It was in the last month of the year 2006 that Andrew McAuley made his first atempt to cross the Tasman Sea –alone and in a one-man kayak. He was forced to cancel the initial attempt after two days when he could no longer keep warm inside the craft. The next month, he made another attempt but he never reached his destination alive. On the 12th of February, the search party for his missing body gave up after finding his kayak –partly flooded.
The saddest part of the story is that he was just 30 nautical miles from Milford Sound, his destination in New Zealand.
If a kayaker is to sleep while at sea, he will have to release a sea anchor and then stuff himself into the kayak. Then, the hatch will be sealed with a bulb-shaped fibreglass capsule known as the Casper. The capsule has a ventilator that allows only air in and makes it possible for a kayaker to survive even the fiercest of storms. However, when the capsule is in place, it is impossible for the kayaker to roll owing to being filled with water like a container.
When McAuley’s kayak was found, the capsule was nowhere to be found. Experts assumed that a freak wave had yanked it off. Jonathan Borgais, an experienced sailor who directed the daring voyageby predicting the weather explained that his biggest fear was McAuley’s landing on the tempestuous Milford Sound. Unfortunately, his fear was confirmed as McAuley lost his life in the quest.
Filed Under: Sports