Kiwi restarts trans-Tasman kayak mission

After a false start, a New Zealand man has relaunched his kayak into the waters off Australia on a mission to paddle solo to Taranaki.

 
 

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AFTER a false start, a New Zealand man has relaunched his kayak into the waters off Australia on a mission to paddle solo to Taranaki.

Scott Donaldson, 43, left Port Macquarie on the NSW north coast on Monday morning (AEST), a week after he was forced to abort his first attempt when his dry bag leaked and soaked his satellite phone.

The Rotorua man, who has spent the last three years planning the 70-day, 2000-kilometre journey, has been bunkered down in the resort town as money was raised for a new phone to get him on his way.

He posted his plans to relaunch on Sunday, writing on his website Double Ditch: “Looking forward to getting out there but preparing the head for a week of head winds”.

The journey would start with a challenging three-metre swell and winds over 20 knots, but conditions should settle after a few days, the kayaker said.

Port Macquarie, south of his original entry point Coffs Harbour, had been a welcoming destination, Mr Donaldson said, with a fireman putting him up and local sea scouts storing his precious rig.

The custom-built kayak carries a life raft, survival suit and radar detectors should he run into more trouble during the unpredictable journey.

Australian kayaker Andrew McAuley died in 2007, within sight of the Fiordland coast, attempting to cross the Tasman.

His capsized kayak was found, but his body was not.

A year later two other Australians, Justin Jones and James Castrission, successfully completed a double kayak from Australia to New Zealand.

 
 

 
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