Heroic nut completes Tasman kayak crossing

Kayaking in the open ocean is not something I would contemplate doing. Trying to kayak across the Tasman Sea seems nuts.

But Scott Donaldson has done it. He left Coff’s Harbour in northern NSW on 2 May 2018. Last night:

Kayaker Scott Donaldson has crossed the Tasman and reached New Plymouth after leaving Coffs Harbour in New South Wales two months ago.

It’s the first solo crossing of the Tasman in a kayak.

He encountered heavy seas and winds, and even sharks along the way.

Heroic, but I think also nuts to attempt something like this.

Mr Donaldson attempted the journey once before in 2014, but had to abandon the attempt after nearly three months and call for rescue while just 80km from New Zealand’s shore.

The kayak from his first attempt washed up on a New Plymouth beach more than a month after his rescue.

Before he started: ‘It’s more fear than respect’ – Kiwi kayaker Scott Donaldson launching new attempt to cross Tasman Sea

Last night: Watch: The moment Kiwi kayaker Scott Donaldson is carried onto beach after completing solo trans-Tasman voyage


There are shorter routes further south but the conditions are generally worse.

Others have tried and failed. See Sad end for true Aussie battler

Australian kayaker and adventurer Andrew McAuley would have been the first solo kayaker to paddle across the Tasman Sea had he reached his destination that day.

What made his attempt all the more difficult was the path he took — all below the 40th parallel, an area known for tumultuous and punishing weather conditions.

But instead, 30 nautical miles, or 54km off the coast, Andrew vanished after sending the New Zealand Coastguard a garbled message revealing his kayak was sinking and he needed rescue.

It was a small boat for Donaldson to be on the open ocean for months on/in.

Kayaker Scott Donaldson sets off from Coffs Harbour in Sydney.

Footage of Tasman Sea conditions taken from a ship (“This wasn’t the worst of it, this is just what I was able to catch on camera”):

Not my thing even on a large vessel.