A man who is paddling from Cape Palliser to East Cape in protest against deep sea oil exploration, has passed Gisborne.
Peter Ralph, 25, started the journey on his 17-foot stand-up paddleboard 25 days ago. He camped in Tolaga Bay last night with his dad, who has been following him along the coast.
Strong northerly wind during the first 10 days set him back, but he has travelled 25 to 40 kilometres each day.
"It is taking longer than I thought," Mr Ralph says.
"My shoulders and back are pretty sore, but it is amazing how your body gets used to it.
"It has been good to put all my physical and mental effort into one task for an extended period of time, and really good to do it with Dad who has been my support crew."
Many people have expressed interest in his mission, he says.
"Every place we camp there are usually people around who are interested in what I am doing and most are supportive.
"When I was passing through Castlepoint, a fishing boat came alongside me and they asked 'what the hell are you doing out here', and gave me a crayfish."
He has not spent much time on this part of the East Coast but says it is a special place and the locals do not want to see oil rigs on the horizon.
"All the locals I have met so far do not want deep sea oil drilling, and I bet it is like that on the other coasts as well."
Mr Ralph says he will continue to campaign against deep sea oil exploration after he finishes the journey.
"It is something I believe strongly about.
"The New Zealand Petroleum Conference will be held at SkyCity late in March and I will be there to oppose the 2016 Block Offer."
• For more information on his campaign got to www.capetocape.org.nz
- Gisborne Herald