Solo Paddle Across Tasman

Solo Paddle Across Tasman

New Zealander Scott Donaldson becomes first person to kayak solo across Tasman Sea

Posted on 03.07.2018

A New Zealand man has become the first person to kayak solo across the Tasman Sea.

Scott Donaldson looked weary and a little bedraggled when he raised his arms in jubilation on Monday night.

He was helped up a beach by supporters after arriving at the New Zealand town of New Plymouth, two months after leaving from Coffs Harbour on Australia’s east coast.

 

The 48-year-old said the journey was “epic” and his arrival was giving him sensory overload.

“I’ve seen water for the last, I don’t know how many days it was, and that’s all you see,” he said.

“A couple of birds, some fish, but it’s just water.”

He said his journey included surviving a lightning storm and at one point coming close to what he said was a large and “frisky” shark.

“On a good day, you’re paddling for 16 hours,” Mr Donaldson said.

“On a bad day, you’re stuck in the cabin. And on a worse day, you’re going backward.”

Mr Donaldson said there was an upside to being alone on the ocean without any screens or other worldly distractions.

“It’s very pure.”

He added that he needed a shower. He was then processed by border control officials.

‘We just need to finish that job off’

The 2,200-kilometre passage is regularly hit by fierce storms and Mr Donaldson was forced to abandon a previous attempt in 2014.

He came within 80 kilometres of New Zealand and was within site of Mount Taranaki when he was famously winched to safety.

“We just need to finish that job off,” Mr Donaldson said before he set off from Coffs Harbour in April.

“We got a bit smashed out there and all the safety gear was basically wrecked and our safety options were dwindling, so we had to make the call and it was a once in 40-year storm blowing us back to Australia at that time.”

An unrepairable rudder made him late and put extra pressure on the gear before he was rescued.

This time Mr Donaldson had an improved carbon fibre kayak which weighed significantly less than the old model, and he carried dehydrated food for the 62-day journey.

“I have a bit of a magic mix of carbohydrate and protein and electrolyte drinks, which all sounds very easy but when you’ve got to have two hands on a kayak paddle, it can get quite tricky sometimes,” he said prior to his departure.

    

 

Source
New Zealand Herald

 

Share

LikeFollow

Have a story to tell or news to share?

Let us know by Submitting a News Story

Discover Queensland

Explore all of Queensland’s adventures.

Start Exploring

What's On

Sep

22

Bushwalking Intermediate Short Course

Fancy taking your bushwalking experience to the next level?
Read more

Sep

22

Challenge Low Ropes

Fancy doing some rope work this year?
Read more

Sep

23

Lake Manchester Trails Race

A fun day out for families and serious runners!
Read more

Latest News

Active Recreation Strategy Survey

A 3 Question Survey to help develop the Queensland Active Recreation Strategy

Read more
How a free pass to a climbing gym changed Monique's life

She thought she’d give it a go, and loved it straight away.

Read more
Increased demand on emergency services

Climate change report warns of increased demand on emergency services in Queensland

Read more

Become a member

QORF welcomes applications for new Community and Green Circle Members from organisations and individuals involved in the outdoors

Learn More