Facebook Journey Log

5 days ago

Double Ditch

Kayaker Waits Out Lightning Storm in Tasman Crossing

Two weeks ago it was a shark, now it’s a lightning storm slowing the progress of Tasman Kayaker Scott Donaldson, albeit briefly.

Though ‘Mother Nature’ has been kind to him this week, a fierce lightning storm struck his area at 7am today, which was a scary moment for Donaldson as his Kayak and paddle is made of Carbon Fibre – an excellent conductor of electricity.

Donaldson’s team leader, Nigel Escott says Donaldson has made incredible progress this week, despite the forced stoppage this morning.

“He’s done really well this week. The conditions are great, he’s in a good current and there is a tail wind, so he’s making ‘hay while the sun shines’”, says Escott.

“The only thing that has slowed him was to wait out the lightning storm and to not be moving his paddle through the air!”

Donaldson now lies around 700km to the North-West of Taranaki with excellent wind conditions aiding his progress as he attempts to be the first person to Kayak the Tasman Sea solo.

In a 24-hour period from Friday to Saturday this week he covered an impressive 85km, aided by a very favourable tail wind.

“The conditions are so good at the moment, that he’s actually paddling for up to 20 hours a day. Even paddling at night on occasion.”

Earlier in the week, Donaldson managed to paddle out of a bad weather and current pattern, essentially having to back track and doing a full circle.

Donaldson left Coffs Harbour on the New South Wales Coast on May 2 and made it to Lord Howe Island in 10-days – a distance of 586km. Waiting out a storm for 7 days, he resumed his journey to New Zealand on May 18, which means he has been at sea now for nearly a month.

Donaldson is aiming to make landfall on the Taranaki Coast – a distance of 2200 kilometres although he will likely paddle 3000 kilometres.

With his Trans-Tasman Kayak attempt, Donaldson is raising funds for Asthma research. Donaldson himself is an Asthma sufferer. Donations can be made via givealittle.co.nz/cause/tasman-kayak

Follow Scott Donaldson’s progress via the website tasmankayak.com/
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1 week ago

Double Ditch

Circle complete! Much more favourable winds for Scott this week. Expect to see some good progress over the coming days. ... See MoreSee Less

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2 weeks ago

Double Ditch

Frustrating Week for Tasman Kayaker

Tasman Kayaker Scott Donaldson is ‘frustrated’ as his progress across the Tasman Sea has been slowed by unfavourable wind and tides.

Last week, the kiwi adventurer had made good progress towards New Zealand, but a shift in wind and tidal patterns has pushed him North by about 100km over the past few days.

Donaldson’s team leader, Nigel Escott says the Kayaker is frustrated by the lack of progress this week.

“He’s a bit frustrated at the moment as he’s at the mercy of the wind and tide. He’s trapped in a wind and tide pattern that he’s struggling to get out of. We have a plan, which will involve him travelling in an anti-clockwise direction, so you’ll see him do a circle on the website tracker,” says Escott.

Escott says that events like this were expected by Donaldson, and he experienced them on his last campaign.

“This is nothing new for Scott. He experienced this last time. The positive is that he has made tremendous progress to date, and will make forward progress again once he gets into the more favourable wind and tides in a few days.”

“Apart from this frustration, he’s in good physical condition, and is doing well.”

With his Trans-Tasman Kayak attempt, Donaldson is raising funds for Asthma research. Donaldson himself is an Asthma sufferer. Donations can be made via givealittle.co.nz/cause/tasman-kayak

Follow Scott Donaldson’s progress via the website tasmankayak.com/
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2 weeks ago

Double Ditch

Bit of tough weather for Scott over the next few days. With a strong Southerly wind pushing him North. Wind direction due to change in a few days which should make the going a bit easier. ... See MoreSee Less

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3 weeks ago

Double Ditch

Tasman Kayaker Edges Closer to New Zealand – Time to clean the Kayak

Tasman Kayaker Scott Donaldson is slowly getting closer to the coast of New Zealand, now roughly 750km off Cape Reinga, meaning he has paddled 250km in the past week.

Donaldson’s wife Sarah speaks with the adventurer about once a week via satellite phone and says her husband is in good spirits.

“I spoke to Scott a couple of days ago and he said he had had a hard week – trying to make progress battling the winds and currents. This current weather pattern is much more favourable and will help him along,” said Mrs Donaldson.

Donaldson’s weather today at his current position sees a north-west wind at an average of 15 knots, with an average wave height of three metres. Rain is also forecast for most of the day.

Despite his brush with a curious 2.5m shark last week, Donaldson has had to get out of his Kayak and clean off the growing marine life from the underside of the craft.

Due to the slow speed of a kayak in the ocean environment, sealife build up on the underside of the hull is an issue for Donaldson. He will have to get out of his kayak up to three times on his trip to clean off growing barnacles and other marine life from the underside. Such marine growth provides more resisentence and will make his progress slower.

“He is staying healthy and mentally alert and got out of the boat to check the underside. No sharks this time!”

Though he is edging closer to Cape Reinga, making landfall on the Taranaki coast is still the goal.

“We have regular discussions with Bob McDavitt our weather guru about the best route, at the moment, Taranaki still remains the best bet. It’s where the wind and tides will take him.”

With his Trans-Tasman Kayak attempt, Donaldson is raising funds for Asthma research. Donaldson himself is an Asthma sufferer.

Donations can be made via givealittle.co.nz/cause/tasman-kayak

Follow Scott Donaldson’s progress via the website tasmankayak.com/
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