Adventurer Pete Goss embarks on 1,500 km paddle round Tasmania
Maritime adventurer Pete Goss's circumnavigation of Tasmania got off to a bumpy start this week, with strong winds and a broken rudder hampering progress.
The 51-year-old, who is aiming to paddle around the southern hemisphere island in a kayak, experienced 30-knot head-winds on the first leg of what is expected to be a two-month challenge.
Joined by experienced Scottish sea kayaker Andy Warrender, Pete – who lives near Millbrook in South East Cornwall – arrived in the Tasmanian town of Devonport on Sunday. The men covered 55 kilometres on their first full day at sea.
They are carrying all their camping gear and provisions with them and Pete has designed an innovative sailing rig that can be hoisted on each kayak to give wind assistance when conditions allow. He said that despite having a rudder damaged in transit everything else was in good order.
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Speaking yesterday, he said: "This expedition has been two years in the making and today it felt like the trip properly came to life. It's a great feeling as we look forward to taking on and enjoying everything that Tasmania has to offer.
"Kayaking offers an intimate relationship with the water and, like meeting a new person, you have no idea what a new piece of water will be like.
"If there is to be a theme today it would have to be nature because we have seen dolphins and pitched our tents right in the middle of a penguin colony."
So far the weather has been reasonably kind to the pair, but there is a long way to go before they complete the 1,500 kilometre anti-clockwise voyage.
"Many of my previous adventures have been non-stop and I have often wished I had the time to explore places properly," he said. "Tasmania is a beautiful island with a varied and exciting coastline. There can be no better way to get close to it than in a sea kayak."
Pete, whose previous challenges have involved sailing more than 250,000 miles, received the MBE and Legion d'Honneur after saving fellow sailor Raphael Dinelli in the 1996 Vendee Globe solo around-the-world yacht race. In 2008, he sailed a replica of a 19th century wooden Cornish fishing lugger called Spirit Of Mystery from Newlyn to Melbourne.
"We are pleased with the way things are pulling together and settling down to a routine," he added. "It's been quite hard-going at times with the head winds but for all that we can see progress. Our hope is to have a good long day and set ourselves up for a shot at the top left-hand corner. From there we start to head south into the wilds of Tasmania."
Western Morning News readers can follow the kayakers' progress at www.petegoss.com, where there is a live tracker, pictures, video posts and blog updates.