Sunday, 2 January 2011

Andrew McAuley Lost at Sea

In 2007 the adventure kayaker Andrew McAuley attempted to kayak between Australia and New Zealand. The Tasman sea is extremely secluded and the conditions can become extremely rough yet Andrew McAuley attempted the crossing for the second time and when 35 Nautical Miles, in view of land, from his destination of Milford Sound in New Zealand was capsized and never seen again. The story was documented as Andrew filmed his journey across the sea as well as his build up to it and his first attempt the year before in 2006. Andrew slept and lived alone in a kayak for 30 days - I cannot imagine what that must have been like in those rough seas.

Below is the film called Solo: Lost at Sea that is made up of interviews with Andrew's wife and his close friends and colleagues as well as showing the film recovered from the abandoned kayak the search and rescue found floating at sea. The video quality isn't great but the film is definitely worth a watch - incredibly moving.

I've read a lot of criticism of Andrew McAuley on articles across the internet. People criticise his abandonment of a wife and a young son as he attempted something that may not even be possible - to some extent I see exactly where these people are coming from but all of the greatest adventures bring great risks and sacrifices. The determination he showed was admirable whilst perhaps a mistake in undertaking the adventure. If he had made the crossing, which he nearly did, the world would have hailed a truly great adventurer. I admire the mental and physical skill it took Andrew to nearly make the crossing - an inspiration but warning to those aspiring adventurers. I feel for the family he left behind, his son will never know a father but will live knowing he died a true adventurer. 

RIP Andrew McAuley - an inspirational adventure! Who knows if anyone will ever cross the treacherous southern crossing of the Tasman sea. 

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