Iíll be paddling from the east coast of Tasmania to
Milford Sound, on the South Island of New Zealand. The paddle
will be entirely below the 40th parallel (40
degrees latitude south).
far is it? As the crow flies, itís a shade over 1600km.
I could write pages about this question. The
short answer is, because I like paddling! I also
enjoy sharing my experiences with others and
inspiring people to reach for big, bold goals on
a shoestring budget.
The ocean doesnít care what my experience is.
When Iím out there, the Tasman will throw
whatever it has at me regardless of how much
paddling Iíve done. But I have done some paddling here and there.
Hereís an abbreviated list of some recent
- 2006 Antarctica (approx 850km from Hope
Bay south to the Antarctic Circle)
- 2004 Gulf of Carpentaria crossing
(530km crossing, seven days in the kayak
non-stop. Except for sleeping!)
- 2003 Bass Strait Direct (a direct,
non-stop crossing from Wilsonís Prom to Boat Harbour, near
Wynyard. 220km in 35 hours)
- 2003 Bass Strait (western side via King
Island, 300km. Includes a 100km crossing.)
- 2003 West coast Tasmania (Strahan-Hobart,
- 2001 Cape York & across Torres Strait
- 2000 Bass Strait crossing (eastern side
via Flinders Island, 330km)
- 1998 Paddling and mountaineering
expedition in the Chilean fiords,
hold the record in the Murray River Marathon for
the Open MRec class (404km). I have
competed in the Hawkesbury Classic a number of
times (111km), and I've won the Open Long Rec
class twice. But flat water doesnít count for
much on the ocean! Iíve also done a spot of mountaineering
around the place, which is a good way to get
used to suffering!
anyone else kayaked to New Zealand before? No. There have been two attempts though, both by
Paul Caffyn and partner.
What kind of kayak are you using? Iím fascinated by
exploring the limits of what is
possible in a conventional kayak on a low
My vision for this crossing is to
use a stock model sea kayak with as little
modification as possible. Iím using a widely
available Mirage kayak with a few tweaks for
safety and comfort.
Will you use a sail?
No. Dec 2006 Update: Since my
first attempt I've mellowed a little on this
subject. The Roaring Forties is a windy part of
the world, and it could be argued that it's a
little contrived not to use the wind. I'm
will it be like out there?
Thereís no doubt that it will be very hard
going. I have a fair idea of what to expect
as Iíve done a few big kayak crossings before,
and spent many nights sleeping in my kayak at
sea. I've sailed to Antarctica and back, and
seen some of what the ocean can do. I have an
enormous amount of respect for this part of the
Can we follow your progress? Yes, there will be updates posted to this
website during the paddle by my land crew.
long will it take?
This depends a lot on what sort of weather I
encounter. With good conditions Iíll be looking
at around 30 days.
are you leaving?
Late November. December 2006
Update: I departed on my first attempt on
December 2, 2006. After encountering some
problems with cold, I made a very difficult
decision to retreat. I'll be heading off again
in early January, 2007 for the second attempt.
The exact departure date will depend mainly on
weather and safety considerations.
Keep an eye on this website for
Expedition is generously supported by: