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Tasman Sea Victory: Special report by Chris Bray

Posted: Jan 14, 2008 05:25 pm EST

(TheOceans.net/ThePoles.com) It was one of the biggest tragedies in the world of adventure last year: Solo kayaker Andrew McAuley went missing only a few days from his record breaking destination. His kayak was found empty and adrift a few days later.

Fellow kayakers James Castrission and Justin Jones postponed their own kayak attempt but finally set off for the record end last year, and have just successfully crossed the Tasman sea, from Australia to New Zealand, paddling for over 60 days, more than 2,000km in their kayak-ish craft Lot-41.

ExWeb special report by Chris Bray

Fellow Aussie adventurer Chris Bray, 24, who grew up sailing around the world with his family on a homemade yacht for 5 years, and now lives in Sydney has made a special report on the guys for ExplorersWeb.

Chris was Australian Geographic Young Adventurer of the Year in 2004 for a Tasmanian expedition, and you might recall his and Clark's Victoria Island adventure pulling gear behind them in their home-made aluminium kayaks with fold-down wheels.

This is what Chris reports about James Castrission and Justin Jones:

"They are given the title as being the first people to ever kayak across the Tasman," Chris writes.

"Their trip was different to Andrew McAuleys epic attempt that cost him his life a mere 80km from NZ a year ago, as Andrews craft was essentially a run-of-the-mill kayak with modifications to let him sleep in it etc, and Lot41 is a more like a futuristic sea capsule that is paddled like a double kayak and has a tiny sealed cabin in the stern where the guys could shelter out bad weather."

"But there are no two ways about it - however you look at it, this was an amazing, incredible expedition, and the boys went through a hell of a lot, including being forced backwards for days in bad weather, and arriving more than 15 days later than anticipated. Just search for their names in google and youll be swamped. They are heroes."

Tens of thousands lined the shore

"Their arrival has created quite an unprecedented media frenzy, with their trip becoming the top feature story on Australias national TV news stations, papers etc."

"Somewhere between 10 and 40,000 people lined the shore at New Plymouth to welcome them, choppers in the air, even a ceremonial water-spraying fire fighting boat!"

"They have received an incredible about of media and publicity, 100% of which, for once, has been presented in a positive light, with no mention of the usual negative (even sometimes misguided) comments about us adventurers being foolhardy / risking the lives of potential rescuers if something went wrong, wasting taxpayers money and all that clap-trap."

"This was all presented as it should be and recognised for what it was - inspiring, heroic, and a bloody good adventure."

In July 2005, Chris Bray and Clark Carter plunged inside the Arctic Circle to travel unsupported across the largely unexplored Victoria Island. After 58 days of hauling, paddling and dragging 250kgs of gear behind them in their home-made aluminium kayaks with fold-down wheels, they were only 1/3 the way across!

It was such an incredible adventure though - including wolves, polar bears, artefacts, blizzards and unseen landscapes - that they vowed to return. After two years of thought, The iiNet 1000 Hour Day Expedition is shaping up for May 2008





#Polar #Oceans







Crossing the Ditch Expedition: James Castrission and Justin Jones paddling across the Tasman Sea. Image ExplorersWeb files (click to enlarge)
Passion for adventure: Chris Bray is an ExWeb correspondent (latest he wrote about the Northwest passage crossed by sail) while preparing for his own expedition: "Preps going awesomely for our return to the Arctic in May," he writes, "check out the pics of the huge cart, PAC2! Haha. It certainly turns heads when were testing it." Go to the 1000hourday.com freshly updated website for more images. (Click to enlarge).





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