Organisers are hoping more than 562 paddlers will participate in this year's Paddle Out for Whales on Saturday.
Organisers are hoping more than 562 paddlers will participate in this year's Paddle Out for Whales on Saturday. Alistair Brightman

Speakers and entertainers performing for free at paddle out

ALL of the performances, speakers and entertainment at Paddle Out for Whales are donated by the whale-loving artists who have a personal passion to save the whales. 

Organisers Vicki Neville said local businesses had also supported the event by donating everything required to stage it.

Entertainment will kick off following the paddle out with performances by popular Sunshine Coast outfit The Flumes and Byron Bay sensation Nathan Kaye along with local performers Leon and the Skinny White Boys, The Sunny Beach Band, the Nefertitti Dancers and the traditional warm-up for paddlers with Fraser Coast Zumba.

There's even free face painting for the kids from 10am-1pm and a free jumping castle.

Guest speakers include Sea Shepherd member Mikey May who, in recent years, has been in the southern ocean on the front line defending whales as a member of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Australian Whale and Dolphin Conservation Society's Paul Hodda will also attend giving talks on the scientific side of the Bay's whales and there'll be plenty of whale themed activities for visitors to take part in.

There'll also be a visit from the Fraser Coast Wildlife Sanctuary bringing down some dingoes and snakes.

Once again, there will be a raft building competition for families or individuals taking part in the stunt.   A family dolphin watch is awarded to the best creation on board Blue Dolphin Marine Tours.

Ms Neville said she hoped the 2013 event on Saturday would be the most supported yet.

"Paddle Out for Whales is a peaceful protest," she said.

"It's completely free to take part in or to come along and join in the festivities to learn more about our whales.

"All you need is something to float on and to register on the day and you too can give whales a voice on this day.

"We hope that the Fraser Coast community will help us to make the 2013 event the biggest Paddle Out for Whales to date.

"We have to top 562 paddlers."

Paddlers will gather on the beach in front of Enzo's on the Beach at Scarness to show their support for protecting whales. 

They will take to the water forming a circle to hold a one-minute silence as they roll with the waves reflecting on the threats whales still face- including whaling, ship strikes and noise pollution. 

Flowers are released into the water throughout the ceremony representing the whales slaughtered in Australia's declared southern whale sanctuary this past hunting season as a sea plane will fly overhead to photograph the stunt.

 The event begins at 9am but the paddle out will take to the water at 11am and registration is essential. 

Those who can't paddle out can still register to paddle their toes - it still counts.

For more information, visit http://paddleout4whales.blogspot.com.



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