“World Record” set in Gozo highlighting the plastic waste in our oceans

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"World Record" set in Gozo highlighting the plastic waste in our oceansAs a way of helping to raise awareness for the amount of plastic that is in our oceans, two residents of Gozo this week, attempted to set a new world record by kayaking around Gozo. Here is the story of their success…..

Martin is a new resident of Gozo who wanted to support the action of the NGO WAAO (www.waao.eu) through a kayak performance around Gozo.

François Deniau met Martin for the first time in Hondoq and a month later Martin told François that they were “going to break a world record,” François said that he knew he was not joking. “So we got ready for the challenge, and on Tuesday morning at 7.30am we started to paddle our kayaks”

This kayak trip was a good way to see Gozo from a different angle, François said. “First we cruised at an average speed of 4mph, passing by Dahlet Qorrot, San Blas, Ramla and then Marsalforn where the water started to get a bit choppy.”"World Record" set in Gozo highlighting the plastic waste in our oceansHe said that passing by the Rook quite a distance from the shore, the water was not deep. “We could see down to the sea-bed, with some white-yellowish strange shapes through the incredible blue-green colours of the sea.”

François remarked that “this is what makes Gozo a pearl in the Mediterranean sea, and there are so many natural wonders around the island. Seeing Gozo from the sea is completely different, you don’t see the same thing.”

“The landscape seemed to have changed, the rock formations and the caves are amazing… The waves started to get bigger, to a point where they went over our kayaks in front of the cliffs, between il-Mielah and San Dimitri Point.”

“It was like a battle for about 10 miles, until we reach Dwejra. Then we could feel the waves pushing like a friendly hand, so that we were gliding, with the sensation even sometimes of surfing the waves!” François said."World Record" set in Gozo highlighting the plastic waste in our oceans“We said hello to Xlendi and followed the gigantic Sannat Cliffs. At their feet we could admire the turquoise colours of the water, forming here and there some mini blue lagoons, and then a crack in the rock, another cave, and beyond that the shape of a face or anything our imagination was able to create.”

François said that, “we were in awe in front of such a spectacle, rocked by the rhythm of the pushing waves and warmed by the September sun. We suffered from cramps and stiff muscles, but we had so much for our eyes and our souls!”

“We kept the pace as steady as we could, until we faced three giants in the Gozo Channel: two ferries were crossing each other and behind them a cruise ship of seven decks manoeuvring slowly in-between Gozo and Comino.”"World Record" set in Gozo highlighting the plastic waste in our oceansFrançois and Martin finished “quite exhausted, happy to have accomplished the official fastest unsupported Gozo round trip in 5 hours and 45 minutes.”

“We could eventually pick up some plastic in our sea adventure.”

“All this would not be possible without all the support. We dedicate our action to the oceans, by inviting you to join any action like Greenup (https://www.gofundme.com/green-up).

François and Martin gave thanks to Rachael, Alain, and all their friends who followed them, “maybe the pushing waves were not a coincidence!”

Photographs copyright Alain Salvary and Rachael Maclean

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