AVON — There is an unspoken code of respect between surfers and dolphins. Coincidentally, some of the best surf breaks also happen to be the best breeding ground for sharks.
Although people are not a shark’s preferred delicacy, once in a while their poor vision causes sharks to mistake surfers for food. It is said that feelings of security from these rare but life-threatening attacks are embraced when you see dolphins surfing with you. Pro surfer Dave Rastovich, better known to the surfing community as “Rasta,” experienced the faithfulness of his marine friends during a close encounter with a hungry shark while surfing his home waters off the Gold Coast of Australia.
A SURFER’S RESPONSIBILITY
This experience ignited a fire in Rasta; it sparked awareness that with the freedom and joy of becoming one with the ocean while surfing day in and day out, there also comes a responsibility to protect the inhabitants who in turn protect you.
Once set on his mission, Rasta embarked on a five-year journey through Australia, the Galapagos, Chili, Tonga, Alaska, and Japan to raise awareness of the threats to marine mammals. He started a visual petition to connect faces with signatures by enlisting first pro surfers and musicians such as Kelly Slater, Xavier Rudd and Jack Johnson.
This spread to movie stars, athletes, models and anyone who wanted to stand up against the brutal slaughter of hundreds of whales and dolphins — something that is still happening illegally today.
ON A MISSION
Rasta and his friends went to rallies, cleaned beaches and risked their lives by paddling out to meet the fisherman who inhumanely massacre dolphins at “The Cove” in Japan. They also traveled aboard the infamous Sea Shepherd, widely known for its extreme efforts to thwart illegal whaling on the TV series “Whale Wars.”
Rasta’s mission is documented in this month’s sustainable film, “Minds in the Water,” hosted by Walking Mountains Science Center.
The film will be screened twice: first at Loaded Joe’s in Avon on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. and second at the Dusty Boot in Eagle on May 20 at 6:30 p.m.
FINAL FILM OF SERIES
This is the final film of the Sustainable Community film series, which runs November to May.
Mark your calendars for July 18, though, because an extra free sustainable film will be shown in Nottingham Park at dusk.