An Oak Flats grandfather was one of more than a hundred protesters arrested after a blockade of the Newcastle coal port extended beyond its time limit.
Tom Hunt had kayaked from Wollongong to Newcastle with fellow granddad Simon Leslie, and despite taking on some water along the way, arrived in Newcastle on Friday morning.
Mr Hunt and Mr Leslie's outrigger kayak joined with hundreds of paddleboards, surf boards, dinghies and small boats to block the Port of Newcastle, the world's largest coal port, to call for swifter action on climate change and a stop to fossil fuels.
The blockade, organised by Rising Tide, had permission to occupy the mouth of the Hunter River for 30 hours non-stop from 10am Saturday to 4pm on Sunday.
During this period, the group estimates it stopped the passage of eight coal ships containing 500,000 tonnes of thermal coal, however having run the same protest for the past decade and with one of the largest flotillas to date, the group decided further action needed to be taken.
This meant Mr Hunt and just over 100 other protesters remained on the water and police began to arrest the group, charging them under the Maritime Safety Act with obstructing a channel.
A first time offender, Mr Hunt was not taken into custody, and returned to the Illawarra on Monday, even more passionate than when he set off three weeks ago.
"It was a great, great team that was out there, the atmosphere, the crowd that were there on kayaks and all forms of boats," he said.
"We stood our ground until they arrested us one by one."
As of Monday morning, 109 people were arrested, including five people under 18 and a 97-year-old Minister, the oldest person ever charged with an offence in Australia.
"Until the Albanese government says no to new coal projects and agrees to tax coal export profits at 75 per cent to fund the transition, we will continue to disrupt the fossil fuel industry - because the climate crisis is impacting us all," organiser Alexa Stuart said on Sunday.
While climate campaigners who have targeted coal-exporting infrastructure have been the target of tough new anti-protest laws, Mr Hunt said in this case, the police response was mild.
"It was all very peaceful, it's wonderful that we live in Australia where the police are not as aggressive," he said. "They were very caring and gentle with us."
Mr Hunt, along with the other protesters arrested, will return to Newcastle in January for their court date.
While the arrest provided a dramatic end for Mr Hunt's journey, getting to Newcastle was a test for himself and Mr Leslie.
After setting off from Wollongong Harbour in early November with the backing of a strong southerly, the kayak suffered a broken brace necessitating emergency repairs off the cliffs of the Royal National Park.
Joining a protest against coal pollution at Audley Weir, the pair continued north, stopping in with other climate activists and eco-communities in Sydney, Gosford and Nora Head.
Along the way, the pair checked in with their "No More Fossil Fuel" call sign, letting NSW Marine Rescue and Water Police know where they were along the way.
Invigorated by the experience of being out on the water with more than 1000 campaigners in Newcastle, back at Oak Flats Mr Hunt was heated about the cause that took him 400 kilometres up the coast, powered by his legs and wind.
"It's absolutely clear that the fossil fuel industry has known for decades about this [climate change] and what's happened since?
"We need the government to stop approving new coal mines, they're still approving new gas fields, it's just absolutely absurd."