'Save the whales' heads south

David Rastovich keeps in close touch with land as his team traces the migration of humpback whales heading back to the Southern Ocean.
David Rastovich keeps in close touch with land as his team traces the migration of humpback whales heading back to the Southern Ocean. Dawe/Transparentsea

IT’S been 36 days since the Transparentsea group of paddlers left the beaches of Byron Bay to trek down Australia’s east coast to raise awareness for the plight of the humpback whale.

The group includes local identity and former World Junior surfing champion and world-renowned free-surfer David ‘Rasta’ Rastovich.

Following the majestic cetaceans on their southern migration, the team of five paddlers and guests have been stopping in at different beaches to clean them up and continue their awareness campaigns with the locals.

“Each time we came into quiet little coastal towns, there were heaps of people wanting to talk to us and help clean their beaches,” musician and paddler Will Conner said.

About four days into their trek, the paddlers also met up with the crew of the Sea Shepherd’s Steve Irwin for a mid-ocean rendezvous and a cup of tea about 2km off Yamba.

“The primary intention of our journey has been to highlight the plight of whales that are destined for the Southern Ocean and the inevitable visits by Japanese whaling fleets,” Mr Rastovich said.

“Now we are calling on people to show their support and to join us in putting pressure on the Australian Government to challenge Japanese whaling in international courts and to protect the Southern Ocean sanctuary.”

This morning, Mr Rastovich and the team hopes to hit the sands of Bondi beach and anticipate a big crowd of supporters and media to greet them.

“There is a southerly forecasted and the swell is picking up,” Mr Conner said.

“We are anticipating a sketchy entry where we all crash on the beach – hopefully in laughter.”

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