Abandoned crossing

December 7, 2006

Andrew McCauley: I’ve just read that he has abandoned his crossing:

Tactical Retreat			    Dec 6, 2006

Andrew made excellent progress in his first 24 hours of 
paddling. With 40 knots of wind up the tail at the start,
he delayed departure slightly until the wind had abated 
somewhat. Then in good conditions, he paddled all night 
on the first night, clocking up 80km. He pulled over for
some sleep at 4am.

Casper the Cockpit Canopy worked very well, keeping out 
the weather and locking out all the water and waves from 
the cockpit area. The feisty 30 knot winds and big southern 
ocean swells are a great proving ground for the concept, 
and it worked well. However, Andrew had trouble warming up
inside the cockpit. This is one of the compromises inherent
in doing this crossing in a conventional kayak - there is
no dry cabin to retreat to. Andrew felt that later in the 
trip, the problem of cold could prove dangerous. As a 
result, he made the courageous decision to retreat back to 
Tasmania. With favourable westerly winds making the push to
New Zealand an easier path, Andrew spent two days battling 
30-knot headwinds to make landing on Maria Island, on the 
east coast of Tasmania. He returned safely to the 
Tasmanian mainland last night.

Andrew's effort has been applauded by veteran Tasmanian 
sea kayakers. He made a responsible decision in difficult
circumstances, and had no reliance on external resources.
This is the kind of self-sufficient adventure that we'd
like to see more of in today's society. Well done Andrew!

We expect to have a personal update from Andrew when he
returns home in a few days.


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