Cornwall's Pete Goss hits halfway mark in Tasmania kayak challenge – despite capsize
Maritime adventurer Pete Goss has reached the halfway point of a 1,500km kayaking challenge to circumnavigate Tasmania.
Pete, from South East Cornwall, said that despite extremely rough sea conditions which resulted in several capsizes, he and fellow paddler Andy Warrender were looking forward to the next leg.
"We could not have had a more dramatic end to what has been an amazing experience as we have pulled ourselves, arm over arm, down the west coast of Tasmania," he said. "It's been a challenge and a joy all wrapped up together with the continual underlying feeling of slight vulnerability."
A veteran of numerous solo endeavours, the 51-year-old designed a set of sails, which have proved invaluable in taking advantage of light winds.
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At other times he and Andy have been paddling against strong winds in mountainous waves. One day last week they were both thrown out of their kayaks by a huge swell breaking on a reef.
"There's that moment of truth when you know you are absolutely stuffed," said Pete. "No time to worry, just go with it and see what happens. I was conscious of a vertical wall engulfing the back of the boat and the next thing I know I am standing on my rudder pedals looking down the face of a big breaker and going over, pitch-poling. I didn't know which way up I was as the water pulled me in every direction at once – even under water it was noisy."
He said he watched helplessly as Andy was tumbled by torrents of water.
"There was nothing I could do though," he said. "It was every man for himself."
Although Andy had been swept on to rocks, he escaped with only a few bumps and bruises.
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.
To follow their progress through a live satellite tracker and read daily blogs, visit www.petegoss.com