Pete Goss heads home to Cornwall after 'perfect' island odyssey
Ocean adventurer Pete Goss said he would "change nothing" about his 1500km circumnavigation of Tasmania, adding that it had been one of the best experiences of his seagoing career.
As he headed home to Cornwall, the round-the-world sailor reflected on the 50-day challenge that saw him and fellow kayaker Andy Warrender experience everything from fair winds and big seas to penguins and wombats.
"It's been a perfect trip and there's nothing I would change," said Pete, who lives near Millbrook. "If life is made of memories then you have to get out there and create some and this trip will be recalled with great fondness."
When asked what the toughest part of the trip had been, he said: "There weren't any. It was a joy from beginning to end."
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He and Andy set out on the voyage in late-December. Taking an anti-clockwise route around the island, their paddling was augmented by specially designed kayak sails. Carrying kit and provisions on board, the men slept on beaches, surrounded by flocks of seabirds. During the trip, which included battling capsizes in the Southern Ocean swell, they encountered a variety of wildlife, including rays, albatross and kookaburra.
Andy, an experienced kayaker who is originally from Scotland, said tackling Tasmania had been the culmination of a long-held dream – and the experience surpassed his expectations.
"From a kayaker's perspective, Tasmania offers every variety of paddling – from challenging swells to idyllic, almost tropical waters," he said. "It's been brilliant."
Pete said Andy had been a great companion, adding: "I learnt a lot and I can now call myself a sea kayaker."
Pete, who received the MBE and Legion d'Honneur after saving fellow sailor Raphael Dinelli in the 1996 Vendee Globe solo round-the-world race, also sailed a replica of a 19th-century Cornish fishing lugger called Spirit Of Mystery from Newlyn to Melbourne in 2008.
Although he has no immediate plans for another adventure, Pete admitted last night that it was only a matter of time before he came up with another "daft idea".