Film star Anthony Wong Chau-sang was among the protesters heading for the islands last night.
Wong, who was voted the territory's best actor in 1994, is among eight Hong Kong protesters selected to join a raiding party intended to land on the islands.
'I joined the protest because I am Chinese. No one wants to see the voyage end in anyone's death, but we cannot rule out the possibility,' he said.
He was joined by Wong Wai-ming, 36, who was aboard the Kien Hwa No 2 last month, when David Chan drowned.
'I came here again today because I wanted to commemorate the death of Mr Chan. Our campaign has not succeeded yet, so we have to continue,' he said.
Also among the protesters was Japanese Mary Kandame Odachi, a Hong Kong resident involved in the campaign since its outset earlier this summer.
'I joined the voyage because I want to do something for China on behalf of Japan,' she said.
The oldest of the protesters, 71-year-old Chung Hok-lin, was stopped from boarding one of the vessels. He said he was disappointed at not being allowed to join the flotilla.