner (AUS), Photographer Hilton Dawe (Byron Bay, NSW, AUS) and Surfrider Foundation's Kristy Theissling (Coolangatta, QLD, AUS).

Paddling single-seat 'trimaran' sea kayaks, the participants will use only the wind and the waves to assist them on their journey, as they trace the migration paths of the whales destined for the Southern Ocean.

During their frequent stops along the East Coast, the team will also engage local communities to assist in beach clean-ups, as well as highlighting and recording 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; and the state of rivers and estuaries.
'It's a great honour to be here from California representing such a great cause and the organisation Surfers for Cetaceans,' said Del Moro.

'I'm just stoked to see Australians have such an incredible support for environmental issues, especially water and ocean related issues and the fight against whaling and dolphin hunts. In the States we have a lot of people who are really fired up, but here it seems like whole communities are coming out. Everyone's really given us their support; it feels like a lot of people are really backing it (Transparentsea). It excites me to think we'll be at sea with these amazing creatures, it's going to be life changing,' he added.

A fresh northerly wind and swell provided the paddlers with the perfect start, and by the end of day one, they hope to have reached Evans Head, some 60 kilometers south, before a planned rendezvous with Captain Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd and his ship, the 'Steve Irwin' in the vicinity of Yamba this weekend.

Before setting off, Rastovich appealed to all those present to unite and help to support the causes in whatever way they could.

'Our goal is to get information and the message out to the public and everyone who has an interest. We need to get out the message to Kevin Rudd (PM. Australia) and Peter Garrett (Minister for Environment) so they can step up, and do the job they said they were going to do and that is go down and fight sanctuary wars in Antarctica,' said Rastovich.

'Right now, the only ship going to Antarctica is Sea Shepherd. This whole trip is about escorting the whales down the coast. When we get to Sydney, November 5th, we're going to be joining with the Steve Irwin (ship) and the Sea Shepherd crew and launching their campaign as they head off to protect these whales passing us right now. So if anyone has anything they can give to help the Sea Shepherd, please do so.'

Migaloo, the only recorded all-white humpback whale in the world, created a stir earlier this week when he was spotted near Cape Byron traveling south with a pod of five other whales.

This morning, a pod of six whales was spotted as the paddlers made their way around the Cape for what will surely be a great test of endurance and possibly the surf trip of a lifetime.

For more info, please see the links below, or contact:
Transparentsea : www.transparentseavoyage.com
Media contact: jj@premiummedia.com.au
Mobile: +61 (0) 421 384 431


Dave Rastovich, pro surfer and environmental campaigner, drags his 'trimaran' to the water's edge at Byron Bay to begin an epic 36 day voyage to Sydney. Image by: LouiseBeaumont.com
Dave Rastovich, pro surfer and environmental campaigner, drags his 'trimaran' to the water's edge at Byron Bay to begin an epic 36 day voyage to Sydney. Image by: LouiseBeaumont.com

Pro Surfer Dave Rastovich heads out from Byron Bay, commencing an epic 700km voyage to Sydney by sea to raise awareness about the plight of humpback whales. Rastovich is joined by Californian campaigner Chris Del Moro, musician Will Conner, photographer Hilton Dawe and Kristy Theisslin, GM of Surfrider Foundation, Australia. Credit: Grambeau
Pro Surfer Dave Rastovich heads out from Byron Bay, commencing an epic 700km voyage to Sydney by sea to raise awareness about the plight of humpback whales. Rastovich is joined by Californian campaigner Chris Del Moro, musician Will Conner, photographer Hilton Dawe and Kristy Theisslin, GM of Surfrider Foundation, Australia. Credit: Grambeau

A stunning aerial view of the Transparentsea campaigners heading south from Cape Byron, the first paddles of a 700 kilometer voyage behind them. Sharks and whales were sighted within minutes of leaving Byron Bay's Main Beach. Image by: Billabong/Fetch.
A stunning aerial view of the Transparentsea campaigners heading south from Cape Byron, the first paddles of a 700 kilometer voyage behind them. Sharks and whales were sighted within minutes of leaving Byron Bay's Main Beach. Image by: Billabong/Fetch.


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

Hilton Dawe:
Hilton is regarded among the best water photographers in the world. His forte' is professional surfing and his numerous trips around the globe have taken him to all the major professional events and to the farthest, most exotic locale's. When the big sets of Hawaii's Pipeline catch him out, he takes a big breath, swims to the bottom, and holds on to the reef to escape the ocean's wrath.

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

www.transparentseavoyage.com