In late September 2018, Clear Tides founders - Jess and Roody, along with a team of passionate volunteers headed down to the beautiful coastal town of Narooma for their first mission trip.
The goal behind this trip was to spread the message of protection and conservation for the ocean to small coastal communities. Jess told The Beagle "We wanted to spread our love for the ocean, while educating the community on how they can protect their oceans even after our mission ended. Our trip was nothing short of magical...we were blessed with countless breath taking wildlife experiences and many beautiful relationships with local business owners as well as the community. "One of the many laws of science, is the power of energy and how it can attract similar spirits and energy. We truly believe the ethos and down to earth nature of our volunteers attracted the most beautiful and kind hearted response from the community and even the wildlife we encountered! "Our trip began with a team yoga class run by the beautiful Maree at Sundew Dynamics before we went exploring around the south coast, cleaning up beaches along the way. Dolphins surfed the waves as we admired the beautiful, untouched beaches between Narooma and Bermagui. The next few days consisted of promoting our upcoming beach clean to local businesses - who helped us in any way they could! (Even putting up flyers around town! Legends!) "Saturday was an adventure day with Underwater Safari's - it was dedicated to diving the beautiful Montague Island which is home to colonies of both Australian and New Zealand fur seals. The boat ride was accompanied by a pod of dolphins, riding our bow all the way out to the island. An icy dive surrounded by playful Seals diving around us was the perfect reminder of what we were working so hard to protect. The Seals were so curious - diving, spinning and winding around us, as we were immersed in their underwater playground. "Already on a high from all our marine interactions, we didn't think it could get any better. But in the distance we laid eyes on an animal that was about to take our breath away. Three Southern Right whales. The whole boat fell silent, as these magnificent creatures approached us - circling and dancing for a captive audience. They remained with us for about 30 minutes, flexing their size, power and beauty. This was truly an interaction of a lifetime ! "Still in disbelief about the beauty of the previous days experiences, we embarked on an early morning boat ride to look for more whales before our beach clean. The horizon was scattered with numerous water blow's and breaches, when suddenly behind us came a large exhale; we were surrounded... Humpback whales spy hopping, fin slapping and showing their gorgeous tails as they dove around and under our boat. They were allowing us to admire them in all their glory. No more than an arms length away from the boat, these whales played with us all morning and off in the distance were countless whales breaching against the horizon. These giant animals had a curiosity about them, but resonated such a gentle, kind energy that completely captivated us. "Upon leaving we passed through a pod of whales, dolphins and seals feeding... never have we witnessed such an active group of animals. Mother Nature truly presented us with such an incredible display and memories that will last a lifetime. "Arriving back on shore (still feeling euphoric) we began setting up for our beach clean at Narooma Surf beach. The day consisted of free brunch, face painting, a raffle draw exploding with amazing prizes and an amazing community BBQ overlooking the beach to finish up a hard mornings work! "We were overwhelmed with the turnout, families from all over Narooma coming together to clean up their local beach and be active in protecting our oceans. A relatively clean beach, where the locals stress on ensuring the beach is clean and tidy still - still presented us with a large amount of rubbish; ranging from cigarette butts, bottles, straws, chairs, clothing and even a cooktop !? "Our weekend was filled with incredible encounters (animal and human) and we are so thankful for all the kind souls we met along the way. It is so amazing to connect with like minded individuals who all share a passion and love for our oceans. It is so important to notice that Narooma surf beach was a relatively clean beach, but we still collected over 8 large garbage bags of rubbish! "Together we can work together to keep plastic out of our ocean, and we hope this inspires you to do so. Special thank you to Francois and Clover from Underwater Safari's, Phil from Thurston Photography, Gillian from the SLSC and Chris & team at the Quarterdeck.