Have you heard of the Coastal Ghost project? Stephan Graunke, his 3 dogs and his mom are off on an adventure unlike any other. They’re about to embark on a trip down the coast of South Africa and create the longest chain of beach clean ups that I’ve ever heard of.

Of course, I can’t wait for them to hit West Coast shore so that I can join in a tiny bit of this fantastic story. But until then, I asked Stephan to tell me more about this project and what he aims to achieve.

He agreed to answer the following questions for me.

Questions and Answers

Q: So, could you tell us a bit about you? What does your life look like at the moment? (aside from getting ready for your big trip)

A: 26 years old. 3 dogs. Wanderlust, Wildlife photographer and canine psychologists. Passionate environmental activists.

Q: When did you first get the idea for Coastal Ghost?

A: Returning from my 2.5-year backpacking trip with my dogs in Europe and Scandinavia, I was shocked at how little wildlife they have over there and how we use our wildlife as a game and a trash can.

This was when I started thinking of ways to make a change and created a platform called gocapture.co.za (A platform where users compete with each other to find as many wildlife species as possible).

I then contacted a marketing agency to market my platform and was given this huge number that it would cost and was like. Not happening. I thought I would rather do something with that money that makes a difference in this world. Coastal Ghost was born.

Q: What was the biggest inspiration for this project?

A: The biggest inspiration for this project is my love for the ocean. Being a diver and swimmer, it is my dream to combine this with my photography (the costs of doing so are huge). Until I can afford it, I will try protect the ocean and other environments. So to have a chance of seeing and capturing this worlds vast beauty.

Q: Have you done anything like this before?

A: On this topic, I have never done anything more than picking up rubbish whilst on holiday. But I did the tour of Europe in order to raise awareness for abandoning animals due to relocation.

Q: What do you think the hardest part of this journey is going to be?

A: The hardest part I think will be getting to the beaches in the Transkei as the road takes you quite far inland and will need to do a lot of back and forth movement.

Q: What do you expect to be the best part?

A: I think the best part will be meeting the awesome people and seeing the most beautiful beaches and places in the country.

Q: I see your mom is going with you – who is also your PR – was it hard to convince her to do the trip?

A: It wasn’t hard but she is worried as she runs a business and a horse riding yard at home and she will be leaving this all to my sister and dad. This is her best not worry.

Q: What motivates you in your project? What do you think will keep you going throughout the trip?

A: Just the fact that something like this has never been done by anyone or any organisation. I will finish this and when I do all these huge wealthy organisations that beg and plead for money yet do nothing won’t go unnoticed.

Q: What are your gorgeous doggies names?

A: Oldest – Altair
2nd – Ksora
3rd – Zephyr

Q: When do you leave and when do you expect to be back home?

We leave on the 20th Feb and head to Richards Bay. We expect to be done and arrive at home from Port Nolloth 2 months later but we also know that things happen so we are really not quite sure about when we will return.

Q: Can you remind us how we can all help you please 😊

So, we don’t need any help. We do accept any help but all we really want is to achieve our dream and to do so, we need as many people to share our story and join us on the beaches as possible.

We are looking for an underwater housing for my camera as I would like to document what the rubbish looks like on the reefs and rocks along the coastline. This is a shot in the dark but would be hugely awesome haha.

You can follow the trip on Facebook @Coastal Ghost page
And Instagram @CoastalGhost2019

There’s also a Patreon page: https://www.patreon.com/posts/coastal-ghost-24743568



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