The tasmanian sea in a kayak

December 6, 2006

From this website of Andrew McCauley “Australian Adventurer of the year 2006” who is making the first crossing from Tasmania to New Zealand’s South Island.


1600km! It will take at least 30 days. In my opinion this is crazy but also totally worthy of respect. Going to sea in the Southern Ocean, of all places, alone.


“For some years now, I’ve had a dream to cross the Tasman Sea in a kayak. I’ve been quietly working away on that objective by getting out there and doing lots of paddling, with recent trips including a non-stop crossing of the Gulf of Carpentaria (150 hours), Bass Strait Direct (35 hours) and a traverse of the Antarctic Peninsula coastline (8 weeks).

I’ll 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). As the crow flies, it’s a shade over 1600km.

The ocean doesn’t care what my experience is. But I have done some paddling here and there. Here’s an abbreviated list of some recent kayaking trips:

– 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 Wilson’s Prom to Boat Harbour, near Wynyard. 220km in 35hours)

– 2003 Bass Strait (western side via King Island, 300km. Includes a 100km crossing.)

– 2003 West coast Tasmania (Strahan-Hobart, 400km)

– 2001 Cape York & across Torres Strait (1000km)

– 2000 Bass Strait crossing (eastern side via Flinders Island, 330km)

– 1998 Paddling and mountaineering expedition in the Chilean fiords, Patagonia

I’ve also done a spot of mountaineering around the place, which is a good way to get used to suffering!

I’m fascinated by exploring the limits of what is possible in a conventional kayak on a low budget. My vision for this crossing is to use a stock model sea kayak with as little modification as possible. I’m using a widely available Mirage kayak with a few tweaks for safety and comfort.

There’s no doubt that it will be very hard going. I have a fair idea of what to expect as I’ve 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 Tasman Sea.

With good conditions I’ll be looking at around 30 days.”

And if like me you ever wondered how these dudes sleep, check these images out (taken from a multi media presentation by the Sydney Morning Herald).



Looks like a very interesting innovation. I’m guessing that that white bit is an air intake vent that can be closed. But some criticism would be: don’t like the look of those screw threads – could rip something, I also hope its got some flotation, it looks like something that could cause problems too…


4 Responses to “The tasmanian sea in a kayak”

  1. changingdays Says:

    good on you and best of luck 🙂

  2. not me dude, Andrew McCauley.

  3. Oldkayaker Says:

    We are all waiting and wondering when we will hear from you again.

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