Kayak Bass Straight to End Slavery

Kayak Bass Straight to End Slavery

Sunday, 22 January 2012


We owe a big thanks to so many people who have helped us get across the Bass.

All our family and friends: thanks for understanding when we had to go away for long hours of training and coming all the way to Tassie to meet us.  And a huge thanks to our church families who faithfully prayed and fasted for us.

Our sponsors:
Farmer Jacks Supermarkets and Gemmill Homes - thanks for your amazing generosity.
Canoeing Downunder - thanks so much for lending us our great boats and gear.
Sea to Summit - thanks for our freeze dried meals, they sustained us all the way.
Carbo Shots - All the bars and gels kept us powering along.

Blue Print Screen Art with the help of Helly Hansen and Gildan provided us with some amazing kit on and off the water.

Karel from kayakweather.com - thanks for your accurate and reliable forecasts.

Robin - Thanks for all your advice in the lead up to our trip and for being a reassuring contact during the crossing.

Thanks to everyone who has donated so far to the Houses of Healing, for those who haven't please get behind them and help us get to our aim of raising $10,000 for this organisation which does such life changing work.

The challenging nature of this trip has highlighted weaknesses in each of our lives.  Through each others encouragement and prayer we are trusting more in Christ Jesus who is the only one who can give true freedom from slavery (life controlling issues which effect all of us).  We would encourage anyone who has been following our trip who feels troubled by things in live to consider the hope that Christ brings.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Day 10 - Final leg to Tomahawk

Its all over - we paddled our final leg from Foster Inlet to Tomahawk yesterday arvo.  The 20km took us 3hrs in 15-25kt SE winds which made for an exciting finish.  We pulled onto the beach at 4.30pm and were greeted by a collection of family and friends, it was great to see them.  We drove back to Bridport where a few of us are staying for a week and enjoyed a meal all together.  A warm shower, a soft bed and pillow was awesome - Matt.

Cant believe weve made it - what a trip.

Friday, 20 January 2012

Day 9 - TASMANIA!!!!! Praise the Lord!

Today was the team's final ocean crossing from Clarke Island to Foster Inlet on the north coast of Tasmania!! The guys covered 30 km and crossed Banks Strait, where the famously strong tidal currents lived up to their name. The guys were being pushed at one stage at 7.5km an hour without paddling. They left at 1pm today to get the tides right for the crossing and thanks be to God, it worked perfectly. They were half away across Banks Strait when the tides changed, so it meant for a perfect triangle being pushed back the same distance they had lost in the first half.

The team pulled onto the beach at 5pm this afternoon and everyone was so excited and relieved to be there. Some high fives and hugs were shared and celebratory chocolates bar consumed. The guys have had an amazing night watching the sun go down and reflecting on a fantastic, blessed trip. They've all learnt lots about themselves and ocean paddling and felt like they've grown closer together as a group from the experience. The team is looking forward to their last paddle along the coast tomorrow (20km) to the town of Tomahawk where they can't wait to see their wives, kids, family and friends.

Safe and sound in Tasmania

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Day 8 - Clarke Island

Today was the guys last long paddle (52km, taking 7 hours) from Whitemark to Spike Bay, Clarke Island. The team was feeling pretty refreshed after their rest day. They had a beautiful morning paddling for 2 hours with the water being like glass, even being able to see people's reflections. Then the wind kicked in and conditions turned choppy crossing Franklin Sound. But once the guys rounded Cape Barren Island the outgoing tide pushed them nicely to Clarke Island. They have a beautiful campsite, looking across Banks Strait with Tasmania finally in sight! The guys are really stoked to finally see Tasmania and pretty excited about their last crossing tomorrow. Banks Strait is renowned for its really strong tidal current of up to 7km a hour, so it's crucial that the team gets their timing right for the crossing. The plan is to leave at about 1pm (paddle is 35km) when the tides are looking good, paddle from Clarke Island rounding Cape Portland and paddling to Foster Inlet for their last night of camping before finishing at Tomahawk on Saturday.

On an amusing note, the guys have come up with a short list of how to pass the time whilst spending hours and hours paddling.
1) Kayak cricket - you score runs by whatever passes you by (fish, birds, penguins) and the new person batting starts up every half an hour.
2) The alphabet game - you pick a subject and each person goes around, using the next letter of the alphabet to start the letter of their word (ie. Fruit - apricot, banana, cherry etc.)
3)The song game - someone has to whistle a song while your paddling partner tries to guess (not a good game for Matt who is tone deaf).

The guys also all shaved at the start of the trip and they've been comparing facial hair in a 'Beard growing competition'. Their description so far;
Benny - grizzly bear beard
Tim - red beard
Ross - Mexican handle bars
Jason - random, long whispy under the chin beard
Matt - the styled beard (hmm, but this was a commentary from Matt!)

They all enjoyed looking at God's creation with a beautiful sunset tonight and can't wait to get Tasmania.

Crunchy rice and cardboard chicken, yum

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Day 7 - Rest day in Whitemark

The team enjoyed their rest day in Whitemark today. Their bottom and shoulder soreness is feeling a bit better and blisters have gone down. Eating some fresh fruit was good. The guys spent some time refocusing for a couple more crossings and talked about the last crossing to Tasmania which is notoriously difficult and the importance of making a wise decision for this last paddle. Tomorrow they will be paddling from Whitemark to Clarke Island, a total of 50km. As the trip draws to a close, they are looking forward to seeing friends and family in Tasmania.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Day 6 - Whitemark

The team enjoyed a sleep in after four early mornings, paddling from Roydon Island to Whitemark (the main town in Flinders, approx. 200 people). The guys waited until lunch time to leave to catch the outgoing tide. The paddle was about 33km and took 4 hours. The thought of a pub meal at Whitemark was extremely 'alluring' which was the word of the trip. After covering over 200km the last four days, the guys are definitely ready for a rest day tomorrow. They will be trying to manage a few sore points and blisters, especially in the gluteus maximus region! The guys have apparently gotten nice and personal with each other applying fixomol and chaffing prevention cream to each others behind. The team has only 2 more kayak trips to go and are hoping for a good weather window to get to Tasmania (or weather envelope according to Jason).

Monday, 16 January 2012

Day 5 - Roydon Island

Today was the third 4:30am morning in a row for the guys. After a late night decision and last minute packing, not much sleep was had by the team. It was rough waking up and some of the guys had a chilly start when they got dumped by the incoming waves when heading out from the beach.

They paddled 65km today from Winter Cove (Deal Island) to Roydon Island, just off the west coast of Flinders Island.  It was a pretty hard day doing their 3rd big crossing in a row and the paddle took the guys 10 hours. The conditions were pretty good however with 10-15 knot side winds and they managed to use the tide to their advantage, drifting 10km off course to north east, before catching the incoming tides all the way back to Roydon Island. The tides were pretty strong, reaching up to 4km an hour.

The team enjoyed meeting up with the two other groups crossing the Strait and being able to swap stories. The other groups were amazed that the team were able to do 3 big crossings in a row. Thank you to people praying for safety and good weather, God has truly answered and I can speak for myself and two of the other wives (Rachel and Hannah) that we are very thankful the guys are still in one piece! (Our own Perth to Melbourne crossing has also been successful with 2 toddlers, 2 prams, 2 suitcases and 5 bags....someone asked if we were staying for a month)

Tomorrow they are hoping to paddle down the coast of Flinders Island to Whitemark and maybe enjoy the luxury of a hamburger at the pub.

The guys at East Cove. They met a great group there that spend 6 weeks
 each year in the hut on the island.