Richard Roshon has been described as the Jane Goodall of the sea. Raised on a sailboat in the Hawaiian Archipelago, he has sailed throughout the Philippine Islands, along the coast of Japan, and on numerous Trans-Pacific sailboat races from California to Honolulu. He has surfed the big waves of Waimea Bay, Sunset Beach, and Hanalei Bay, and has competed in the 50-mile distance outrigger canoe race from the island of Molokai across the Molokai channel to Oahu.
Since 1975, Richard has logged more than 20,000 miles of ocean kayaking – often spending several days and nights eating and sleeping in his kayak. With a passion for photography that matches his love for the sea and its creatures, Richard has created many beautiful photographs of Humpback whales.
In the mid-1980s, while exhibiting his photographs at the Kapalua Bay Hotel on Maui, he met the late actor George Peppard. "Mr. Roshon is a devoted naturalist and conservationist," Peppard said at the time. "He paddles hundreds of miles each year following pods of the great Humpback whales ... (and) he has been rewarded by their acceptance of his quiet presence."
In a journal entry describing his travels with Humpback whales, Roshon describes one encounter vividly -- "With the rising of the full moon, there is enough light reflected from the sea to seem almost like daylight. The light from the moon catches the powerful plume of exhaled air from a nearby whale and creates a misty halo, while another surfaces alongside my kayak. They know I am there in their domain and seem to welcome me."
As a result of his admiration for Richard’s work, Peppard financed the creation of a video documentary on the majestic whales shot from a kayak-mounted camera. While Peppard died before the project could be completed, Roshon used the footage to help create a lecture, slide and video presentation called "Man, Kayak and the Whale."
In addition to his lectures and photo exhibitions, Richard has written numerous articles. His 1999 book, "Okeanos, Great River Circling the Earth," celebrates nature and emphasizes the fragility of the environment. He has been featured on National Geographic Explorer, and in March of 2000, Aqua Team Productions (from Switzerland) produced a film about his life from an ocean kayak.
Not surprisingly, Richard is a vigorous advocate for the protection of the sea and its creatures. He has opposed destructive Jet Ski and parasail operations in Hawaii, and he has advised the Whale Sanctuary in Hermanus, South Africa concerning practices to protect the whales there. "Man has successfully left his footprints from the top of the world to the bottom of the sea," he writes. Humans should "walk lightly and leave no footprints. We are connected to every living thing, and we must learn to live together as one."
Richard Roshon’s multi-media presentations have delighted and inspired audiences in Hawaii and throughout the United States. He has spoken to audiences in every type of setting -- from conferences to cruise lines, from universities to the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C.
In 1999, Richard was the guest speaker at the Hermanus Whale Festival, held in Hermanus, South Africa. Sponsors of the Festival reported that his lectures there "drew unprecedented interest from the public and the media."
Richard is best known today for his popular multi-media program, "Man, Kayak and the Whale." He describes his presentation as a journey -- "In the coolness of a tropical morning, with only the stars to light our way, I will paddle you beyond the reef, where only the breathing and singing of the Humpback whales can be heard. I will be your personal guide as we enter the sea in a twenty foot two-man kayak. Through slides and video, you will view my world from the cockpit of my kayak. From a kayak, you are alone with nature. From a kayak, you see and hear it all. From a kayak, you become very much a part of the natural elements."
Richard Roshon’s story about one man’s life on the sea and with its creatures fascinates and inspires audiences. His presentations allow audiences to float with him alongside the whales, dolphins and sharks of the Hawaiian Archipelago. Jean Michel Cousteau describes Roshon’s experiences as "something that many can only dream of." Through his slides, video and narrative, Richard brings those experiences to life for audiences.
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