Crossing the Ditch

Crossing the Ditch

Language: English

Pages: 336


Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Two mates, a kayak, and the conquest of the Tasman. 'this is the gripping and inspirational account of two ordinary blokes ... double-handedly proving that the Age of Adventure is not over!' PEtER FItZSIMONS With more than two thousand kilometres of treacherous seas and dangerously unpredictable weather and currents, it was little wonder no-one had ever successfully crossed the tasman by kayak. Australian adventurer Andrew McAuley had come close just months earlier - tragically, though, not near enough to save his life. But two young Sydneysiders, James Castrission and Justin Jones, reached the sand at New Plymouth - and a place in history - on 13 January 2008, 62 days after they'd set off from Forster on the mid-north coast of New South Wales. In the process, they had to face dwindling food supplies, a string of technical problems, 14 days trapped in a whirlpool, and two terrifying close encounters with sharks. When they arrived in New Zealand, their friendship stronger than ever, they were sunburnt, bearded, physically and mentally wasted ... and, most of all, happy to be alive. "... nothing prepared them for the 62 days of rapture, despair and euphoria ... ultimately this is a story of the triumph of the human spirit." Lincoln Hall

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through with your mother over the next few years and I was getting some rest before the storm.” Looking back at our parents’ reaction to our Tasman announcement, I guess the issue of who was being the more selfish was a complicated one. Was it them, for not allowing us to be the people we wanted to be? Or was it us, for pursuing our dream, regardless of their fears for our safety? I started doing bits and bobs of sailing with Andrew, a mate I used to play rugby with, and a few other guys. They’d

a fire to provide warmth and to cook; our supply of fuel was diminishing rapidly. The nagging cold didn’t allow our bodies to recover efficiently while we slept and we went through a huge amount of wood trying to stay warm during the night. As we started across Franklin Sound the next day – a stretch of ocean renowned for more vessels lost than anywhere else in the Bass Strait region – we were blessed with lake-like conditions. “Hey, Jonesy,” I yelled. “How’d you like to push to Tassie today?”

herpes or warts – I was pleased it turned out to be the latter! In the cabin that evening after another day’s paddle towards Australia, we scoffed down our dehydrated meals and tried to raise Pat; but no reply. This was odd. For 32 days now he’d religiously been there to answer our 6am and 8pm skeds, and this was the first time he’d been AWOL. Throughout the night we drifted another 20 kilometres northwest. Finally, as the piss-stained pillow had stopped worrying me so much and the seas were

Pulling out a couple of spare blocks, we rewired the charger without issue. These simple repairs at sea were frustratingly slow. It wasn’t a matter of heading to the back shed, getting the tools and gear, then fixing it. To access our tools and spares beneath our cabin floor, we had to pack all our sleeping gear away, roll the mats up, pull out the relevant dry bay, empty all the contents, and locate the gear we were after. Once the gear was found, recrimping and rejoining wires was incredibly

away as the two of them continued to swim underneath us was unforgettable. 18 Aching Joints and Grumbling Stomachs DAY 47 DIARY, DAY 47 – JAMES “Woke 0600 [6am]. Sharks now gone. Each morning is getting harder and harder, both constantly hungry; bum very sore today, can’t do squats any more – legs can no longer support body weight.” Talking to the two cameras on board – Mr Camera (okay, so it’s a slightly Play School-ish name) – became like talking to a third person. Each camera had its own

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