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.
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.