Cat Friend and Valerie Bisbal are two women set on a challenge: to be the first to circumnavigate the Spanish Island of Mallorca on a Stand Up Paddle board (SUP). They started last week and as we go to print are making their way across the Bay of Alcudia. In total they are aiming to complete the 555km trip in 21 days.
United by a common goal, Cat and Valerie are on a mission to raise awareness of marine pollution and provide funds for conservation projects in the Balearic Sea. All money raised will go to the Asociacion Ondine which works with government, business and local communities to enable conservation projects. The initial target is €12,000.
Paddle Boarding around Majorca is significant venture, with many hazards including the north coast with its hostile range of cliffs with very few places to land or shelter. Currents, winds, plastic debris, abandoned fishing nets, shipping lanes of cargo and ferries are just some of the many challenges. They are carrying more than 20kg on their paddle boards and it takes serious logistic planning means to get regular supplies of food and water to the girls.
Last year Asociación Ondine with the aid of 870 volunteers removed 2.2 tonnes of rubbish from Mallorca’s beaches and 600m of ghost nets (lost or left fishing net) from the surrounding seas. “Maintaining the profile of Asociación Ondine and interaction with the community is vital to maintaining the level of activity, which is why this project is important to all people on Mallorca” says Val Bisbal.
“Every day we see plastic pollution in the ocean and litter on the beaches”, says Cat Friend. “Knowing how this kills wildlife and poisons the food-chain, it’s impossible not to act. We just needed to do our own bit and encourage others to participate for our planet”.
You can help:
Man-made pollution in the world’s seas is increasing. By 2050 there will be more plastic than fish in our oceans.
Asociación Ondine’s mission is to remove plastics from the ocean and to teach communities to make better choices for sustainable living.
The Soller to Soller mission is to raise as much money and awareness for ocean pollution as possible. All proceeds go directly to Asociación Ondine where it will be put into projects that combine science, local communities and conservation to protect and improve the marine ecosystems around the Balearic Islands.
Please donate on the justgiving.com/sollertosoller page. Follow the girls on Instagram: @sollertosoller, facebook.com/sollertosollerSUP, www.sollertosoller.com.