IT had never been done before. It was a one-man kayak venture to ride the currents and conquer the crossing from Macau to Repulse Bay in 55 hours. It was not a race, however. Thirty-one year old Paul Brunner did it out of a love for the environment. ''I am paddling to raise awareness that the seas are a wonderful recreational source and that we should all do our utmost to protect them,'' said Brunner before the journey. By completing the 80 kilometre voyage, Brunner, an all-rounded sportsman from America, recently raised $60,000 for the ''Healthy Ocean Campaign'', a piloting marine conservation education scheme for secondary school children. The project is a joint effort of the World Wide Fund For Nature (WWFN) and the Hilton Hotel. Called Ride The Tide 1993, the event was the idea of Hongkong-based Action Asia Magazine which wanted to draw people's attention to the importance of the environment in action sports. Here was one testimony of Brunner as he rowed his 17 feet blue kayak near Lamma Island: ''I saw the sea around me spread with trash bags, polystyrene, a big metal chair, truck tyres, nets and oils.'' But unspoilt nature had also provided pleasant surprises for Brunner. ''On my way across the Pearl River estuary, I spotted one white and two pink Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins I had never seen before. It is estimated that there are less than 50 of such existing at present, and they make their habitat only in this part ofthe Pearl River,'' Brunner told Young Post. The ride was not without perils. Brunner had to sail in ebb tides to avoid the strong currents from the Pearl River as he made his way from Macau to Lantau. He also had to watch out for big container ships and jetfoils that frequented the busy sea lanes between Cheung Chau and Hongkong Island. But Brunner, who is a marketing manager for an American computer components manufacturer in Hongkong, has had extensive kayaking experience and finished 10 hours ahead of schedule. His love for sports heightens his appreciation of the environment. A five-times marathon runner, rock climber, snow-skier and scuba diver (the list goes on), Brunner wants the message spread to school children. His pioneer adventure boosted the start of the ''Healthy Ocean Campaign'', which will begin September. It involves 12 schools in educational activities focusing on the abundant sea life of Hongkong. ''The main objective of the whole project is to ultimately see marine conservation introduced as a subject in the school syllabus,'' said Ms Ricki Hersburgh, Hilton Hotel's Public Relations Manager of the Asia Pacific region. Ms Joanna Ruxton, WWFN's marine conservation officer, said they were considering taking the school children on dolphin-sighting expeditions as a prize. Action Asia also hopes the event will open the way for an international sea kayak race in 1994.