Unfavourable sea conditions on Thursday and today failed to stop Steve Posselt’s bid to paddle his kayak from Brisbane to Sydney to protest plans to dam the Mary River in south-east Queensland.

Instead, he walked the kayak from Byron Bay to Ballina along the coast road, and then from Ballina to Evans Head along the beach.

After leaving Brisbane last Saturday, it was ‘smooth paddling’ until Posselt arrived in Byron Bay on Thursday.

Strong onshore winds whipped up the ocean, making it unsafe for Posselt to continue on the water.

So he did the next best thing – he walked his kayak almost 30km from Byron to Ballina, dropping in at Lennox Head’s Geolink to refresh and catch up with an old university mate, Craig Zerk.

This morning Posselt launched from the sailing club at Ballina but had to abort his attempted crossing of the bar because of rough conditions.

“It was just too risky,” Posselt told Far North Coaster.

Despite the interruptions to his paddling schedule, Posselt is more than happy with the response to his epic paddle and campaign to stop a dam at Traveston Crossing on the Mary River.

Posselt says a dam at Traveston Crossing would obliterate the breeding habitat of the lungfish, which he says pre-dates the dinosaurs.

He’s been conducting daily media interviews at all stopping points, and has gained extra signatures on letters of protest which he hopes to present to Federal Environment Minister Peter Garrett when he reaches Sydney.

He’s also had some close encounters with marine life.

On the leg to Brunswick Heads, just off Wooyung, a fin sliced through the water, heading just behind him.

“It did not roll … that’s not a dolphin, I thought,” he wrote on his daily website report.

“Then I saw the body. It was big, very big. Even though the kayak is 6m long, my heart was in my mouth for the next couple of minutes.”

The next encounter was not so nerve-wracking. “About half an hour from Brunswick Heads there was a thumping noise out to sea,” he wrote.

“It was a whale whacking its tail on the water and the performance was repeated at least 20 times. This was exciting stuff, to hear the sound and watch the spectacle.”

Posselt hopes to arrive in Sydney by November 1. He will spend tonight at Evans Head, setting off his home town of Grafton about 8am on Saturday.

* A daily log of Posselt’s journey can be viewed at http://www.kayak4earth.com/index.htm

PICTURE: Steve Posselt in Ballina with support crew members John Williams (right) and John Schulstad (left) and Ballina Shire councillor Jeff Johnson.