Paddlin' from Byron to Bondi
SOME people might find a 700km journey paddling across the ocean gruelling, but for Will Conner it's a chance to not check his emails for 36 days.
Mr Conner, a musician who grew up in Byron Bay and counts Jack Johnson among his friends, set off with four mates from Main Beach yesterday morning in their single-seat Hobie trimaran sea-kayaks.
Their destination is Bondi Beach in Sydney, which they hope to reach in early November, but their goal is to raise awareness of the plight of humpback whales as they follow the sea giants on their migration to the Southern Ocean.
The team members - under the banner Trans- parentsea - include surfer and activist David Rastovich, California-based surfer and activist Chris Del Moro, surf photographer Hilton Dawe, and Surfrider Foundation general manager Kristy Theissling.
Along the way, they will be recording rubbish and debris in the ocean, the impact of commercial fishing operations, the state of the rivers they pass, and will be initiating beach clean-ups wherever they stop to rest.
But for Mr Conner, 39, the journey is also a chance to take time out of the daily routine.
“When do you get a chance to not answer emails for 40 days and be with your friends?” he said.
But the serious message of the trip is just as important.
“All we want to leave is footprints on the sand,” Mr Conner said.
“We're going to write diaries and basically get the word out.”
And the mood was relaxed as the team set off yesterday morning in front of a small beach crowd.
“I'm not nervous because I feel very confident in my ability to handle the craft.
“It's more nerve-racking to stand out in front of a crowd and play music.”
They were expecting to make it to Ballina or Evans Head last night, and aim to ultimately arrive in Bondi on November 5 - weather permitting.
To follow Transparentsea's adventures, including a daily blog, go to http://transparentsea voyage.com.